Perhaps because of my Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week, I thought of an interesting way to connect today’s Japanese lesson with a fascinating story. Please keep reading after school’s out… don’t worry, the lesson’s a quick one.
Neko (ne-ko). Translation: cat.
That’s that. On with the story.
Now I know I’ve written this story out before, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where. I can’t find it on my blog which leads me to believe that I wrote it in the comments. Anyway, if you’ve heard it before, I apologize.
It was ten years ago, the first time I visited Japan. I stayed in a little town called Onomichi. My hotel was right at the top of the mountain.
See the white building on the right at the top? That was me. When I arrived in town I took a taxi up. (Note: I had to point. Luckily I knew from the internet what the place looked like because even in a tiny little place like Onomichi, unless you have GPS coordinates, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.) Once I was settled in, I decided to walk back down into town. And you got it – I got lost. The stairs down the mountain looked a little like this.
Actually, they look a lot like this. These are the actual stairs. So I was walking along, minding my own business when I realized I had been walking “along” and not “down” for quite some time. I stopped when I came across a cat, sitting on a waist-high wall. I stared at him and he stared at me, and I said to him, “I’m lost.” I figured he didn’t speak English but I thought what the hell. He’s just a cat. He regarded me for a few seconds more and then he got up and started walking along the top of the wall, back the way I’d come. So I did what any rational human being would do: I followed him. We took a few turns and a couple of times he stopped and looked back to make sure I was still behaving myself and I hadn’t turned and gone back the other way. He didn’t stop and sit down, however, until he got to the stairs. He stared at me, and then down the hill and back at me. I said, “Thank you,” and went on my way… sure enough, I went straight down to the town.
What I found really funny was this:
There’s a Cat Street View of Onomichi. Watch the video – you’ll see the stairs I walked up and down ten years ago. Apparently the neko know best.