Sometimes life has a way of teaching us lessons we didn’t know we needed to be taught. There are a lot of ways it can do this: through our relationships with friends and family, through natural and unnatural disasters, and through our pursuit of professional fulfilment… For me, some of my biggest lessons have come from my body, which has sent me the gift of a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition to battle for well over half of my life.
I was one of the last people waiting when an older couple walked in. Wizened is a word that comes to mind as my first impression. One of the University staffers brought them over to my table. They most certainly had absolutely no English. Awesome! My Japanese was going to get really good, really fast, I thought.
“I thought Japan was supposed to be a developed country,” he said with a look of pure horror on his face. “I’m from a third world country and our conditions are better than this!” (Of course Spain is not a third world country, but Diego was prone to dramatization back then). We surveyed the situation as our translator gestured for us to come to the front counter. We then looked at each other and, in that moment, decided to roll the dice.