i finally had the chance to walk around Uji today.
While ditching the main street in favor of a narrow one, I found a tiny, charming Cafe. The lady at the counter held a small talk with a 90 years old looking grandma over a cup of tea. They were the only souls in there, and both looked surprised to see me.
I asked for the menu. The lady rushed to welcome me with “irasshaimase” and gave me one.
The grandma looked at me deeply as I sat myself at the only other cute little table next to her.
“Are you here alone?” She asked in wonder. “Hai” I replied with a smile. I ordered iced coffee. “American?” She continued. I thought for a moment but said “Hai” again. Then, not sure why, I added: “I’m an Israeli, but I came here from America.” The lady who began preparing my coffee made an “o” sound and repeated what I said in amazement.
Grandma, on the contrary, just kept staring. “Like this, all alone here. It must be problematic. It must be rough.”
I was a bit taken aback by this and thought maybe I did not understand her. But quickly blew away the concern “No, not at all, i’m having a great time.”
Grandma just muttered “wakai wakai” (so young so young) in respond.
Then the lady served me with my coffee plus a paper fan ’cause it was hot in the room. She distracted Grandmas’ attention to the TV. And Grandma indeed focused her attention on a celebrity guy she had a lot to say about. At this point I had completely lost the thread and turned to enjoy my coffee.
Then they both went outside to water the flowers growing right on the sliding door and all over the outside wall. “But she came here from America, you know, America” I heard grandma saying. “Yes, it is very nice.” said the other.
When I left, Grandma looked a bit worried and said “take care/ be careful”. kiotsukete.