"Hiho hiho, it's off t'city hall I go!"
I sing to myself as I hang out the laundry and putter about late on a weekday morning, then spending far too long trying to rhyme "even though the damn system is changing in a few months I still have to take two days off work to renew my blasted alien registration card."
At midday I finally set out, in the rain, muttering to myself about the stupidity of forgetting my umbrella at work the (rainy) day before a rainy three day weekend (how I managed to forget and still remember the emergency fold-up umbrella in my locker is a mystery). I am almost at the station when I see a small girl with a biiiig umbrella walking down the middle of the residential street toward me. Her grandmother lumbers along on the side, without an umbrella, repeatedly telling the little girl to walk on the side of the road. But the little one had a huge grin on her face as she half sang an unknown tune and jumped in invisible puddles.
As the girl and I approach each other I can't help but smile at her. She looks up and into my eyes, as she does an exclamation escapes her lips. I sigh deeply, the moment ruined, as I know she is about to remark on my foreignness. A grin across her face she skips to her grandma and yells "osanpo!" (walk) her grandmother stops and smiles at the little girl, asking her who. The girl jumps for joy and says "oneisan" (elder sister / young woman) and points to me as I walk past.
I didn't hear what the grandmother said or even know if the grandmother realized I was a foreigner. But the total unexpectedness of the little girl's remark had me smiling again.
At the bottom of the hill by the station there was even a puddle perfect for jumping. For the time being I don't care that I've gotten my socks wet.