Friday, July 6, 2007

Hiroshima - I Assume They Play This Joke On All Americans Here

When I woke up, it was raining again. So I decided to put off Miyajima another day. Instead, I visited some areas of Hiroshima I hadn't been to before, and tried to get some of my gift-shopping done.

Lunch was at some Japanese restaurant, and the whole thing went terribly.

The food was good, but at one point the waitress brought out this little teapot filled with still-boiling water and indicated that I was supposed to pour it into some broth or something and drink it. But the kettle was very confusing and what looked like the spout was definitely not the spout. So I ended up pouring scalding water into my lap. And then my horrible instincts kicked in, and out of shock I dropped the entire kettle - all in my lap.

"Daijobu desuka?" the waitress asked, running over. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, yes. Daijobu," I replied, clenching my fists under the table to stop from yelling.

Eventually the burning sensation abated - although it did leave a rather nice red spot on my right thigh - only to be replaced by uncontrollable sweating. So I just sat at my table in the corner, laughing and sweating.

Having embarrassed myself enough, I got up, paid, and left. The waitress came running out after me, yelling, "Wait!" and brandishing my forgotten umbrella. Another smooth move.

The rain had turned into a fine mist, which failed to make the rest of me wet enough to cover up the giant spot on the front of my pants. So the whole way back to the hostel - nearly a half-hour walk - I had to watch the eyes of the hundreds of people I passed look first into my face, then down at my soaked pants, then hurriedly away.

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