Kamei-san and Me in Japan
Why is my Blog called "Do you know the Muffin Man?" Is it because I have an afinity for children's fables, or perhaps, is it because I like muffins? Well, both of these are true statements, however, neither is the reason for why I chose this title.
Rather, Kamei-san, our night time security guard and serogate grandfather-figure from the KGU international dromitory is the reason why. How does a funny little Japanese man influence such a thing as a Blog title you might ask? Simple, because he was brave enough to ask the question!
One evening my Texas roomate and I were headed out the door, on our way to grab a bite from the local Seven Eleven and rent a movie. As we were leaving the building Kamei-san urgently beckoned to us as if something were wrong. He shufftled up to us in his slippers and we stood frozen still. You see, my roomate and I didn't know if we were in trouble, if there was any troulbe, or if we had forgotten something. We leaned in and listened intently to what Kamei-san was about to say. Then, this small Japanese man with no English language skills whatsoever looked at us sternley and in a broken Japanese accent asked, "Do you know the muffin man?"
My roomate and I were thrown off guard. We looked at each other seriously, then back at Kamei-san. We did a double take just to make sure he wasn't joking with us, but the man was ernest in his question. My roomate started bellowing out with laughter. I couldn't help but follow suit, and poor Kamei-san just stood there with a serious grin waiting for a reply. When we asked him why he wanted to know he shuffled into his office and popped back out with a grin to show us a book. He was studying one of his children's school books on "basic English lessons" in which the topic was western stories and fairytales.
At last after having a good laugh we were relieved that it was merely the most profound question we had ever been asked. "Do you Know the muffin man?" My roomate and I still talk about this incident to this day. Now you know the rest of the story.
My first Hanami experience (only half of my ex-roomates are pictured here)
Next to Kamei-san, the other significant person to affect all exchange students who reside at the KGU international dorm is Terada-san, the head of the facility. He is the guy crouching to the bottom left of the photo. Terada always stayed active and organized all our fun extra-curricular events. He took all the foreign exchange students camping, to museums, to festivals, and every day outings. Yet when he wasn't making our Japan experience the best possible he was running the dorm with military precission. His dry sense of humor and caring heart made him our serogate father in Japan. I really miss these guys, and next time I'm in Kumamoto I'm going to pop in and say hello. This has been a nostalgic remeniscence, thanks for reading my Blog.