Kidnapped. Sort of.

I slept in because it was Saturday and did some tidying up. I knew I had to get to school at some point during the day and figured that noon would be a good time to get out of the house by. So I'm walking to school and all of a sudden a friend of mine from Japanese class honks her horn and pulls over. Get in she says. Ok, well I figure she wants to talk to me about the dinner she invited me over for today. We start driving. Oh, she's gonna give me a ride to school a few blocks away. We turn around. Uh, what's going on? I ask her what time exactly dinner was. 12 o'clock she says in Japanese. Oh, that would explain why she's taking me away from school. Remember I told you that I'd pick you up at school, she says. Oh yea. That was in my email from her after class on Thursday. Yea, should have read that a little more carefully.

But I'm glad that my intuition served me well enough to avoid missing her party. So now I'm in the car, going someplace I don't know and didn't plan on. I guess you could call that kidnapped. But I just forgot about this social event. We talk in Japanese and broken English has we go back to her house. My Indonesian friend from Japanese class married a Japanese man about 13 years ago, she has two children and lives in a nice house on a hill overlooking the whole town of Nishinomiya. I play with her kids as she makes some Indonesian food. She prepares some shishkabobs and tells her daughters to fan the charcoal on the grill. We get the coals pretty hot and put the grill on. A little too hot. We burned about half of the shishkabobs. I learned the Japanese word for bitter, "negai" or something like that. But the rice noodles were delicious.

More friends come over. 5. They're Indonesians from Kyoto, Nara, Osaka. I thought they all knew my friend from class but only one of them did. The rest knew one other person but they all were talking and joking like old friends. One of them spoke some English so he interpreted every once in a while. We talked about Indonesian geography, history, our impressions of Japan. I tried to be polite, felt a little stiff because I took seriously the joking and flirting that they were kidding about. But chalked up this experience to observation of culture.

I got a ride home when some of the guests had to catch their train home. Phew. I got to school and was seen by a few teachers, so I didn't get thought of as avoiding school. Next time, I'll check the details and bring them with me!

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