When our grandson, Drew, was diagnosed with a severe phonological disorder last month, it was suggested that Melaina make a picture book for him so that when he wanted to ask for something, he could point to the appropriate picture. Being the diligent and creative mom that she is, she went to work on Drew’s picture book the very next day. When she gave it to him, he began to use it right away and was so excited that he carried it around with him for the rest of the day.
I had to communicate in a similar manner today. A couple of days ago, I was hit by a stomach ailment of unknown origin. If I was in many parts of the world, I’d attribute this to drinking the water but Japan’s water is perfectly safe and no, it wasn’t the raw chicken because too much time had passed for that to be the cause. We’re not sure if this thing is viral, bacterial or stress related but I ended up spending most of Saturday in bed. Fortunately, by yesterday I felt much better and my strength had returned but I’ve been left with a nasty case of diarrhea. By this morning I’d decided that a visit to the pharmacy might be a good idea but how would I explain what I was looking for? No problem! Out came my trusty Japanese phrase book. I simply looked up diarrhea and pointed to the Japanese script for Do you have any medicine for diarrhea? Through gestures, the lady behind the counter was able to ask me if I was also vomiting or suffering from headaches which, thankfully, I’m not. She quickly produced a package of pills that even have English instructions on the packaging.
During all the time we lived in Japan, we seldom had to use our phrase book but it sure did come in handy today! Now, if only the pills will work. They are little black spheres and have the most vile odor and aftertaste imaginable but if they do the job, they’ll be totally worth it.