Have I ever told you about the time I worked in a sushi restaurant? I probably mentioned it in passing, but I wonder if I ever shared my story of how I put too much thought into the Japanese word for Wednesday.
You see, the word is 水曜日 or su-ee-yoh-bee. The first character means water. Personally, its one of my favorite words to write.
Anyway, when I worked in the restaurant, I used to believe that the reason we were closed on Wednesdays had to do with it being “water day”. In my mind, it made sense because fish come from the sea, rivers and/or ponds.
My boss was always so big on “tradition” and making “those (who came) before us proud”. He always pushed us to be proper (Japanese) ladies and gents while at work, and prided himself on keeping ” the old ways”, I thought the Wednesday thing was an extension of that mentality. I was certain there was some interesting back story to it that one day I worked up the courage to ask.
Me: Hey, boss, you’re really good at keeping the “sui” in “suiyoubi” aren’t you?
Boss: The what now? You sound like you’ve been watching too much TV. (He was referring to the pun-tastic ways that Japanese commercials sell their products.)
Me: I just meant that Wednesday thing. You know, we close in difference to the sea? Because of the fish and stuff?
Boss: Where did you get that idea? If my life said it, I think she might have been pulling your leg again.
Me: No. I noticed a lot of sushi restaurants close on Wednesdays. I thought there was a connection.
Boss: No, we close because of a lack of customers.
I quietly went back to boiling my soybeans after that. I never brought up my weird little observations again. At least to him… His wife on the other hand, always seemed amused by my ramblings.
Why am I bringing this up now, you’re probably wondering. Well, I saw my former boss’ wife today, when I went to the supermarket. She seemed surprised to see me.
Wife: Oh, Ren! Doing well?
Me: Yup. Working hard, but still good.
Wife: That’s good. You seem healthy (pointed my my tanned skin) so that’s good. You take care now, but stop by sometime and have some tea with us.
Me: O-okay. Take care.
Seeing her made me think of my old job and how far I’ve come since then. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my perchant for terrible word play…