Last September, I had a chance to be an exchange student in Osaka, Japan (AFS programme). I could be there for three weeks only. However, although it was just a short programme, lots of exciting and interesting things happened that could have stayed here in my box of memory forever.
On the first week, all I did were only activities with extremely beautiful Noriko (Mother) and little cute Aiko (5-year-old sister), my host family. I started to learn about the culture; what they eat, how they act and even what they wear. And talking about what to wear, my host mother told me about Yukata (National costume) and also Japanese students’ uniform.
The second week came, I began the school. I went to Namihaya High School. The night before that, a teacher called me to prepare stuff and asked if I had my own school uniform, I said yes, so I wore it to school. Students and teachers were so surprised with me because my unique uniform differ me from the students completely. Girls wore cute tight white shirt with the little bow on it, cute short skirt, long balck socks and cool polished shoes. They also have various hairstyle each. On a contrary, I wore a little loose white shirt with my school emblem (Pra-Keaw, King Rama V’s symbol) on my chest, long black skirt, folded white socks and old shoes. I also had my hair with the black bow on tied back. Moreover, 85% of those girls wore make up, only me who had very pale oily face lol. However, friends welcomed me so well. They were so eager to ask about me and my country and I was glad.
In the evening, I came home, took a shower and put my uniform in the washing machine like I always did to those casual clothes I wore the week earlier. Then joyed dinner with family and went to bed happily. The next morning, I tried to find my uniform out there on the porch. I couldn’t find it anywhere.. so I asked my host mum if she had put it anywhere. She said, “Oh? I didn’t wash it.” I was like, “WHAT?!” ~ I found out later that they do not wash school uniform there that often because it’s expensive, the weather is not so hot plus there’s not much dust out there in Japan. But somehow, I couldn’t bear it that much. I mean, we do wash it no matter what here everyday plus that day I got lost and was so sweaty finding the way back home so I called my teacher if I could wear casual clothes. I could so I did. I did that for two days then the teacher asked if I was interested in trying Japanese uniform on. My heart beated suddenly because it’s something cute and I’d love to try. and I changed from my casual one to the real uniform. That day I walked in the town for a long time to show people my Japanese uniform I wore for the first time ~ and I came home late.. On the way home, I had to walk through the feild to get to the apartment I stayed at. The sun was setting soon. I noticed one middle-aged lady walking ahead of me. I so wanted to talk to her but my Japanese wasn’t going anywhere so I didn’t try. I just kept walking. Since it was getting darker, I walked a little faster. Then I saw that lady kept looking back at me.. She walked faster and faster and faster, too ~ I didn’t think anything at first and put my hand in the bag to find keys. As I did that, SHE RAN SO FAST!…
I looked back and there was no one.. just me. When I arrived, I told Noriko about it and we guessed that she might have been scared of me. And when I tried to find keys, she might have thought it would be some kind of weapon. Ah man, I didn’t really mean to do anything! Plus I was in the Japanese uniform and I’m still a teenager.
But after a long thinking, the sun already set and anything could have happened. It’s not about she didn’t trust me, it’s about she had to be full of awareness. We all have to be aware all the time because danger can come to us although we don’t ask for it.