before I moved here so getting myself out there and making new friends is high on my to do list…
I find it funny how I have so many Kenyan ways stuck in my head. In Kenya when a stranger approaches you, I would automatically wonder – what does this person want from me? Money? To steal my bag? Maybe they want me to contribute to their son or daughters or cousin of cousins school fees??? Or maybe they just want to touch my blonde hair or pull at my arm hair. In Kenya I always found myself thinking twice before starting a new friendship. I had many friendships that would sometimes go for a few months or even the whole two years before I realized all they wanted from me is to be their sponsor or ticket to America – and when I said sorry - POOF they were gone.
In , I need to start afresh and forget my Kenyan thought process. During my first week in Hokkaido, I stopped in the tourist information center next to the clock tower to see what's going on in Sapporo. The ladies at the front desk were so friendly and helpful. I was asking them where I could take an Aikido or Kung Fu class when a middle aged Japanese man overheard us talking and offered to teach me Kendo at his house with his daughters and exchange students from the Philippines. My honest initial reaction was... weird… What does he want? Will he rip me off and ask me to pay some extraordinary amount after we begin??? But I caught myself and said wait… let me give Japan the benefit of a doubt and maybe take this guy up on his desire to help me out and perhaps he just wants to practice his English. (which by the way was almost non-existent) Plus, if the tourist info ladies seemed keen on the idea of him helping me then he must not be so creepy. We exchanged contacts and have been emailing back and forth in our broken English and Japanese. I'll meet him for the first time to go to the Susukino Festival in Sapporo.
OK… fast forward to the Susukino Festival. I met him at the Susukino police box last . He was dressed a bit young and hip – sporty sunglasses and a white collared shirt with a gold embroidered huge tiger on the elbow. Weird. But who am I to judge ??? We watched the mikoshi parade and taiko performances. It was good practice for my Japanese since he didn't speak much English at all. We then went to the stalls to have a bite of yakitori (skewered chicken). He saw some of his old friends so we sat by them and as they jabbered away in Japanese I made friends with an old woman with a Chihuahua and was able to hold the little cute guy in my lap. Everything was going fine until we left the food fair to go watch the super genki University dancing… It turned cold and he asked if I was OK and then started rubbing my arm continuously while I was trapped on a guard rail between 1,000 bikes!!!! EWWW… OK – I've only been in Japan for a week but I do know that they are not a touchy feely society – I mean it's even weird to hug people! So come on… I think my first impression at the tourist information desk was right. Arghhh… I quickly said I was tired and ran off to get my bike and rode home.
He emailed me the next day offering to drive me to the Noboribetsu Hell Festival (which I sooooooo do!) but I ignored the e-mail.
THEN… two days later at school I'm on my lunch break and walk to the 7-11 conbini around the corner to grab some sushi and guess who is outside of 7-11 with his sporty sunglasses, a bright red racing tanktop and shorts - leaning against a black sports car?!?!!??!
CREEEEEPY. I don't know if I just have the worst luck or if he's spying on me. Whatever it is – I got the heeby jeebies. When he asked me why I didn't reply to his e-mail I pretended I didn't understand his Japanese and wished him luck and said goodbye! Yikes…. later when I got home, I replied to his email and said I couldn't go to the Hell Fest.
I told this story to a few of my Japanese girlfriends and they too said KARAI! (I think that's the equivalent to Scary! Creepy!)
Shucks… it would have been nice to have free kendo lessons and a ride/Japanese guide to the Noboribetsu Hell Festival!!! But not worth it! I guess there's creepy guys no matter what country you live in. :)