Alrighty! Story time!
A few weeks ago, I went to a cooking class that was being sponsored by Togitsu city (the neighboring city to Nagasaki that my University is technically in). Gen and I had signed up, but we didn’t realize that we were the only American students who decided to go, sooo….everything was taught entirely in Japanese (the other students were mostly Chinese students from our school, older women, and a few young teenagers).
However, there were about 4 older ladies who came over to me and announced proudly (in English), “We’re studying English now!” They then asked if I spoke Japanese, etc, etc. (They barely said anything to Gen, but he didn’t look “American” and he didn’t say anything back when they did talk to him, sooo…). Once I had said a couple of sentences in Japanese, one of the ladies came over and hooked her arm through mine. She said (in English), “My son is coming today. I want you to girlfriend with him.” Ignoring the “Um…NO” look on my face, she turned to the other older ladies and said, “Kekkon? Kekkon wa chigau deshou?” (which means “Marriage? Marriage isn’t the right word, right?”) and then to me “Yes, girlfriend.” O.O
She proceeded to tell me more about her son, who apparently was 33….O.O
Aaaand I escaped as quickly as I could to start on cooking. All the old women in the kitchen (they were all volunteer teachers in their 70s, I think) helped us make a great meal of soup, sweet potatoes, chicken, and salad. (They all had different ideas about how things should be done though and about 4 of them were helping Gen and me, so I was constantly being corrected “No, no, thinner,” “Why are they so thin? Cut them thicker…” “No, I just told you to cut them thinner didn’t I? Weren’t you listening?” -.-) They were all speaking so fast and in dialect, so I was immensely grateful that I’ve been listening to Okaasan all this time, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to understand even half of what they said.
After the cooking was over and we had finished eating, I ran into the lady who was trying to set me up with her son again. (I had already met him by this point; he had been helping out at our cooking station) I figured she had probably figured out that I wasn’t interested by now, so we started having a conversation and I was saying that I was interested in Japanese cooking so she asked me (in English), “Is your dream to open a restaurant?” and I said “No, I want to become an English teacher in Japan or other non-English-speaking countries.” To which she said (I should have known better honestly…) “That’s perfect. My son is learning English.” He was overhearing most of this conversation and at this point leaned around the person next to him to wave at me and say “Sensei!” (Teacher). O.O
I mean, he seemed nice and all….but no, just so much no. The sad thing is that this is not the first nor the last time that this has happened to me since I got here. Honestly, it’s not really that distressing, it’s just kinda weird when it happens. I’ve warned my guy friends at school (luckily I have about 6 or 7) that if this ever happens when they’re around, they’ll become my boyfriend for about 10 minutes. xD
Hooray for standing out in Japan. -.-
It was pretty funny though. Have a great week, guys! ❤