Nakatani Apartment, Nagoya

I visited a Labo Party way off in the boonies today (up in the Mie prefecture). I gotta say, Japanese boonies are pretty cool. There were pretty mountains and fields all around, even though it was only an hour and a half from Sakae. The station had an island platform, meaning I had to step down and actually cross tracks to get out, and there was a dude taking tickets instead of an automatic wicket.

The party itself was an open party, there were only five or so Labo kids, but there were a couple dozen visiting kids. Nishikawa tutor was really focused on making the party work, we stayed on a strict schedule. Us and the Labo kids got there 45 minutes early, and decked out the room with a big pile of paper pumpkins, streamers, and other decorations. I did pretty well with the shy ~5-year-olds (most of the kids weren't even used to Labo Parties, much less interns), they warmed up to me before it was over. I sorta wish I had a poster-board edition of the album, with this many people (their mothers were all there too) it becomes more like a class lecture than a group of friends.

We didn't know the train times, and as luck would have it a train came up just as we parked. Nishikawa tutor called to the station attendant, and he actually held the train for a few extra seconds for me to hop on, that's never happened to me in the city.

Oh yeah, before I left, while I went out for lunch at the Labo center, an odd thing happened. I took the stairs, which meant going through a business fashion shop on the fourth floor. As I walked in, an old lady, whom I'd never seen before, approached me, saying something to me in really fast Japanese. Before I knew what was happening, she reached behind my collar and tucked in my tag. Then she smiled, turned around, and walked off, leaving me bewildered and slightly neater.

OCD spasms like that aren't exactly common back in California, but I wouldn't be all that surprised if it happened there. In Japan, though, it's unprecedented to the point that the only explanation is that the lady did know me somehow. She must have been a Labo tutor who'd seen me at my desk in the Labo Center, I'm not exactly the conspicuous type. Yeah, that's probably it, seeing as how most Labo tutors are old ladies. (The rest are ladies that no one, in conscious self preservation, would ever call "old.")


mamagotcha said...

Moms have an international license to nurture! Glad to hear you've got some looking out for you.

Amanda said...

how long are you with this host family?

Cordell Newmiller said...

For at least three months. I don't know who my next host family is yet. From what I understand it's pretty rare for a family to host this long, awfully nice of them to do this for me.