I was waiting for the bus the other day and took off my glasses so I could see my phone. Normally I can hold both in my left hand. Unfortunately, I had my bus card in my right hand and that proved to be too many things for me to keep track of at once. I thought I tucked my glasses into my pocket, but when I was seated on the bus and ready to put them back on, they were nowhere to be found.
I went through a clumsy phase years ago and kept bending my frames by walking into walls and tripping over things and generally being an inept klutz. So I made the investment in unbreakable titanium frames and have had this pair a very long time indeed. It wasn’t the end of the world that they were gone, but we had spent some significant time together and I had grown fond of them.
It seemed a long shot, but we called the bus lost and found office the next day. They said, “We have a pair of gold rimmed glasses. We don’t know if they’re your gold rimmed glasses. You’ll have to come down and identify them.” I imagined a lineup of suspicious looking glasses standing awkwardly behind a sheet of one way glass.
Lo and behold, they were my gold rimmed glasses. I will never know if some kind soul turned them in or if the cleaning staff found them at the end of the day or if the goddess was just smiling on me again that day. At any rate we have been reunited and I am moved that someone somewhere respected me enough to turn in my glasses. I have renewed faith in humanity…except for Pokemon Go Zombies. They are invited to go jump in a lake.
On the plus side, the sun is shining and the sakura is popping.
On the minus side, I’m stuck in a third basement studio all day.
On the plus side, this morning’s yoga was particularly pleasant, accompanied as it was by two fuzz monkeys rasseling in the corner, and neither of them peed in the bed today.
On the minus side, my knees hurt and my claustrophobia won’t let me ride in the coffin-sized elevator so walking down the stairs to the studio was hard.
On the plus side, I’m getting paid to sit on this comfortable couch and share these thoughts with you.
Also on the plus side, I discovered this morning that they’re finally changing the name of my bus stop. I doubt you can begin to grasp how humiliating it is to get off at Nichidaiseibutsushigenkagakubumae. As of April 1, it will be simply Nichidaimae.
For some reason, this makes me very happy.
I assume this is not an April Fool’s joke. I sincerely doubt the bus people have that much of a sense of humor. Bus stop naming is serious business, after all.
Japanese people do not strike up conversations with strangers. The only exception is to comment on the weather. Even if something extraordinary is happening and a lot of people are watching, they will just look at each other, yearning to comment but unable to make that leap.
That being said, I had the strangest experience yesterday. I was waiting for the bus and the woman waiting next to me commented on the humidity. I agreed that it was very uncomfortable, thinking that would be the end of it. But she went on about how awful Tokyo summers are, and I figured that was a pleasant enough way to pass the time while we waited.
When we got on the bus, she sat behind me and by the time we got to the stop where we were both getting off, I had learned that there are eight people living in her house, including her two divorced daughters, each with two elementary school aged kids, each working full time because their deadbeat ex-husbands contribute nothing. They have to eat their meals in two shifts because there are so many of them and they often don’t have anything particularly nice to eat but the kids are very good-natured about that. Although she is 70, she wants to work but can’t because she has to be on-call in case one of the kids develops the sniffles and has to be fetched from school. She was on her way to meet a friend and they were planning to go to Yamanashi where they might be able to enjoy some better…weather.
As we parted at the station, she thanked me for talking with her about such a variety of topics and I wished her a nice time with her friend. And all of this is just the parts of the conversation that I understood. There were some other parts I didn’t quite get, but it didn’t seem to matter.
I have NEVER had such an intimate conversation with a total stranger outside of long Greyhound bus rides and New York City. At first I thought she was just lonely, but with all those people in her house, that seems unlikely. And she didn’t ask me a single question about myself, so she wasn’t interested in me.
I think she was just stressed out and needed someone to talk to. Anyone. Maybe my being a foreigner made it easier for her. I hope I did her some good.
What sort of an idiot goes out in a typhoon when she doesn’t have to?
Yup, that would be me.
Once a year, my gal pals and I get together for a sakura party, and it was planned for Tuesday. The bad weather came on unexpectedly, so it was too late to reschedule and we decided to go ahead with it. So after spending the day at home in my pajamas hiding from the storm, I got dressed and headed out. This meant doing the Wrestle the Umbrella ballet in gusting winds and swirling rain, only to arrive at the station and find that the entire line was shut down.
“That’s that,” I thought and walked back up to street level where I discovered that the buses were still running. “Well, I’ve come this far. Let’s see how this plays out.”
We arrived at Shibuya and there were hundreds of people waiting for buses. The taxi queue snaked around the station and disappeared past Hachiko. I crossed my fingers and prayed that the Yamanote line was still running. It was.
When I got to the restaurant, everyone clapped and cheered, and we continued to do that for the rest of the evening as other bedraggled ladies struggled in. Most of them had come from work and so were dressed in girl clothes. One British lady congratulated me on being “appropriately garbed” in my genuine blue artificial suede fake Ugg boots.
The storm apparently acknowledged Woman Power, because it stopped raining and after a while we could open the windows and appreciate the cherry blossoms outside. Lovely.