Wednesday, August 29, 2012

メンフィスって、何それ? [Memphis, you said? What's that?]

Talk about a head trip! Check out what I found on the subway a few weeks ago. I had to do a triple take to make sure I was reading the uniform right. Particularly since the color theme isn't even remotely close to correct.

At the time I was only going one stop on the train, which meant when I realized what I was looking at I had less than a minute before my stop. A frantic scramble to unearth my camera from the depths of my bag and squeeze off as many shots as possible ensued. Of course, this got me bewildered, furtive glances from everyone else in the car. One guy actually followed me all the way to the sidewalk outside the subway exit and started asking me questions because of it. We had a conversation roughly as follows:

"Excuse me, do you speak English?"
"Uh... yeah. Hi."
"Can I ask?"--I nod to him--"Why did you take a picture on the subway?"
"Oh, it had the name of my hometown. Nobody in Japan knows it, so I was shocked."
"I see. Why this stop?"
"I live near here."
"Okay, thank you."

After an obligatory bow, he then walked in the opposite direction, making it screamingly obvious that he didn't just happen to be walking the same way. Rather amusing, since I highly doubt he would've had the social gumption to walk up some stranger of his own nationality and question them about their behavior.

Explanatory note: The picture was part of an ad for a local university's open campus for potential students. My best guess being that they have the option for an exchange semester to Memphis.

What about you? Ever had a familiar place name crop up in a bizarre context? Tell me all about it below!

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