Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Lunch-time wildlife

There is a park near the museum and while I love the idea of having my lunch there I rarely actually do. Obviously summer is too hot, winter too cold, and the rainy season too wet, but there are some days that are juuuuust right. If the mosquitoes didn't scare me away, however, the other wildlife would.

Last fall I gave up on picnic lunches and escaped to the museum's lunchroom after being chatted up by an older (and rather smelly) man who had absolutely no regard for the personal space of others and kept stepping closer and closer to me until I slipped under a stairwell bent double and made an escape.

Then there was the park drunk who had a different life story every day that he'd pour out to anybody who got anywhere near him... Interesting to listen to but very intent on obtaining cigarettes, or the money to buy them.

But it is a new year and the weather was too enticing, so I headed out yesterday and ate my lunch on a bench in the shade of a large tree. I was just about to head back to work when a group of high school age kids walked by. One of the boys came back, and hunkered down on his haunches. Oblivious to the fact that I was eating, the boy gave me a huge goofy smile (sort of the one you might give to somebody who you think is rather slow) and yelled "HARRO!" I gave him a half smile and kept chewing. His grin turned into a leer, and he shuffled closer. I swallowed and replied in Japanese. He launched into a nearly completely incomprehensible stream of English. Although I was impressed by his spirit and apparent love for English, I had only a few minutes before I had to get back to work and half of my lunch left to be eaten. I interrupted him (again in Japanese) and apologized , saying I had to get back to work. He looked stunned and ran off without saying a word, but a moment later I heard him repeating my comment to his friends - amid great laughter.

All I did today was walk through the park. As I did a young man turned and asked me if I knew where to find the museum. I gave him directions and, since we were walking in the same direction, started chatting. I pointed out a few sights in the park and he asked if I lived in the area. He was from a rural area in southern Japan and was overwhelmed by all the people. Since I'd be going in the back door I pointed him on his way and bowed with a smile... Then he asked out! So much for the overwhelmed country bumpkin! I pleaded an over-busy work schedule and fled, I'm pretty sure U wouldn't be too keen on me meeting up with cute young guys after work!

Be careful - its a jungle out there and there are all types of wildlife waiting to pounce!


  1. I was expecting a nice story about birds, or maybe a horror story about cockroaches!

    The museum-loving country bumpkin is too sweet. The only people who ever ask me for directions are little old ladies and baffled tourists. Old guys love chatting me up. Birds of a feather? :D

    1. Well I did get a nasty skeeter bite that is still bugging me three days later... Is that better? ;)

      The country-bumpkin was sweet. I felt really bad turning him down. I've only ever had one little old lady stop me on the street to talk to me, it is almost always middle-aged or older men, quite normally drunk... (but maybe that is just because that is their basic state?)

      "birds of a feather" ... I do hope you were saying you and I are birds of a feather because I really don't want to think about what it says about me if I have such a lot in common with drunk salarymen!! :D