What do you like? This is the Writing 101 challenge of the day, and while it may seem overly simple and almost comical to ask a fellow adult in English, in Japanese it is a very common question when you’re getting to know someone: “好きなことは何ですか？” (“Suki na koto wa nan desu ka?” or “What things do you like?”).
Part of this blog-post-a-day challenge is about getting to know each other, after all. So without further adieu, here are some of my 好きなこと (“Suki na koto” or “Things I like”).
- Airports. I love airports. Airports are a place where all kinds of people intersect, come and go, adventures begin and families are reunited. Airports are made for people to breeze quickly through or to spend hours upon hours in. I could spend hours upon hours in a good airport – in fact, I have been known to go to airports just to hang out – with friends or alone, to sit and enjoy the transient spirit of the place. A couple of years ago I finally realized my dream of being one of the people waiting for a stranger with a name sign when I picked up my sick friend’s mom from the airport in Nagoya.
- Being a language ninja. One of the many awesome things about knowing a bit of Japanese is that I do not look at all like someone who should know Japanese, i.e. I am as fair-skinned and blonde-haired as they come. In Japan people are generally not surprised when visible foreigners speak Japanese, except in super touristy or super rural areas. But in Canada… when I hear people speaking Japanese and they catch me laughing at their joke, or I can drop a few words in Japanese to freak out a tourist, the utter shock this causes gives me a probably unreasonable amount of pleasure.
- Ducks. Those of you who know me on Twitter or Instagram know me by my alter-ego @genkiduck. I have a pretty awesome rubber duck collection, much to my husband’s chagrin. You’d think it’s a continuation of a childhood fascination or something, but no… I must confess it started in my late teens. I have British Duck, Franken Duck, Green Lantern Duck, Sigmund Freud Duck, and Bride & Groom Duck, to name just a few. What’s so awesome about ducks? Their amazing yellow happiness and splashiness and the expression “water off a duck’s back” is something I strive to live by.
- Fleece-lined tights. I actually have a long history of hating skirts. I’m not sure if it’s being forced to wear frilly pink dresses against my will as a child, or being forced to wear a uniform for years in middle through high school. Or simply hating skirts. But after about 2.5 years in Japan, I discovered an amazing secret. When all my pants were threadbare and I couldn’t buy new ones (as they don’t make them to fit women with hips and muscles) and it was the middle of winter, I surrendered to the all-season Japanese fashion of shorts and skirts. And how do those girls get away with wearing adorable mini skirts or funky shorts in the heart of winter? Fleece-lined tights.
- SNOW! I know I am in the unpopular minority of adults who still loves snow, despite driving and traffic and danger and inconvenience and all the rest. Snow is the absolute best thing ever. Bundling up in scarves and hats and sweaters. Walking outside in the middle of the night when fresh snow is falling, and needing no light at all because the ambient light reflecting off the blankets of snow makes it seem like daytime. Waking up to the muffled sounds of morning and ripping open the curtain in eager anticipation of what might be waiting out there. First tracks on the mountain after a fresh dumping of powder. Everything is magical when it snows, the first time and all the times after that.
I’ve shown you a few of my “Suki na koto.” What do you think of mine? What are some of yours? Which of my rubber ducks do you like the best?