Last Friday in Japanese class, we had just started learning how to politely ask for permission. Little did I know, that grammar structure would become very useful that same night.
After class, a couple friends and I bought unlimited weekend metro passes with the intention of seeing as much of Nagoya as we could in 72 hours. Our first stop-- Sakae.
Sakae is the "downtown" area of Nagoya, famous for its many animal cafes, eateries, stores, and vibrant nightlife. We got off at Sakae station and immediately stumbled into a bunny cafe. It was like a rabbit-themed Starbucks. Animal cafes are a growing trend in the United States but have been a staple in Japan for almost a decade. This was my first time going to one and found it to be a great way to unwind, especially after a long week of classes.
Without a stage, they commanded attention. Traffic notably slowed and passersby soon formed a crowd. Doos' energy was so contagious that even the sternest-looking business men and women in the back of the crowd started bopping their heads to the beat. After their last set, my friends and I rushed to join the line to meet the band and buy a copy of their CD. While waiting, we frantically rehearsed what we would say to them in Japanese. I'd remembered that earlier in the day in class, we had just learned how to politely ask for permission. I brought it up and joked that I should ask to play on their drum set. Thinking I was serious, my friends immediately grasped onto the idea and urged me to do it. In truth, I'm usually very hesitant to ask for favors, let alone make such a bold request and in a foreign language.
We got to the front. My voice trembling, I finally said, "すみません、宜しければ、ドラムをさせていただけませんか。" which roughly translates to, "Excuse me, if it's okay, would you give me the pleasure of playing on the drum set?" To my surprise, they said yes! In fact, they joined in with my playing and we improvised for about ten minutes. The last thing I expected when I chose to study abroad in Japan was to perform with a rock band in front of a live audience, but there I was. The nerves from before melted away-- I was at home.
Be on the lookout for my vlog on my trip to Kyoto!