Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This evening on my way home from school, I got caught in the infamous 夕立 yudachi... or evening downpour. As I walked through a torrent of fat warm raindrops a high school girl peddling her bike, umbrella in hand, suddenly hit her breaks and skidded to a halt in front of me. Peering out from under her umbrella she asked me, "傘が持てないですか？" [trns. 'You don't have an umbrella?'] I responded with a humble, " 持てないです" [trnsl. 'None to speak of'].
However, being drenched I probably appeared more pathetic than humble. She then extended her arm, her cow patterned umbrella hovering between us, her white school uniform blouse top becoming soaked through, and apparently see through as well--a black bra glowing through the transparency, and me... already standing their like a soggy dog who just got out of the bath. Both of us dripping wet, I had to argue ever so politely to decline her genuinely kind offer.
"It's no bother," she insisted, "I just live up the road."
"No, no," I pleaded, "You need it more than I do. Also, I'm already wet."
She smiled hesitantly, then offered one more time... again I politely rescinded her offer.
Amazingly enough, she was never a student of mine. She is a 3rd year high schooler, which I deduced from the fact that I had not taught her and she lived on my side of town. Therefore I know she would have been a student on my side of town if she were a freshman or sophomore. Being offered a girl's umbrella, by a kind and generous young lady such as herself, really made my day. Two people conversing in the rain.
Lovely is the only way I can describe experiencing such random kindness from a perfect stranger, let alone one brimming with a schoolgirl charm and the beauty of youth. Indeed, the whole engagement was a nuanced moment caught between the spaces of falling raindrops. It's times like these that make my time in Japan worthwhile.