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The Odd Couple

I was on a train a few days ago and heard something I hadn’t heard in almost half a year: an old married couple fighting. They were American tourists, or so I surmised from blatantly and unabashedly listening to their conversation. She felt that he always treated her “like a child,” as he had recently done by asking a waitress in a restaurant where the bathroom was on her behalf.

It was odd. I do see non-Japanese Westerners almost every day, particularly in Tokyo, but I don’t as often overhear English and more specifically, American English. It was refreshing to hear the squabbling that is a signature of long relationships. It was nice to think that I might be lucky enough to have a berating, nagging wife willing to stand by me for the better part of a century and maybe explore another continent. Someone who will be willing to tell me everything that is wrong with me on a crowded train in Japan. That wouldn’t be so bad at all.

Jaa ne,

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