Ben Oostdam story # 16

STUDENTS

Japan
1961


We experienced the same phenomenon which all 1961 foreign visitors enjoyed:
a relentless curiosity from students - especially giggling girls grabbing their noses.

The girls seemed embarrassed that we - men - carried anything, even as light as a camera, so they insisted on carrying for us whatever we lugged around. In turn, I was embarrassed, because I had bought a heavy sewing machine for Barbara, and it was mainly to protect these friendly girls that we decided to store our excess luggage in various stations and stops along our route. (Of course, on the way back we looked like packmules, and, consequently, were generally avoided)

On several occasions, some earnest young men would come up to us and start their conversation with:

"Sir or Lady - as the case may be -
May I practice speaking English
conversation with you?"

Apparently, they had memorized the complete salutation from some Japanese textbook, including the part between - brackets - .
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