Japanese Faux-Pas and the New Parent

One nice thing about being a new parent in a country like Japan, where the people are famously reticent and usually even avoid eye contact, is that you have the rare chance to chat with strangers. Walking down the sidewalk with the little shogunette in the baby carrier, I frequently pass parents with their little ones strapped to their chests too, and we’ll smile at each other and do a little head-bow and sometimes we will even stop to talk.

There is a downside to this however if, like me, you are terrible at Japanese. Frequently, instead of asking “And how old is your baby?” (nan sai, desuka?) I end up asking “What floor are you going to?” (nan kai desuka?).

Of course, this is somewhat better than what used to happen before I had a baby and we moved to a house in the suburbs of Yokohama, back when we lived in an apartment in the center of Osaka city. Then, frequently one of my elderly neighbnors would get in the elevator after me and instead of asking “What floor?” I’d ask them “And how old are you?”

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The Facebook Author Page

Love my editor at Putnam. Have loved basically every suggestion she’s made about the book (and how great is that to get in an editor?). But I didn’t love her suggestion that I make a Facebook author page. Because really, who needs another author page, or any page, on Facebook?

Anyway, I put one up. Because really, who am I to say “no” to Putnam?

It’s here, if you’re interested: http://www.facebook.com/TheWriterTracySlater

Can’t say I blame you if you aren’t. But in my first post on that page, I wrote that, in an effort to make the page as interesting or useful as possible, I’m going to use it, at least for now, to post funny/weird things about Japan (of which there are no shortage) or useful information for other writers or expats. If anyone has any other ideas about how to make the page a useful or pleasing source of information, please let me know! What would you want to see on an author page? Or which authors do you think really nail the Facebook Author Page?