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Utsunomiya with Toshi

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Jan 25, 2020
I had to wake up early to meet Toshi. He knew the ancient Japanese secret of buying train tickets in Tokyo. We had to go the basement of a mall first and then wait in line for a store to open up. Toshi called it a shareholder store…. I don’t know what that means but we waited in line a bit for the store to open and when the garage doors opened dramatically, everyone ran in and got their cheap tickets. So we took our tiny tickets to the train and headed to his parents’ house which is near Utsunomiya. I think it took 4 trains to arrive there.

His parents live in a small town with one onsen and one grocery store. We ate sushi from the grocery store and then went to the onsen. When we got back his parents were home from playing pachinko. They said hello as their english is limited and they called their other son over, because he speaks English. He wanted to ask me all about Toshi. They were very worried about him and they wanted me to tell him to “settle down”. I told them, don’t worry about Toshi, he’s like the wind! Toshi goes where the wind blows. It was weird and uncomfortable. Then I just went to bed on a futon on the floor.

Jan 26, 2020
Toshi went back to Tokyo in the morning and his parents took me to a small waterfall after they watched their other son’s relay team on TV. They lost. Their other son is a high school phys-ed teacher in Utsunomiya. So it was the teenagers in the race on TV. It took a long time for them to communicate this important information to me. They had a paper dictionary and I had Google translate.

Toshi's mom bought me stuff everywhere we went. She got me a wooden spoon and a cell phone bauble. We also went to a strange robotic puppet show.

I went to the grocery store to buy dinner and I thought I explained it to Toshi’s parents but they still sent their other son to drive around until he found me walking back from the 5 minute walk from the grocery store. He had a big black van and told me to get in. I didn’t recognize him immediately so I was a little shocked until I realized who it was. Toshi’s brother took me back to his house to have a snack and I met his wife and two children but they were afraid of me. The day before he mentioned going to eat sushi together in Utsunomiya, so I thought this was a precursor to our sushi dinner. But the sushi outing was never mentioned again. That was fine, I had my own sushi in my backpack. So, Toshi’s brother dropped me off back home. Toshi’s mom made me some avocado salad and I tried to share my sushi with her but she wouldn’t eat it.

Posted by baixing 12:02 Archived in Japan Tagged utsunomiya

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