I Was in the Cheerful Mood

However, I soon realized that I preconceived the prejudice toward Americans. I had thought that Americans were conceited, cynical, arrogant, and contemptuous creatures, but a number of incidents changed my mind. When I asked the stranger where Little Tokyo was, he did not know exactly where it was; however, he bided his time for me, took his iPhone, searched on it, and showed me the map to instruct me how to get there. When I reached the vicinity of Little Tokyo, I asked an American fellow how to reach Miyako Hotel. He happened to live in Little Tokyo, he was willingly to show me the way, and he insisted on accompanying me to the entrance of hotel.

The same cordial gestures I received the next day as well. When I was on my way to a subway station in order to see Hollywood, I became quite lost. Hence, I asked a woman just passing by; she happened to be going to Hollywood as well and informed me that I had to get off Hollywood/Highland Station. And she suggested me that we should go together, since we were heading the same destination. When we arrived at Hollywood/Highland Station, she said that she had a little time to spare, so we should eat breakfast together to get to know each other. Over breakfast, she explained to me what I should visit and what I should see and, finally, wished me good luck for my sojourn. 

In Japan when I ask a direction to a stranger on the street, he ignores me and doesn’t even glance at me, but just waves his hand to shake me off as if I were not a human being, as if I were an insignificant fly. What a cruel way to treat a fellow countryman!

My mood was getting better, and the soaring sense of happiness almost reached the peak. At first, I did not recognize the reason for my sudden high spirit, but I gradually realized why I was in the cheerful mood: language. I really enjoyed staying in Mexico City and loved it there; however, one thing always bothered me, and I was occasionally frustrated by it: communication. The problem was that I could not speak Spanish very well, so naturally it was difficult for me to communicate with Mexicans, except my friends who speak fairly well in English. I had been often vexed because I could not express myself wholly in the daily life. But here I was as a recluse, who had not talked to anyone and had just mediated on his own thoughts for a long time, and who suddenly became talkative. I let myself talk unrestrictedly to strangers whom I fancied about anything under the sun.

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