Almost always, when I go to the restroom to brush my teeth and freshen up, a middle-aged lady who works in the administrative department of my workplace would come by at the same time. For a number of times that it has happened, I`ve come to look forward to those moments when we have small talks. Not only do I get my daily dose of conversation with her after a long quiet morning sitting on my chair, I am also able to practice my ability to speak Nihongo. There were times when I`d forgotten what some words mean but they just come out unconsciously. I think there`s still that sound of familiarity that some words should go together or that I would have to include certain phrases when I`m making a point. For example, I honestly forgot the meaning of ‘jitsu’ but I knew in my heart that I had to use it as a starter for my comment. Later on when I checked its definition in my electronic dictionary, I realized I was right after all.
Today, the lady mentioned about the wind last night. When she slept, she left her window open and was surprised to see the state of her things. It was very windy yesterday night. It was kinda scary that I had to message my friends from other parts of Japan just so they know in case something serious would happen. It turned out the situation was the same for them. It was similar in different areas of Japan. Last time we also talked about the weather which led to fashion. She mentioned about the clothes in GU- how affordable they were, how they also seem fashionable yet difficult to wash because of their delicate material. Prior to that day, we talked about food which led to money. I told her I buy my lunch to school every morning in the nearby supermarket. She thought it was costly. It even made her think that I was rich. She`s a dedicated wife who wakes up early in the morning and cooks for her husband and kids.
I have noticed how carefully and slowly she would brush her teeth, not allowing bubbles of toothpaste to scatter beyond her lips. At one point, she dabbed her face with the same brand of bb cream that I also happened to buy. She has an approachable aura that makes me feel at ease in having small talks and using my limited knowledge of Japanese. She bids me with `osaki ni` whenever she leaves the restroom ahead.
Ny take-away? Sometimes you end up forming friendships in unlikely places. Sometimes, small talks can be very interesting and full of helpful advices. And it ain`t that difficult to brush one`s teeth while talking at the same time.