Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hiroshima: City of Peace and Boob-Grabbing

Hiroshima, having suffered the horrible misfortune of being the bullseye for the first atomic bomb, has named itself the City of Peace. While visiting the Hiroshima A-bomb museum, I felt incredibly disappointed in humanity, but actually left feeling uplifted because so many people had written poignant entries about peace in the journals provided by the museum. It seemed to me that humans had learned their lesson from the bombing and that Hiroshima was the perfect city to represent peace. In fact, after leaving the museum and strolling through the Peace Park as the sun was setting, I was starting feeling that human beings were actually a nice lot.

This feeling was reinforced when a pleasant middle-aged Japanese man started to talk to me - people are so nice! - asking me where I was from - humanity will be fine!, telling me what to see around Hiroshima - so generous! - and even saying that he thought that I was beautiful - so kind!. So when he asked if he could take a picture with me, I willingly obliged - world peace is just around the corner!. He politely wrapped his arm around me, smiled broadly as the photo was taken...

And then he grabbed my breast - is this the universal sign for world peace?.

Now, if at first I thought that he had accidentally grabbed my boob, I was left with no doubt when he lecherously leaned across me, allowing me to smell the alcohol on his breath, and tried for the other one - what the hell is he grabbing MY boob for anyway?. After wrestling out of his grip, flustered, I whimpered something in Japanese, which was probably " Saka-nah" (the word for fish - perhaps not as versatile as I first thought) before running away - Saka-nah!?! Why did I not learn to say "go f*ck yourself in Japanese? Trying to gain my composure, I noticed that he was stumbling along following me, ruining the effect of all the peaceful statues, monuments and gardens.

I finally lost him at the A-bomb dome, the ultimate symbol of the bombing. This structure is stunning, in an eerie way, and I was trying to calm down by taking some photos when I heard screaming from behind me. This was not polite, slightly raised voice yelling, this was foaming-at-the-mouth-evil-I-am-going-to-kill-you screaming. I turned to see a Japanese photographer yelling at another man a few steps down in the river. Alarmed, I turned to watch him begin to assault this man, shoving him and hitting him with his camera tri-pod.

Seeing that I was watching him, he then began screaming at me and started to race towards me, clearly prepared to begin shoving me - what the hell? first sexually assaulted, now verbally assaulted, and soon to be physically assaulted in the Hiroshima Peace Park?? My mind racing - my final hopes for humanity crushed! - I prepared to turtle as the man got closer...and then two Australian guys came to my rescue, saving me from forever thinking that humans were an evil bunch. Turns out they had started following me because they were worried after they saw Boob-grabber molest and then follow me.

And just for good measure, to fully restore my faith in people, they took me out for dinner and drinks. Yes, humans can be a nice lot sometimes...


Blogger FritzDawg said...

Sometimes I forget how creative you are and then you go and do something like this - what a site (or blog i guess)!

Glad you got there safely!

Good news - I may have my Professional Development course in July/August, which means I would be free to travel in May and June... could be bad news actually ;)

6:52 PM  
Blogger CanuckinChicago said...

Yo - Mark and I went downtown last night to "Sushi Samba" and had some sake - we were thinking of you on your adventure! You are only a couple of weeks into your trip and you are already getting your boobs grabbed... what are we going to do with you?? :)

7:09 AM  

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