We all know the new mother trope: the frazzled, stimulation deprived mama who bemoans the lack of adult conversation in her life. She is so starved for intelligent conversation that she claims to look forward to trips to the 7-11; a discussion about the various merits of a specific brand of mouthwash becomes the conversational highlight of her day for the simple fact that it is free of gesticulation, modified speech, or other modes of baby-talk.
Dude, that mother has no idea how lucky she is.
I head down to the 7-11 and, even to accomplish the simplest of interactions, I must rely ENTIRELY on gestures and terrible modified English that is obviously unintelligible to the other party. Or even myself, really.
As an aside, in a crowded Asian pharmacy, where I’m clearly the only Westerner and as such, stick out like the sorest of thumbs, I’ve even had to mime “birth-control pills” (gesture baby by rocking arms, then cross arms signifying “no”, followed by popping a pill into your mouth with exaggerated swallowing. In case you’re wondering).
The most intelligent conversation I have during the day is with my four-month old baby. You see, I live in Japan. In a small city. There are almost no foreigners. I speak no Japanese. In essence, I’m screwed.
But, you say, Japan is a first-world nation! It’s among the three richest nations on Earth! Education rates are excellent! Surely they must speak English!
Ha! Surely, you’d be wrong.
Well then, learn Japanese, you self-centered, cultural-imperialist idiot.
Well, that would be the sensible thing to do. But, I have a baby. And her dad, her aunt, her grandparents, they all speak Swiss German. So I’m learning German. And this little brain can only handle so much study at once.
So, baby and I, we just bop around town by ourselves, understanding a few words here and there (three! baby! cute! pee pee! yummy!) And I start a blog in hopes of compensating for my lack of real-life companionship.
I guess what I’m saying is: internet, will you be my friend?