Losing It

The weekend was not unusually uneventful, except for a class to which I recently signed up and a late night dinner with 2 other Singaporeans I met in Japan and a friend who came to visit. It was surprising to myself that I could locate an obscurely located Okinawan eating house with barely no information apart from the address. While I have an Android phone on me, I didn’t think to use the map. I looked at the three numbers which represented the 丁目、番 and 号 (the typical Japanese address system) and headed straight to look for the shop.

I arrived at the small place with an under-aged girl taking our orders, occasionally chatting with another gentleman around our age who seemed to be her brother or uncle. After some what can be considered fairly enjoyable conversation, I was stumped when I couldn’t find the English equivalent of 受付. In my mind, all I could think of was “registration counter” but I knew that wasn’t right. I wasn’t too interested in spending silent thinking time while the others waited for me to continue my story, so I asked the other friend. And as if it was rehearsed, at the very moment she said, “reception,” the other 2 guests promptly followed up with voices of shock and exasperation. How could I have forgotten such a simple word?

I thought writing would prevent my English from deteriorating, or maybe it would if I hadn’t stopped for this long. But this made me pause to think which would be worse. Forgetting how to speak the Japanese language or forgetting how to speak English.

Maybe I’ll think about this another time. Gotta go revise my Korean lesson.

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