“Hai… Hai.. Wakarimashita!” A few more “Yes, yes, I understood”s later and I hung up the phone. I turned to my study partner, Rosie, and mentioned that it was Yano-san, the real estate agent from church who most of us foreigners have used to look for apartments.
“I had to contact him because the electrician came to see if we could install the AC we got for Rosalyn’s room, but there’s some kind of problem with the outlet, as in it’s not set up or designed for the air conditioner. So we had to get permission to have a hole drilled in the wall and a wire run over two rooms to the breaker.”
“Wow, that’s really impressive that you arranged all that in Japanese,” she said.
“Yeah, but the thing is, I couldn’t tell from the context of the conversation if we have to pay for it or if the owner is paying for it.”
She laughed. “Yeah, there’s a lot of that in Japan. Yes! Yes! I understand. What’d they say? Who knows!”
“Yeah, I guess I’ll find out the day that they install it what’s going on!”
Living in another culture requires an extraordinary amount of a) prep work and thinking ahead and b) going with the flow.
Today, I messaged a Japanese friend to ask some advice. Rosalyn had had a fever of over 100 for nearly 24 hours and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do. I asked my friend when she usually calls the doctor. Of course, she corrected me– you don’t call the doctor here, you always take them to the clinic. Of course, I knew that but it’s just my way of saying it.
I told her what our American doctors would say and she just said that she’s taken her kids with a lot fewer symptoms than Rosalyn had. So I did. I took along my American meds I’d given her, all the paperwork I thought I might have need of and went in.
Seems it’s only a cold. I’d rather be safe than sorry. But beyond my reconfirming all the details with the doctor to check my comprehension of how to give her the meds and what I needed to do about some insurance paperwork I have that’s now expired (sigh), it got me to reviewing.
What would I do if her fever were to go dangerously high? What number do I call? I’m not talking about doctor’s numbers, I’m talking about 911. Because it’s not 911 here! There’s no nurse hotline here. Where can I take her at 3am if I need to? All those answers, as a mother, I have to know ahead of time. It concerns me to make sure I can communicate clearly, and that we are prepared in case of emergency.
Some could accuse me of a lack of faith. I’d say, no, that’s called being a responsible parent.
I absolutely have faith and trust God for healing. I trust God that He will keep her safe. I’m not too concerned about a little cold, it’ll build her immune system. But in some cases, it’s not enough to just go with the flow and figure it out as it happens.
I’m not entirely sure where this blog is coming from. But it’s just been on my mind, that unlike what someone innocently mentioned that it’s just like figuring it out in the States, but just in another language, to this I’d say, no, it’s nothing like it.