Today, while riding the toden (mini-train) from Oji (where the JR brings me from Sophia's campus at Yotsuya) to Odai (where I live), I met a new friend!
Her name is Umi and she likes french fries. This 2 year old found great fascination in my various electronics, namely my keitai (cell phone) and aipodo (ipod). And so today, Umi-chan learned quite a few things. She saw pictures of friends and scenes throughout Japan taken on my keitai. She listened to "Naive" by The Kooks (had to start off good!). Besides her name and age, the only thing I really know is that she thinks french fries are very tasty. Other than that, our conversation consisted of her staring strangely at me, most probably thinking "What the hell is THAT?" Whenever I see this reaction, I'm greatly amused and of course nod or smile. While most Japanese babies have taken this as a lead-in to an attack and hence run the other way, Umi continued to stare. And so we became friends.
Before getting off the train, I realized I had to do something to pry my cell phone away from Umi without making her bawl. So I removed the Zero Fighter charm doll hanging from its bottom (see the Yasukuni Jinja pictures somewhere on this blog) and handed it to her, "Dozo, Umi." She took it, turned it upside down, and handed it back. In turn, I said "Iie, imakara anatano ningyou" (No, from now on it's your doll). The minute "ningyou" left my mouth Umi clutched the Zero Pilot to her body, apparantly having lost interest in the french fry bag she was previously holding.
That's my story.