Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The locals

When I first arrived in Japan I discovered the parallel universe that I believe exists in all places.

There were so many faces and people that reminded me of people back home. Some were just slight resemblances, a familiar chuckle, smile, hairstyle, eyes or sneeze but others, sheesh-kebabs! dead right splitting images! I must have looked like a crazy nutter doing serious neck snapping double-takes in the street with my eyes wide open and mouth agape. I still do actually. And even other JETs I've met who are from Canada, UK, US and elsewhere remind me of people back home too.

Anyways let me introduce you to some of the familiar faces in my neighbourhood.
Unfortunately I don't have photos (yet *rubs palms together slyly) because I'd feel even more alien whipping out my camera taking happy snaps of randoms.

Mrs. Marui
She is a lovely older lady who works in one of the many local bakeries, 'Marui'. She is always in the shop in the morning when I grab something to eat before I take the bus to school. She always greets me with a warm smile and hearty "Ohayougozaimasu!"
One day while I was walking home from buying groceries near the station I saw her parked by the side of the road in the Marui delivery van. As I walked by, she wound down the window and offered me a ride home! but because I still had the 100 yen shop to raid, I politely declined. Maybe next time.

Rabbit Man
He is classic! I wish I had a photo of him. Sometimes when I walk home from school I see this elderly man, smartly dressed in a grey suit, sitting around (first it was at the post office, then the bento place, then the supermarket) just chilling with his pet. Sounds normal right? but his pet is a black and white rabbit which he carries around in a clear, plastic, lidless box thing. Kinda like the plastic vegetable/fruit drawers at the bottom of your fridge. I swear it is! He just sits there talking to people who pass by or kids who stop to pat the rabbit. I guess it's better than putting it on a leash. I love Rabbit Man, he puts a smile on my face everytime I see him.

Running Boy
As I gradually make my way up the almighty mother hill on my way to the bus stop, I always pass this little boy, probably primary school student, who is running down the hill to get to wherever. He's always running and because the hill is freakin' steep, once you gain momentum - you fly down that hill. You own it baby! So since he's flying down the hill, his chubby little cheeks are pushed into his face and if he's stomping down, they look like their flapping to make him go fatser. hehe

Mr. Diet
I used to walk pass this guy a lot during Winter. I go up the hill, he goes down. He's a fairly big, stocky kind of guy but lately now when I see him (in Summer), he's lost so much weight! He's really skinny now. Either in Winter he fully bulked up with the clothing and thermals wearing 10 layers at a time or he's been working out, because I really didn't recognise him at first.

Aunty Bento
She is the kind little lady that works at the bento shop near my bus stop. I'm sure I've written about her before because she is just the nicest, cutest, little thing. In Winter she would give me hot tea. Yes, vending machines here also dispense hot beverages. I recommend 'Royal Milk Tea', 'Cafe Au Lait' or the sweet adzuki red bean drink (only available in Winter) and in Summer she gives me cans or bottles of cold tea. The other day she gave me a banana hahaha she's such a sweetie.

Tarumi is such a nice, little area. Not forgetting we also have Porto Bazar - the seaside shopping outlet.


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