Japan

IMG_0537Came to visit us one August afternoon. It came in the form of our home stay college student. Our twenty- year old visitor arrived on a two week “academic-tourist” contract. My part in the arrangement was to serve as ESL instructor clocking in with 15 hours a week of lessons. These lessons were a companion piece to home-cooked meals and a bedroom designated as the student’s temporary private space. We entertained him with a couple trips to San Francisco and visit to Sacramento. He shopped for his friends back home at the kitschy Fisherman’s Wharf. He rated his teacher (that’s me!) with an “Excellent” and the lessons, same. He was a bit strange. We enjoy our pool in the summertime, and when asked if he swims, he replied, “yes”… but never jumped in. We were regaled with his classic piano skills, on our nearly forgotten living room piano…just once for five minutes. And most astounding, he loves basketball, but shot a few hoops with my son for only a few moments. When I dropped him off at the airport and attempted to give him a hug goodbye, I was reminded of the western/eastern divide. I managed to brush his shoulder and that was it. He stood stiff and straight. I recall using my favorite fragrance that morning. Asian culture, I’m reminded, is not so demonstrative. Well, at least he enjoyed my scrambled eggs.

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