What is it?
So I did what any normal person would do - I bought it.
Here is the package - sorry it's to the side. I may or may not fix that.
This is what it looks like. It's Taiwan shaped, am I right?
Suwa-san: Masking tape.
Me:Wait, what's it called in Japanese?
Suwa-san: Masking tape. What is it called in English?
Me: Masking tape. Finally, we use the same word!
I went through the different tapes with him and Sakai-san and we all laughed over the differences.
A few days ago, my friend emailed me about some magical reusable designed tape that she and her sister went searching for in craft stores. She told me, "It's called Washi tape. It was invented in Japan so I'm sure it's all over the place there."
Curious, I went searching for this magical "washi" tape. I went to Daiei which is a nine story store that sells just about everything. On the craft floor, I searched high and low for it and I couldn't find it. Then I wandered up to the top floor to the bookstore part in search of my favorite pens and in the office section of the bookstore, there was a whole section of this colored tape. I looked closer and sure enough it had the words "washi" written on it. But the big words were actually "Masking tape". I started laughing. Leave it to the Japanese to take our most boring tape and turn it into something adorable.
See it for yourself:
(3) Today, I attended the first day of the International Conference on Fluid Dynamics here in Sendai. In the afternoon, I attended a session in which we sprinted through 21 presenters in an hour and 10 minutes. Going through them so quickly, I started to realize that at the end of every single presentation, the speaker would say, "Thank you for your kind attention." Hearing it once or twice, I would have thought it a slightly interesting phrase to use but really not put much thought into it. But after 21 presentations in an hour's time, you couldn't help but start to wonder, "Why that phrase?"
Here are a few other conversation highlights from ICFD:
Secretary: What is your name?
(She goes to look for my nametag and comes back)
Secretary: I couldn't find your name. <She is holding the piles of nametags for the L's>
Me: Oh, sorry; Reed starts with an R.
(She returns with my nametag)
I got out to the lobby and run into Suwa-san and Fujii-san who are standing at a table, drinking coffee from real china teacups. I was very jealous of the teacups and saucers.
Me: Suwa-san, Fujii-san, you have coffee I see.
Suwa-san: Yes, it's tea time.
Me: Wow. Cool. (Since they ONLY had coffee, I wasn't venturing towards the beverage cart)
Suwa-san: Which session are you heading to next?
Me: That room. <pointing>
Suwa-san: <reading the sign> Blood Flow for Medical Equipment. Wha?
Me: I wanted to attend a session on something in which I know absolutely nothing.
(Yeah, it was a random session. It sounded like a good idea at 9 am this morning. It ended up being four presentations on modeling aneurisms and stents and one presentation on modeling the cardiovascular system to repair hearts in newborns)
(4) Today, after English class, Boku and I got in a conversation about marriage. I'm not sure how we got there.
Boku-san: I won't get married for another ten years.
Me: Ten years?! Wait, how old are you?
Boku-san: I am 25.4 years old.
Me: So specific. Why ten years?
Boku-san: Well, I am a PhD student so I need to graduate. And then I need to get a job. And then I need to work at that job for a few years. All of that will take me about 6 years. And then I need to get a girlfriend.
Me: I still don't see how you can't find a girlfriend now.
Boku-san: I can only keep one thing in my brain at a time.
Boku-san: What about you? Don't you need to get married?
Boku-san: You have 500 friends on facebook. It only takes one. Just choose someone.
Me: Just choose someone?
Boku-san: Besides, I think that you are not a busy person. You have the time to find a husband.