No Escape


Saturday I went to Tsu Matsuri for a couple hours until my hip injury got aggravated – maybe due to the changing weather – and headed to the in-laws for a break. At the festival, I met about 20 people I know: students, teachers, school staff, regular customers at my favorite restaurants, etc. Several other friends from exchange groups and such were at known locations very close by so I could have met them as well, but was too tired. Occasionally it is fun to feel famous, but it can also be very distracting and burdensome. Sunday’s trip would surely bring me relief.

Sunday and Monday I went camping in one of the hardest to reach spots in Mie, Osugidani (大杉谷). Japanese people do things in seasons and camping is not an exception to this. Conventional wisdom says that October is too cold for camping, so people just don’t do it. One willing to face the ostracizing glances from friends, can find great solitude at remote campgrounds in October. Honestly, our main reason for choosing October was just the logistics of our busy schedules.

Initial reports were that we would be the only people in the campground; however, as we were walking through looking for tent area number 5, we heard voices. A family of four was in a bungalow adjacent to our camp. I greeted them and heard the children mumbling to each other. Next the mother asked them, “Is that someone you know?” Using Japanese grammar, which allows exclusion of ‘unneccessary’ information, they replied, “English teacher!”

We normally would take this to mean, “He is our English teacher.”; however, many kids, upon seeing a white face, say that because the only foreigners they know are English teachers. In their world it follows logically that foreigner are English teachers. So I went closer and asked which school they attend. Once I saw the daughters face, I recognized her.

Indeed there is no escape! Fortunately, we mostly kept to ourselves, occasionally sharing short conversations. With proper Japanese manners, the mother apologized for intruding on our get-away when they left. Of course we also politely responded, “That was not the case at all.”


Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “No Escape”

  1. Dan Says:

    That sounds like quite the adventure, I’ve been considering a mountain trek lately, any recommendations?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: