Thursday, May 7, 2009

Becoming Included

Last night we had a かじきまつり (marlin festival) at the restaurant owned by the boat captain. I had a chance to flip through a photo album which documents all 63 marlin Yukibo-san has caught on Zamami in the last 15 years. As I approached 2007 I tried to remember where I was on the dates of the catches. Then I reached the 2008 season, when I was living on Zamami. There were four or five marlin to which I considered: “what was I doing that day?” (The answer is ‘not marlin fishing.’)

But this year, I’m in. A girl (Miki) has come to my apartment both trips to make sure the invitation was extended to me. This is partially due to my continued ‘nudging’ during the offseason, but also to the rapport I’ve built with everybody. Yukibo knows I’m dead serious about fishing and likes me because of this shared commitment.

Before dinner Miki came in and handed me her camera with a video playing on it. The underwater video of a whale and her calf was taken Monday from the channel just in front of Zamami. Most whales are well on their way to Alaska by now, so this is a rarity (and a concern). The video was cool, but I was really happy that Miki thought of me. It was a purposeful act on her part - she loaded the video on her camera because she thought I would like it.

A year ago this wouldn’t have happened, either because the language barrier was too intimidating (she speaks no English) or she didn’t know me well enough or trust me yet. But having reached a point of friendship with her - and many in the community - means so much. The token of friendship is great, but it’s the heartwarming part that means the most.

1 comment:

erin said...

OF COURSE my heart was warmed by this, but I'm super glad you're not too manly to have yours warmed too.

seriously, this is really cool. Really, really cool.