Friday, 18 December 2009

Brief but memorable

My initiative in making a telephone call sparked off an unusual encounter I had one night last week. A young Japanese woman answered and asked me to tell her all about myself, which of course I was pleased to do. She was very interested, and it was not long before she had taken over the conversation completely. It was as much as I could do to keep up with her questions and, later, her commands; she knew exactly what should be done and needed only a little co-operation from me.

For all her professional expertise she is clearly a shy person so I will not reveal her name; suffice it to say that its sound—and indeed her voice—made me think of a summer breeze ruffling the yuki yanagi (snow willow) which grows in the tsukiyama gardens of Kyoto.

As the evening wore on, her questions became more intimate and I found some of them difficult to answer. She was very patient with me and only once did she have to warn me about my behaviour: "No, don't do that, you're interfering with my movements".

She meant, of course, that I should keep my hands to myself while she was moving about on my desktop.

The matter turned out to be quite complicated, and it was over an hour before the task was completed. Finally, my emails started coming in and going out once more and she asked me if I was satisfied; I had to say yes, then I reluctantly let her go and we parted with expressions of mutual esteem.

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