Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Good –"

A lot of wonderful things happened today.  I rode my bike from HPAC for the first time in a month, the office seems to have extended some liberties to me and a few others that were unexpected, we started working with Maestro Shimono (so wonderful, probably more on him, again), and we rehearsed a piece by a Japanese contemporary composer that is super cool and super unlike anything we've ever played at HPAC in my time here.  And I took a bunch of left-over cabbage and saved it by making another batch of okonomiyaki which should last for at least 4 or 5 meals.

But before all of these things happened, something else happened which is far more quotidian, though not without an equal amount of joy.  As I scurried to the bus stop this morning, I encountered a resident of our apartment complex.  Even behind her medical mask, I could tell she was smiling very brightly, perhaps amused by the cello on my back.  I said "Ohayo gozaimasu (Good Morning)" to her, to which she then responded, "Konnichiwa (Good Day)."  It is a pleasure of mine that in Japan, for people over the age of roughly 50, before 11am is "Ohayo" and after "Konnichiwa."  You can set your watch by it.  (For some reason HPAC people don't follow this rule; "ohayo" seems to be used well into the evening as long as it is the beginning of your day with another person.)

I don't really understand the rules, but the interaction always brings me a lot of pleasure.  The precision in calculating the correct greeting makes we want to hang out outside from about 10:45am and just start saying "Good Morning" to everyone I see, waiting for them to switch to a return of "Good Day" to know the hour had changed.   I wonder what they would think; a friendly greeter, misinformed about the hour of the day.  But well-meaning.  Well-wishes upon you!

No comments:

Post a Comment