“Gaijin” means “foreigner” here in Japan. Pronounced “guy-JIN.”
I think it’s similar to “gringo” but it’s all foreigners, which includes Chinese and everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived here for 20 years and you totally get it—if you’re gaijin, you’re gaijin. But! That’s not to say they’re not loving me over here.
I bought some wooden flip flops. I’ve always wanted some. At a Japanese department store, Matsuya Ginza, a woman in a kimono sold them to me. I asked about the socks. She didn’t understand. I bent down and touched hers. “Ah! Socksu!” They are actually called “tabi.” I got some tabi and the shoes, “geta.”
I thought it might be offensive or touristy to actually wear them, but I went upstairs to breakfast in them, and the staff were so excited. One woman said hers were too uncomfortable to wear. I think they feel fabulous!
I gotta admit, I have small feet in the U.S. (size 6.5), but giant ones here. I got the largest size, and my feet are still hanging off the back (slightly) and off the sides, for sure.
Next, I tried to buy these sunglasses. They’re probably not flattering, but I just want to see. They are so interesting!
I’d asked Horton Plaza in San Diego to call me whenever they get them. No call. Ever.
I was sure they would have them in Tokyo.
I went to the Prada lady and was like, “Do you have…circles?” And I made a circling motion at my temples, but not like “You’re crazy.”
She didn’t understand.
So I went for broke and used the name of the style. “Minimal baroque?”
Heart-breaking! “How long ago?”
She didn’t understand. (So funny, she doesn’t know “how long ago” but she knows “minimal baroque.”)
My friend said, “When…?”
“Two weeks ago.”
Darnit! So close.
At least I have my flip-flops. And socksu.
Oh! Also, I bought John Irving’s The World According to Garp in Japanese. I buy this book in every country I go to, except I couldn’t find it in Icelandic and I think I forgot to look in Brazil. Irving is more widely read around the world than in the U.S. And I just love that book.
Okee, bye bye!