Chapter 33:

Osaka: Chapter 28

The Kimochi Warui Diary


Jotaro sits in a meditative, cross legged stance atop large grey rocks. Wayward flakes of snow fall around him. Bookmark here

He breaths in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth, his pace unchanging even as a cold wind blows through the mountain. Bookmark here

Several macaque monkeys bathe in the hot spring behind him. Yet, their actions do not faze him in the slightest. Bookmark here

It’s not until drops of water begin falling from the sky that Jotaro begins to wince. His expression forms into disgust as the drops increase by one, two, three, four…Bookmark here

I wrenched open the window, stuck my head out, and spewed vomit, watching it fall four stories to the ground.Bookmark here


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“I thought you left the window open and it was raining,” Jotaro said as we packed our bags. “But it was just your fucking puke!”Bookmark here

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That morning, the lobby of the hostel was empty. We initiated the hostel’s self-checkout process without anyone to say any goodbyes to.Bookmark here


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As Jotaro and I made our way to the train, there was only one thing on our minds:Bookmark here

“Big boodher.”Bookmark here

“Yeh, roight.”Bookmark here

For the entire length of the train riding up the mountain, with winding roads and tightly packed homes built alongside them:Bookmark here

“Big boodher.”Bookmark here

“Big boodher, yeh?”Bookmark here

“Roight.”Bookmark here

Bzz! Bzz!Bookmark here

My phone. It was a message from… the sushi waitress? Oh crap, really??Bookmark here

Apparently, I had sent her several messages last night—but they were harmless. I’d told her “Hello” and asked where she was from. Classic…Bookmark here

As I picked the conversation back up, I tested her English, but she didn’t seem to know much—if any. I had to make the effort of copy-pasting her sentences into my dictionary app, deconstructing them, and finding the main point.Bookmark here

In summary, she was half-Korean. Her dreams were to become a sushi chef back home—hence her employment at the sushi restaurant.Bookmark here

I exited out the conversation and saw the other Japanese contacts in my LINE friend list. The only other Japanese people I had known enough to add to LINE were the ones I met at college, through the university’s international program. Bookmark here

All of them had seemed interested in chatting and willingly added me to LINE, but the conversations with them always faded quickly. I’d tried to gauge their interest in doing something outside of class, but never got any committed replies.Bookmark here

“And no one in that society was ever going to tell him that directly.”Bookmark here

I remembered when I first met some of the Japanese students. At first, I was trying to play it cool like I didn’t know anything about anime as my classmate went on and on about Sword Art Online. Bookmark here

But then I got curious about what his reaction would be if I had mentioned a high-level Japanese meme—the kind that run-of-the-mill Western anime fans don’t know about.Bookmark here

I acted out the meme for him.Bookmark here

“What? You know that??”Bookmark here

At first, he seemed impressed. Foolish me had even felt a bit proud of it. But as he kept going, his enthusiasm seemed more like mockery.Bookmark here

He turned to his friend and told him. “Hey, he knows!” Then he’d act out the meme for his friend. Bookmark here

“Really? He knows that?” Bookmark here

From then on, whenever they’d see me in the humanities building on my way to classes, they’d address me purely by imitating that meme. Bookmark here

When I tried to change the subject, they didn’t seem interested in the slightest. They would just laugh, go on their way, and meet up with the other Japanese students.Bookmark here

“We’re here,” Jotaro said. Bookmark here

We’d arrived at the last top. Now, we just had to take a gondola up to the top of Mount Kouya.Bookmark here

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I messaged the sushi girl to tell her that it was nice talking to her. Then I deleted the conversation and removed her as a contact.Bookmark here

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