A Japanese Adventure
By DAN FORTEZA
My first Japanese friend. He waited for me for almost two hours. He was there patiently waiting for me in some corner somewhere in the SM Megamall. This mall is huge and is located in Mandaluyong City, one of the hearts of the crowded Metro Manila.
So I was there..so tired and looking for him at the mall. You have no idea what I had been through. It was Friday after work and as always, expect heavilicious traffic on the main avenues. Three hours earlier I said I’m gonna meet him at 6:30PM and yet didn’t happened. Bus traffic jam for an hour…I could wait no longer so I get off some 300 meters from the train station of Magallanes and walk briskly towards that direction of the train station.
“What the hell?” My eyes popped when I see a gazillion of people falling in line at Magallanes train station. The line was too long it could probably be half a kilometer, or maybe I am a bit exaggerating it but it’s far from a lie haha. So I decided to ride the bus again heading toward the next train station – Ayala Station. It was a relief when I set my foot on the bus yet this traffic is still uncontrollably horrible. When I got to see I am nearing Ayala station, I decided to get off and just walk a bit to reach that train station. It was not that of a long pile of lines as compared to Magallanes but what the heck? I couldn’t still make it in time! The masses of people or should I say sea of people would drown me away there as well. So I look at my phone and Googled map the next nearest train station. With that, I am giving my luck to it hoping to get to the train immediately if ever. You wouldn’t imagine what I did.. I walk a kilometer just to get to the next train station of Buendia. Not bad though, more walk, more sweat and more exercise? Well I just look at the bright side.
Buendia – another hell of a train station on a Friday night of rush hour. It took me I guess almost 30 minutes just to finally got inside to the train finally after some dozens of line I fell in to. I know the time is ticking and that’s how I got all so stressed wandering the mall looking for him.
His name is Kento but he wants me to call him Kent. He is a Japanese national studying in the Philippines at that time for a month. He is from the city of Kyoto. I met him in a some kind of a language chatting app called “hellotalk”. We’ve been a chat buddy since then especially on “WhatsApp” for almost 5 months before he visits Manila to restudy English. Though I must say he has a good command in English already however he still had this difficulties in English pronunciations. Peace out Kent! So I was walking towards the place where he texted me where he is at and as I turn my head I saw this Japanese-looking tall man smiling at me. Yes, he is quite tall, very thin around 20 years of age and I must say he is very light skinned that made me jealous haha.
So he just smiled and says it’s okay though I was apologizing for gazillion times. He was very willing and accommodating to take me to the Japanese restaurant he was telling in our previous chats prior to meet up. Normally, when he finishes his school he would go to SM Megamall to chill and maybe watch some movies out in Cinema. His school is just very close to the mall so the place is not new to him . As we arrived to that cozy Japanese resto, I forgot its name though, we immediately ordered for a ramen. It was a really tasty one. I may add of how an epic fail I am to try eating with chopsticks. I may not learn very soon, I suspect.
We talk about Japanese stuff and Japanese stuff again and again..yeah I couldn’t help but questioned him a lot about Japan and it’s great he was answering it willingly.