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Amparo Bertram

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07:03 am: Knock knock
I lazed around a good portion of the morning yesterday. I was just getting set up to start working on the last square dance piece when there was a knock at my door. I couldn't imagine who would be paying a call on me at 10am on a Saturday morning, but it was a man in a nice suit, so I thought at first it was the NHK guy. It did seem a bit early, though. The NHK guy usually comes around to collect my money in the evenings. (Note: At this point, I am wearing my sweats and my hair is still wet from the shower.)

It was, in fact, a Japanese Jehovah's Witness. I probably should have pretended I couldn't speak Japanese, but by the time I realized who it was, it was already too late. Plus, during the short conversation I had with him, he mentioned that some of the girls from my school are part of his group, so he might have easily figured out I was faking it. Anyway, he asked if he could come back and talk to me again. I was like, "Ummmm...." which in Japanese is the equivalent of "You're bothering the heck out of me, so get out of my face." Being Japanese, he of course picked up on this subtle nuance, and at that point graciously took his leave. (He did suggest that a female member could come back and talk to me instead, probably thinking that I was uncomfortable talking to a man.)

I really don't know how to handle situations like that. On the one hand, I don't want to be mean, but on the other, what's a culturally appropriate way of saying "I'm perfectly content with my beliefs, thank you"?

Anyway, I returned to my sewing, and by evening I had the blouse finished. Just in time, too, as my second spool of thread was just about to run out. With this piece, I had a chance to try out the tape makers I bought; cut a rectangle of cloth and run it through the device, and it folds the edges into neat decorative trim or bias tape. I hadn't known such things existed before. There are so many fascinating implements at the craft store...

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[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:November 13th, 2004 03:22 pm (UTC)
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LOL!
I know one person who avoided them by pretending not to speak Japanese, but it looks like you were stuck.

They came to my door recently, too, but I wasn't home, but they left the Japanese Watchtower thing so I knew they had been by. I haven't actually seen any in person yet.

Back in America, I used to love when Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door because I could stand there and argue philosophy with them for an hour and they would be really nice about it. (Unfortunately, it drove my parents crazy because they kept coming back and bothering my parents even when I wasn't home. I even had a regular Witness.)

But I can't argue in Japanese. And, honestly, I can't figure out why any Japanese would switch OUT of Shinto, the cheerful, celebratory religion with little requirements and lots of naked man festivals.

I love your pretty, flowy shirt. I'm amazed at your sewing abilities;

(Just got the kotatsu out last night... glad I don't have to choose between tables)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 13th, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
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But I can't argue in Japanese.

I wouldn't be very good at it either. Mainly because I don't know all the religion vocabulary.

And, honestly, I can't figure out why any Japanese would switch OUT of Shinto, the cheerful, celebratory religion with little requirements and lots of naked man festivals.

I don't understand it either. Unless they're in it for the angel wings?

Oh, oh, that reminds me. I found just the novel series for you: L'histoire de Melzes. The picture's a little small, but you get the idea. He's even wearing an earring that matches his wings. Is that class or what?

I love your pretty, flowy shirt. I'm amazed at your sewing abilities

*^_^* That's so sweet of you.
[User Picture]
From:melf42
Date:November 15th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
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Of course! The angel wings! That would explain it!

Cute covers like that make me want to get over my intimidation and try to actually read a whole Japanese novel. It is very nice how the Japanese strive to please me and my Wing needs. The Americans... not so much, unless I'm missing something.

(I wish I could make myself some new clothes... I'm starting to, um, grow out of some of mine. I'll have to make very good use of Xmas break)

(I hope this comment only goes through once... Hotmail seemed to be unresponsive)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 15th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC)
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Cute covers like that make me want to get over my intimidation and try to actually read a whole Japanese novel.

Give in to the urge. Once you start to get into it, your reading level improves dramatically. If you're ever so inclined, I could recommend some good starter books.

It is very nice how the Japanese strive to please me and my Wing needs.

It is thoughtful, isn't it?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 13th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)

Soooo beautiful!

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The blouse is absolutely gorgeous!

I never heard of a tape maker, either. It sounds very handy.

Jehova's Witness in Japan! Now the surprising thing is how did you manage to avoid them your first three years there!
It sounds as if you handled it just right. It's even hard to know what to do when they come to the door here, cultural amenities notwithstanding. I'm sure they are used to all kinds of responses to their visits. Here they usually travel in groups of two, though. You can usually tell the guys by their white shirts and black pants--maybe bicycles nearby, too.

I usually try to be polite, accept their Watch Tower, and say thank you and goodbye as soon as possible. Mostly I try not to answer their questions with anything that can lead to more conversation. I still admire their dedication and committment to something they believe in. I think they give up a year or two of their life to do the visits.

I know a lot of people who try to have fun with them, but I don't have it in me to lead them on.

Love,
Mom

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:November 13th, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC)

Re: Soooo beautiful!

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I never heard of a tape maker, either. It sounds very handy.

Judging by the advertising that goes with it, they mainly use it here for quilting. They make three kinds of quilts with it:
  • stained glass quilts (the tape maker is used to make the "frame" for the other quilt pieces)
  • woven quilts (strips of trim are woven together over a quilt backing)
  • slashed quilts (the strips are sewn down and then slashed with a knife, leaving a kind of courderoy effect)

    I don't particularly like the slashed quilt look, but the other two are really pretty.
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