A short conversation

October 19, 2006

Scatterbrained Jeremy lost his Shiodome-Roppongi train pass last week. So I had to go to the Student Assistance area at school to get another form, for the elderly lady at Shiodome station to stamp.

Most of the time we are assisted by three young Japanese women, all of whom speak good English. I asked one of them, Horie-san, for help. After I’d received the form, she asked me:

‘You are from Canberra, right?’

‘Yes, I’m originally from Sydney, but I work in Canberra.’

‘I lived in Canberra, about seven years ago. I studied South-East Asian Society at the Australian National University’.

‘Oh, really?’ I said. ‘What did you think?’

‘I couldn’t believe it. It was supposed to be the capital city. I was expecting something like Tokyo.’

We then had a chuckle about Canberra’s littleness. I told her that, im my first year there, I drove back to Sydney almost every weekend, and that Odaiba, the region on Tokyo Bay where I’m living, has more shopping centres than Canberra.

She said that , after adjusting to the city’s small scale (and next to Tokyo, everything is small) and making some good friends, she enjoyed herself there.

I should have asked her if she remembered the Bento boxes they serve in Canberra, and if there was anything like it in Tokyo. Maybe next time I lose a rail pass I’ll ask her.

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