Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bad at Rain

Another Friday in the teacher’s room, another meeting taking place of which I did not understand a single word. I’m never sure how to deal with those situations. Do I act as though I understand, nodding at the speaker, when I clearly have no clue? Or, do I go about my business because, let’s be honest, there is not point to me listening? I’m still not sure. I feel the same why when it comes to jokes. When I am sitting with a group of teachers and one of them makes a joke, is it more logical for me to give a hearty guffaw in response, or awkwardly sit in silence? I’m still gauging the proper reaction to those situations.


It turns out, as an English teacher told me later, that the meeting was about the approaching typhoon, which was scheduled to arrive the Monday following the meeting. The principal was informing the teachers that school would possibly be cancelled, and that if it was, they would receive a call informing them to stay home. The first thing that struck me was the nonchalance with which they discussed the typhoon. My eyes widened at the news of the approaching storm, but the other teachers were completely nonplussed, clearly the result of them having grown up with such a natural disaster-prone country.

As it came closer and closer for the typhoon to approach, people began giving me suggestions as for how to prepare. “Make sure you have enough food to last a few days.” “Be sure to buy some good rain boots.” “Get a couple of water bottles just in case.” “Charge all of your electronic devices.” My thoughts in response to these bits of advice were, in retrospect, extremely foolish. I figured that one slightly old salad from the convenience store along with enough coffee for a week were substantial supplies for nourishment in the case of a disaster. I couldn't fathom why I would need water bottles. “Even in a typhoon, I can just get water from the sink, right?” No, Marisa, because pipe damage is a thing. The same thought applied to charging my devices. “Oh, if there is a typhoon, I can still get electricity.” No, Marisa, because there are things called power outages. Clearly I was not adapted to inclement weather wreaking havoc on my daily conveniences.

The day of the dreaded typhoon arrived, and it was essentially just typical rainfall and a bit of wind. So, I decided to venture outside to go to a nearby coffee shop in my new rain boots toting my umbrella since school was cancelled and I had nothing better to do. I realized on this brief walk that, for lack of a better phrase, I am quite simply “bad at rain.” While Japanese women were walking outside for long distances with perfectly coiffed hair and beautiful outfits that they somehow managed to keep from getting wet with even the smallest drop of water, I managed to soak my pants and raincoat all the way through. My hair was dripping wet and I had a little puddle of water in my boots by the end of my short trek. Not only that, but the rain infiltrated my bag down to my WALLET, soaking even my money.

Yep, I am embracing the rain, thanks

How do Japanese people manage not to look like they fell in a lake? I swear they must have some sort of invisible force field surrounding them. The one thing that makes me different, however, is that I just simply didn't care about getting wet. Eventually I just said “to hell with my umbrella” (in my mind, because saying so out loud would make me seem like a total freak) and folded it up, embracing the magical feeling of skipping in the rain.

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