Tuesday, 20 April, 2010

Tokyo Diaries - Nanji Desuka ?


So, what do you do, when your a freak like me, in a Big and really happening city like Tokyo ? probably not what am about to tell you now, yeah you'll know soon...

so on a cold night, I ventured out into this city's seemingly never ending streets, what more can a guy like me ask for ? A weather I love...time of the day I crave, my ipod loaded with my playground, and a wonderful city like Tokyo, yes... I was enjoying, bowing to every guy and girl who looked, smiled and bowed to me...it was fun , never bowed so many times before, and never smiled so much to strangers before, and what more can you ask for ?! they responded (unlike anywhere where Ive attempted before), just a warm smile can do wonders...

Soon, tired of walking for about 40 Min's, (not that I was noting time, I just let it fly), the only thing now that was hitting me was my head, and to think I had not eaten for a long time ! so food it was then, saw a MC Donald's yelling in my mind "Burgers and Fries", but I decided to ignore the demands of my Binge freak & decided to get into a restaurant called "Hoppy" I guess they probably meant to say "Happy" but then... who cares ! so I entered, a nice barbecue smell filled the place, was cozy with its ambiance, and of course filled with Japanese murmurs, most common word I could hear "Hai", in all possible forms of it's tempo speeds and repetitions.

SoonI was given a stool over the barbecue station & there I was, first waitress comes along and says "Konbanwa" and I said Konichiwa, to her surprise which was that I spoke a Japanese word she smiled and giggled, (I still think it was the way I pronounced it...yeah am learning) so a Jug of Draft asahi beer, Japanese Potato salad & a few sticks of barbecued chicken and chop sticks, I was about to have a grand meal, to my surprise the place was playing English Retro numbers, Billy Joel, Beatles you name it.

About 15 Mins passed and time flew, a warm hand touched over my shoulder, I turned, and saw this man, looked about 40 odd to me, and smiled and said Moshi Moshi, I reverted, he came ad sat next to me, with his Jug of beer, he had just arrived, the guy started talking in Japanese to me, and the waiter then came and told him that I wouldn't understand what he spoke, he probably ended up saying, "yes... I know that, now do you mind, let us have our conversation ?we will see about it...." in the meanwhile my mind was clicking, and I was hoping this isn't one of those sort of guys who would leave his bill on my name and vanish, but then I said to myself..."hey, this is Japan, might not be true, so lets take it easy", the guy understood I didn't know Japanese, just to make it clear I said "Nihongo wakaranai, gomennasai" meaning, am sorry but I don't know Japanese". He nodded in agreement & reverted "hai, hai hai" with a smile, next he asked me "America ?" and I said nai nai, India, to which he made an expression which clearly made the sign of a "?" and then I said "Taj Mahal", aaaah he said, "Thajjj Muhal, hai hai hai, Indhigo, hai hai" (why Taj Mahal you say ?, cause when I went to Taj Mahal, most of the foreign tourists there were Japanese) for a change it was me saying "hai hai hai" with the same tempo immediately and we both started laughing.

Next this guy ordered for me a Japanese styled soup, then with a easy to understand sign language gesture he asked me to taste it, I was reluctant, as I already had a bad sushi experience on board the flight I landed in Tokyo with, he suggested I just try once raising his index finger, so I did & to my surprise it was good, whatever it was, next he started talking of his Job, what he does, I understood he was a accountant with Mizuho, a famous Bank in Japan, we kept talking, errr I mean playing dumb charades, the guy was a little sad since his son had just gone back to China, and he expressed his sadness, amazing as it seems, none of this was verbal, but I understood it all & no I wasn't assuming things, I offered him a drink, to which he said no, he said he's an old man, and told me he was 62, I was shocked, this guy looked like he was just reaching 40, but its one thing Ive seen, guessing one's age here in Japan is definitely not worth a bet, the guy then got up, with a light heart, and I could see he was feeling better, smiled and asked "Nanji Desuka ?" which believe me was a sentence I had just learnt the same day, it meant "whats the time ?" to which I said 9 with my fingers, he then paid his bill & shook my hands, we exchanged long timed bows, and he soon left, but this experience is one which would probably never leave me, never have I had a conversation so handicapped in its medium, yet so sensible and simple to understand...

Ill end this one here by saying ..."Be Human, it's what you are naturally"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

very interesting.. rather i would say the way you have narrated the experience and described each and every person u met has made it touching as well...

-Vishu

Anonymous said...

good read and really nice blog .. keep writing !!

~Shilpa