Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yuki-san and The Tree

This post is a fictitious entry from the diary of Yuki-san, who picked me up on the way to the town of Biei. The events are real but it’s written by me – it’s my attempt at her perspective.

Dear Diary:

Today was so exciting! It was my second day traveling in Hokkaido and you won’t believe it – I picked up a Canadian hitchhiker!

I saw him in the distance wearing a big, blue backpack. The next thing I knew my foot was on the brake and I was slowing down. It must have been fate! Two travellers crossing paths, but only one with transportation – yes, dear diary, I have rented a beautiful, white, Toyota Fielder. Check it out! Cool, right?!


I stopped, rolling down my window as the hitchhiker said hello in Japanese. He looked super cool with his sunglasses on. He looked like Bruce Willis.

I introduced myself as Yuki because I think my family name is difficult for foreigners to say. I asked him to join me and of course, he agreed. Why wouldn’t he? As a hitchhiker, I believe that is is singular purpose!

He got in the car beside me. We both wore big smiles. You know how excited eyes can glisten, dear diary? I believe mine were gleaming like stars. I had a travel companion! I remembered the English word, adventure, and I yelled it out loud as I accelerated.


David laughed – oh yes, I should mention, he told me his name was David – like David Beckham! He called himself “Dave” and I told him that in Japanese it sounds like de-bu, which means “fat.” He acted offended, but I’m pretty sure he was kidding about that. Anyway, I called him David after that.

Oh, dear diary, you know how I can carry on sometimes. I think I talked for twenty minutes straight. I told him about my hairdressing job in Aichi, a recent history of my annual vacations, even the air-miles I used to get here! David grinned a lot and tried to make jokes. I believe that trying to be funny is more important than actually being so. Most likely, David shares this opinion.

I told him that he looks like Bruce Willis. He disagreed and suggested that perhaps all white people look the same to me, but no, no I’m right about this.

I was happy to find that David spoke a fair amount of Japanese. He still used his dictionary a lot though, even for simple words like “wheat” and “taxes.” He tried to speak some English with me but I got a bit embarrassed and changed the subject. Anyway, we had an adventure to discuss!

My goal for the day was to find a tree. Of course, it was not just any tree – it’s quite famous and I had come a long way to see it, so David had no choice in the matter. We were off to find the tree. Of course, I asked him if it was ok, but I was not prepared to take ‘no’ for an answer. I locked the doors just in case.

I handed him a map and asked him to navigate.

David is kind of funny, but he is not a good navigator. We ended up on a road that got more and more narrow until it wasn’t a road anymore. He kept saying, “No, I think this is right.”

He taught me a fun English phrase: the scenic route. Diversions are fun! We found some very scenic wheat!


Eventually, we found the tree. I explained to David that it’s famous because it was in a TV commercial. He said “Oh, that makes perfect sense.” He looked in his dictionary but found no translation for the word ‘sarcasm.’ What do you think it means, dear diary?

I photographed the tree endlessly from every possible angle, but this one is the best. Majestic! I can’t wait to show my friends back home.


I dropped David off in Furano, the beautiful town of lavender. I told him to have some lavender-flavoured ice cream. I hope he does!

He told me he plans to hitchhike all the way back to Tokyo. I advised him to check his compass and maps often. His directional handicap worries me a little.

Well, in summation, dear diary, today was one of the best days of my life. I met a cool hitchhiker who looks like Bruce Willis and shares a name with David Beckham. And oh, that tree! Such noble and dignified majesty! Yes, I believe my life is complete.

1 comment:

  1. Loved all your posts so far! Makes me want to go do something similar when my japanese gets a bit better!