miércoles, 8 de junio de 2005

Lost in Translation - Chapter III

Ally Cheng put a narrow piece of paper over the table and began to write.
"Ally Cheng

She wrote her name, her email address and, her telephone number last.
The small paper came to me as soon as she finished hers. I was really worried about my handwriting, she was Japanese and Japanese people pay an especial attention to other people's handwriting.
I rewrote my name over the first I did.

Sumie's took a block of "post-it"s out from her handbag. They were pink. He wrote her email address and her mobile number as well. Ally noted it down in her mobile and passed the post-it to me. I put it in my wallet.

I was starting to feel more confident with the situation but, of course, not confident enought.

We had bought ticket for a raffle a bit after we came there. Sumie had one string as well.
A fat old man in a suit announced that the raffle was about to commence. He bore a bowl containing a lot of squashed tickets. He came near to one of the big tables and a fellow dinner took one of the squeezed papers out.
'Three hundred and fifty six, three hundred and fifty seven'.
All our numbers were higher than four hundred.
In another table someone got up and went to the ping pong table where he had tochoose between the ton of objects.
'Three hundred and fourteen, three hundred and fifteen. Anyone has got three hundred and fourteen, three hundred and fifteen?' another person got up from his seat.
I was starting to think that all the numbers in the basin were under four hundred. I managed to explain that to Ally and Sumie.
Nevertheless, four winner tickets later, one of Sumie's was shouted.
'Here!' yelled Ally. Everybody looked at us.
A bit ashamed, the Japanese girl headed the prizes on the ping-pong table.

When she came back she was holding a "hammer-like toy" [NOTE: I forgot to ask her about its name before. Apologize] in a transparent plastic bag. I remembered I had seen one like that somewhere, many years ago, but I couldn't recall when and where I did.
Sumie took the toy out from its bag and tied the string that was fastened to the red wooden ball to a staple in the main piece. Setting the sphere over the hammer shaped part looked as though it was an easy task, a child's play, when she did it. However it was one of the most labyrinthine things Ally and me had ever tried.
Ally achieved it when the string was almost completly rolled over the handle. I hit one of the glasses with the ball and I dropped it on the floor; but in the end I managed to leave the ball in its place too.
One of mine and Ally's figures was said by the raffle man. Ally shouted another "here!" and, once again, all the heads turned to look at us. She wanted me to go on my own but we finally went together to look for our prize.

There weren't too many items left in the ping pong table. Moreover, some of them were the same stupid things in differet colors.
'I don't know what to choose. We better call Sumie,' I commented. Sumie had stayed near the table.
'Yes, yes.
Sumi! Sumi! Come here! The Japanese one was looking for something into her purse but she left what she was doing when she heard Ally's calls.
'Have you got any idea abaout what should we choose?' I asked to her and, inmediatly, I thought I should have formulated a simpler question when I noticed that Sumie was replying to the same enquire Ally had asked.
She looked as though she reckoned that every stupid prize was as stupid as the one nex to it and she felt embarrased of be the first person who claimed it.
A small bamboo pipe, about thirteen inches long, with blue stripes in both ends was the foolish object I finally picked. I was also into a sealed showy bag.
'PAN-PAN,' I readed aloud while we came back to teh tall table. They were "katakana" characters printed in the plastic bag.
'Oh! he can read Japanese!'
'Yes, he can...' I could heard Ally starting another speech. The two girls were talking behind me.
Fortunately I managed to join the conversation this time.

Ally had fetched a few Japanese biscuits, I was taking notes and Sumie was correcting those notes.
"GOMASARDA" turned into "GOMA" (sesame) "SARADA" (salted) after her adviser.
I had been writing in my logbook the name of one of the biscuits.
The Japanese took my notebook and began to explain to Ally and me what the Japanese words printed in the biscuits bags menat. I was surprised at Sumie's handwriting.
  • EBI ................ shrimp
  • SHIO ............. salt
  • GOMA .......... sesame
  • SARADA ....... salted
  • SENBEI ......... rice biscuit

I could recognize the symbols but they looked so much different and even simpler than the ones I had seen whe n I studied them.

Someone had to go home. I wasn't sure about who was the one who needed to leave because I have felt lost in the conversations a few times, all along.

In that very moment I was really confused. I just grabbed my coat, the bag and I strolled away after Sumie and Ally.

[NOTE: I have a problem with the paragraphs control O_o]

The only thought in my mind was "what are they going to do?" and I felt too sheepish to make the query.

'Well, I have to go. I need to take the bus.

Sumie, see you on Monday at Brass House.

Bruce, see you... See you soon'

'I'm off on Tuesday, I think I will go to Brass housse on Tuesday'.

'Ok. Ok. See you on Tuesday then. Take care'.

Sumie and me said good bye to Ally who had gone showing herself a little halting.

The only hint I had about my supposed destiny was that I said to Sumie's Japanese companion that I was going to met her that night in some club in Broad Street.

We had walked a few steps together when she finally asked me.

'What are you going to do now?'

I hadn't got any clue about what time was it, I finally realized that Sumie was going to stay at home and I didn't feel like going out with her friends.

When we arrived to the bus stop I decided what to do.

'Ill take a train to go back to my home'

I said good bye to her, feeling deeply uneasy. Seconds later, my mobile started to ring.

(TO BE CONTINUED) (don't panic, only one more chapter left)