Tuesday, February 13, 2007


After the Valentine Lunch & Bible last Saturday Mary said of my friend Kimiko, "She hugged me SO TIGHT!" and I was reminded of the conversation I had with another missionary at a Bible Study a few months ago when my friendship with Kimiko was just beginning. I had mentioned that Kimiko had hugged me ...which led on to a full-blown cultural discussion and the conclusion that I live in a "different world" than my other Gaijin Friends.


My friend Kimiko

In "my world," I actually get hugged fairly often. And when I think about it, I almost think I'm hugged more often by Japanese women than by Westerners.

I remember about 13 years ago when this was first called to my attention. I had gone to Aomori City with one of the JET English teachers on an errand and decided to show him my old neighborhood. We dropped by the supermarket where I had shopped for the three years we lived there and two women who had worked there 10 years before and still remembered me ran to greet us. When one threw her arms around me in a huge bear hug I had great difficulty convincing my young companion that I had never met this woman outside the supermarket!


Ms. Matsuo - my supermarket friend

Of course, I did shop a lot! Once I realized that the ladies behind the cash registers couldn't run away from me I developed a policy of never buying more than the one or two items at a time! This policy allowed me to multiply many times over my opportunities to practice my faltering Japanese.


Anonymous said...

huggs and kisses!

Laurie Elliot said...

Thanks! OOOOOOXXXXXX to you, too! I miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!