My funny episode in Vancouver

私のバンクーバーおもしろエピソード

Living in a foreign country, such as studying abroad and even traveling, gives us a lot of surprises or funny experiences because of the cultural differences. I heard that Vancouver is not known as a multicultural or diverse city, especially for Japanese, even though it is. So we can learn various values, ideas, and knowledge through communication with people from various countries. Today I would like to share a lesson which I have learned from a homeless woman.

違う国での生活。文化や習慣が違うこともあり、旅行や短期留学などの短期滞在でも驚くことが多いですよね。特に日本ではあまりイメージが無いそうですが、バンクーバーは驚くほどの多国籍都市。様々な国の人との関わりの中で、様々な価値観を学ぶことがたくさんあります。今回はその中でも私がホームレスの方から学んだことをひとつご紹介します。

 

One day, in the afternoon, I went to a café, which is famous for cheesecake, in downtown with my friends. It was a very beautiful day, so we chose a table on the patio and enjoyed our time over a cup of coffee with delicious cheesecakes. We were an Italian, Moroccan, Brazilian and I, Japanese, and we enjoyed chatting a lot. At that time, a homeless woman came close to us and said; “Change please…” with a weak soft voice. I was a little bit scared, but my Italian friend gave her change without any hesitation. “Thank you sir…” she whispered. I thought she would leave us soon, but she was still looking for something around us. And suddenly she shouted,“○×○×○×○×!!!!!” and left us. My mind became blank, but my friends were laughing a lot somehow. I thought that since she had left, I was safe. Well, I wanted to enjoy my cake again. But…I could not, unfortunately. “She shouted TOO LATE and took your took your cake, hahaha” my Brazilian friend told me the sad truth while laughing a lot.

 

ある日の昼下がり、学校終わりに友達とチーズケーキが有名なカフェに行きました。とても天気の良い日で気持ちがよかったので、パティオの席を選んでみんなでお茶をしていました。イタリア、モロッコ、ブラジル、日本(私)というメンバーで、絶え間なくおしゃべりを続けていると、一人のホームレスの女性が近づいてきて、「チェンジプリーズ」と弱弱しい声で話しかけてきました。私は少し警戒しましたが、イタリア人の友人は慣れた感じで小銭をすっと渡しました。「センキューサー…」と言って離れていくかと思ったのですが、まだ私たちの周りをうろうろ…まだ何かあるのかなあとどきどきしていた、その時です。

「○×○×○×○×!!!!!」と急に怒鳴り、その場をザッと離れていきました。私は呆然、友達はなぜか爆笑。よくわからないけどもういなくなったし、気を取り直してチーズケーキを食べようと思ったら…「あれっ?無い。」すかさずブラジル人の友人、「She said “TOO LATE!!”and took your cake!!!」

O H . . .   I   S E E.

な  る  ほ  ど  ― …

 

A lesson I have learned from this experience is “One MUST finish eating their food before it gets stolen.”All in all, it may be a happy ending because I could enjoy the cake even though it was only half, my friends could laugh a lot and we enjoyed discussing public security in each country and the homeless woman was satisfied. It could happen because we were in Vancouver, having countless homeless people. It is difficult to communicate with them and I am also still looking for better ways. Anyway, I recommend you to,“ finish eating your food before it gets stolen.” I hope you can enjoy your food from the beginning to the end safely;)
これを通じての教訓は、「食べられる前に食べ終わる」。今思えば私も半分は食べたし、友達は笑ってたし、その後の会話も各国の治安の話で盛り上がったし、ホームレスは満足だし、みんなハッピーでハッピーエンドかな!と思いますが、ホームレスが多いバンクーバーならではの出来事でしたね。ホームレスの人たちに対しての関わり方は難しく、私も未だ模索中ですが…少なくともパティオでおいしいものを食べるときは「食べられる前に食べ終わる」ように、みなさんも気をつけてくださいね!