I do not speak Japanese.
And yet, while waiting for a flight home in Seattle, I overheard and possibly understood a conversation between two Japanese tourists.
Our flight was hours away. My wife and I had settled into seats above the endless passengers winding through the TSA lines. Not far from Sea-Tac’s “meditation room” (who knew airports had places like that), she graded papers from her university students while I people-watched. Those passing by were slower in pace. Catching snippets of conversation was easy in the quieter hallway.
Mothers corrected children.
A married couple complained about a flight delay.
A plane’s crew shared stories as they entered a room designated for breaks between flights.
A solitary soldier chatting on his phone bee-lined for the USO location a few doors away.
Two well-dressed men, both Japanese, moved by me. Their hands gripped rolling suitcases, with one talking rapidly to his companion. Everything said was beyond my comprehension, until one word was clearly expressed:
The solitary word hung in the air.
The man beside him, his pace matching his companion’s steps, immediately sighed loudly.
Did I really need a translation? Read More →by