Friday, September 25, 2009

no aloha days

Sometimes daily episodes make me homesick. I like to call them "no aloha" episodes.

Whenever I run into "no aloha" episodes here, it makes me crave "the little stuffs" of home...the smiles from people you don't know, gestures of courtesy like holding the door open for the person behind you, saying "thank you" or "excuse me".

Take for example the other day, I was in a bookstore, looking at a shelf of books. Mind you, I wasn't right up with my face to the shelf, I think I had some space (maybe a foot, maybe more) between me and the shelf.

Along comes a woman, she is looking at the books on the same shelf but further down, she moves closer to me and stops right in front of me! Like I was invisible! WT!

I tsked and moved to the side of her but she didn't look at me. Talk about being unconscious to the world around her.

And then there were two of the same type of episodes in one day...

I was walking home from the market. I'd like to think I was going at a rather good pace. A girl comes around on the right side of me walking in the same direction, I thought she was going to overtake me, but instead she takes a left and cuts me off! I had to stop in my tracks or else slam into her. (You know, if we were both in cars there would have been impact!)

And then a few minutes later a guy does the same thing! Unreal!

No aloha here...feeling a bit homesick. (Trying to think good thoughts...kinda failing though)

It is Friday here...let's hope next week will be better.


KirkK said...

I'm sorry you're feeling a bit homesick Kat. I'm hoping that not everyone is like that, and that you have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

I remember similar annoying encounters during my time living in Japan... glad to know I'm not the only one annoyed by such cultural differences!

Anonymous said...

I can relate to these rude episodes! Here in New England in the stores people will come right up to you and push you aside by placing their shopping cart against you and say "excuse Me", really they are saying get out of my f......way, as they do not wait for you to get what you were reaching for off the shelf before you have to move to let them through or be injured by their shopping cart.-chris-

Deb said...

I feel you. I remember the first time I went home to visit, I had to watch myself b/c I had gotten so used to being on the defensive from living here. I sure do miss faces smiling back. . .that's a big one.

Rowena... said...

Sorry to hear about this air of indifference by some not so nice people, and if I could, I would send you some freshly made manapua.

Look forward to where you guys are gonna eat out at this weekend!

Emi said...

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad day. I totally understand how you feel. Since I came to the U.S, I'm used to see people smile when I make eye contact with them. In Japan, people stare at you without smile. I grew up in Japan, but it was kind of scary when I took my tall American husband to Japan, a lot of people just stared at him.

I hope next week will be better for you. Have a good weekend!

K and S said...

Thanks for all the love everyone! I was feeling a bit blue, now that I got it out of my system I think I'll be okay :)

Rowena, I take 2 manapua please :)

Take care.

gtrine said...

hi Kat:

Sorry to hear you are feeling homesick.

I am feeling a little blue and stressed out myself. I thought I would share what helped me relax. I made some meatballs today and the chopping, dicing and shaping little balls helped take me to a better place! =)

I hope you can find a way to relax and feel happy too!

Anonymous said...

Hello Kat-san! It's my first time to leave a comment here though I read your blog like everyday. I actually graduated a junior college near Minoo then moved to California 23 years ago. My name is Katsuko so I am "Kat" too. Also my husband's name was Satoshi. (But he passed away 10 years ago.) I don't know how but my web surfing brought me here :) Anyway, it's sad to say but there are many rude people in Japan. My mom is like that too but then most of the people (especially older ones) don't mean anything. Kansai people are always in a hurry for some reason :( Demo Ganbatte Kudasai! Hope you won't hate Japan... Take care! - Another Kat

K and S said...

Thanks for sharing your day Gtrine :)

Sorry to hear about your Satoshi, Kat. Thanks for stopping by :)

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

I was right there with you yesterday, but not so much the people but the change in Seasons that make me want to pack it in and head back to Western civilization...

OkiHwn said...

I've plenty incidents too!

Rowena... said...

Oh yeah, shame on me! I forgot that Satoshi would like one too (you were intending to share, right?) ;-) hehe..

K and S said...

oh no Girl Japan, hope things get better for you :)

Thanks Nate, we can trade stories next time I see you :)

Take care you two.

K and S said...

um please give me 3 :p

Take care.

Lori said...

Hi Kat,
Sorry about your bad day, I have those kinds of days here too. Usually the next day is much better! :) Have a good weekend!

K and S said...

Thanks Lori :)

Take care.

jalna said...

Hey Kat, it happens to me here in Hawaii too. But you know what . . . the few times that I got so pissed off that I actually said something to the person, they ended up apologizing so profusely that I ended up feeling just awful. So now, I kinda just let it go and try not to get upset. Sometimes it's hard though.

Rick said...

Too bad... I have to put up with it living in Waikiki, but at least I can just get out of Waikiki and experience the normal Kama'aina Aloha spirit whenever I need to.

Debinhawaii said...

Bummer! I hate rude people in general so I understand the feeling and it must be hard when it is the "rule" rather than the exception. Hope you are feeling better today. ;-)

Jenster said...

Kat, I know I'm chiming in kind of late, but I just want to send my empathy. I try to remind myself that some people don't mean to be rude; they're just not aware of how they come across, or they just haven't seen enough examples of good manners to be able to emulate it. Either way, it makes me feel bad for them.

Sadly, there are rude people everywhere! Even in Hawaii. Growing up on Oahu, I encountered a lot of aloha but also a lot of non-aloha. I actually feel more aloha where I live now (just north of Seattle); of course, we don't call it "aloha" here. ;-)

Hope your spirits pick up soon!

K and S said...

Thanks Jalna :) Will have to try ignoring it!

Lucky you live Hawaii Rick :)

Thanks Debinhawaii feeling much better :)

You are lucky to have "aloha" where you live Jenster :)

Take care everyone.

Tamakikat said...

Hi Kat,

hope you're having a good day.

I've been thinking of your 'no aloha' days post this last week.

Here is my take:

I think of rude people here in Japan as sad (as in lacking).

When I come into contact with them they also make me curious as to what could of brought them to this stage.

Do they think they are better than other people or are they rushed?

I have little time for those who have some grand sense of entitlement but feel sorry for those pressed for time. Nothing worse than not having time to live well.

I notice people back home in NZ are discourteous in different ways-when driving, having loud parties at night, pushing carts in the supermarket, and on public transport. However, the people around them are more likely to put them in their place be it a call to the police or a quick word.

On 'no aloha days' friends and family days really help hey.

Thank goodness for the internet with its ability of bringing us all closer.

Wishing that your 'no aloha days' are few and far between.

Aroha nui.


K and S said...

Thanks Tamakikat! :)

Take care.

Denise said...

Wow...I'm so excited to find your blog. I'm following! I love reading blogs of people living in other I love learning about other cultures & I love to travel. I'm home with my 3 girls (11,8 and 3) so I don't get to do any international travel anymore. Blog reading is a FUN way to have a way to do that. ;)

I lived in Hawaii for 3 years when I was in the Navy. Reading this post reminded me of ALOHA Fridays that we used to have....where we would get off early (half days usually). Didn't get them every week, but maybe once a month or so.

Denise @ Creative Kitchen

K and S said...

Thanks for stopping by Denise :) I think it is cool that you were in the Navy and now a full-time mom!

Take care.