I think I might have mentioned once or twice that I'm basically illiterate in Japanese. I can manage some basics but most things totally flummox me. But I'm starting to wonder if life isn't just a little more fun without a full understanding of the written word.
Yesterday I was perusing the local paper, or rather pretending to when an ad caught my eye. It said, in Japanese, "Grape counselling. Hot hot time."
Eh? What the flibbertygibbet is grape counselling? And anything that promises a hot hot time in the local paper is usually offered by, well, not counsellors anyway.
Was it counselling for people with a grape fetish? Because, really, if anyone needs counselling, it's someone with a grape fetish. Going to the greengrocers could be very awkward.
So, as I tend to do when faced with something baffling and seemingly inexplicable, I asked the Roomies.
"What's this?" I asked, or rather "これ何？” because we don't do no English in these here parts. Unless it's on TV.
Roomie took a look. "Oh, um, parents go there with their kids."
Eh? Japanese parents and their kids go somewhere for a hot hot time involving grapes?! That's a bit wrong.
"That doesn't say grape, it says group."
"Oh. Hmmm. But what about the hot hot time. What's that all about?"
"In Japanese hot time means time spent with good feeling."
"Oh. You mean warm time?"
"There's a difference?"
"Um, yes, one may well look like those dirty comic books they've banned from the comic convention, and one involves your parents. They're really quite different. Never confuse them in an English speaking country, you could end up need intensive therapy. Without the grapes."
So, you see, No weirdness at all, just families spending some time dealing with their issues. More Oprah than Jerry Springer.
And a very good reason to never learn to read properly.