Saturday, January 15, 2011
That is the oh-so-famous word I hear almost every single day, several times a day. It means cute. And they are never referring to me I assure you but our super adorable baby boy. The Japanese melt at the first sight of our dirty blonde, blue eyed little man.
This was like any other day. I was getting on the elevator in our local department store, Apita, when a woman in her 30's or so with two kids of her own stepped on right behind us. She started the normal ooohs and ahhhs and then she did something that not many people do around here. She said, in almost perfect English, "How old is he?"
This seems like it would be a simple answer right? 10 months. But I stood there staring at her trying to understand the fact that she just spoke to me in English. Or was I crazy? Did I just hear English or was I just understanding Japanese? I could only imagine the look on my face.
With a confused expression she then asked me the same question in Japanese. Of course at that point I had my thoughts together and answered her in perfect English "10 months." Ugh! I felt like a nutcase!
She looked at me with an understanding expression and let out a small chuckle. Or was that understanding look really a polite way of expressing "When is my floor going to get here, this girl is losing it."
My floor came first and I gave her a small wave good-bye. She patted Noah on the head and said goodbye to me in English and then Japanese.
It's an interesting life living in the world of two languages. You are constantly immersing yourself in the new language in order to learn how to ask the basic necessary questions in life. Then out of the blue someone asks you something in your native language. It takes a minute to realize someone is talking to you in words you can understand. Then of course, you have to get over the excitement of being able to communicate fully with someone.
Have you ever had an experience like this?