All in travel
When the older gentleman enters the room, everyone stands and bows deeply. Jiro follows suit, but Mr. Saito quickly reaches for his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Jiro-san,” he says. And there is something at once elegant and sharp about the slender man’s eyes, a hint of humor, at the corners of his mouth that Jiro likes instantly.
“The demand for your genre is down right now,” her literary agent had said kindly before her move to Tokyo. In her bleaker moments, Hanako reinterpreted that to mean, “no one gives a shit about what you’ve written right now.”
She simply wanted everything to reach its potential. The desk had been covered in crayon marks and water stains, but beneath the neglect was pinewood yearning--no, somehow knowing--it could be more.
Hanako is typing away, wrapped in a beautiful concentration-cocoon of coffee shop conversations she cannot understand (works so much better than music), when--the words flowing effortlessly from her brain to her fingertips--trip.
Jiro’s eyes land on a five-foot-nothing Japanese girl across the line, who weighs maybe one-hundred pounds and this curbs his enthusiasm a little. Maybe he wouldn’t get to throw the ball as hard as he would like
Korean. I’m Korean. Did she speak Korean? Anyoung haseyo? A shake of the head. "I’m sorry. I don’t speak Korean, either." Sometimes, she couldn’t help but say, "sad, I know. Pathetic, really," depending on how insecure she felt about it at the moment.
He feels like a sardine in a tin. A gorilla in a too-tight suit. Gulliver living among the Lilliputians. Okay. So that last bit was a small exaggeration...
They had been in the country for less than two hours and she was already hyper aware of following the rules, doing nothing to offend, doing everything she could to make sure they didn’t stand-out.
Do you see who you’re with? He wants to remind her. There is nothing you’ll be able to do that’ll allow you to blend-in, darlin.
Inside the bathroom stall, more buttons, and a toilet that looks capable of launching into space. Her own personal sink glimmers, neigh, shines, to the left. Wow...I think I’m going to love it here.