It was a weekend. I was planning on going to the grocery store. Just before leaving I asked my daughter if she wanted anything. As always, she becomes a nutcase when it comes to Japan (people, food, country, you name it she is
crazy about it!) She must have been a Japanese in her past life. So she asked me to bring “Onigiri” which is basically a rice ball wrapped in seaweed. I said okay since we do have a small section in the grocery store where they sell sushi and stuff.
There is always this one Japanese guy who makes those sushi rolls in the store. So I told her I will ask him to make some for us.
I went to the store and walked towards that section. I see 2 people working there making sushi rolls. One Japanese and
one Mexican. I said hi to both but asked the Japanese man about the Onigiri. He was a bit puzzled and asked me what I said. I thought maybe I wasn’t pronouncing it right! So I repeated since it really is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. “ONIGIRI”.
He was still a bit puzzled.
This time, I was looking at both of them and said it again with hand gestures as to how it looks. Then the Japanese guy said, Oh…you mean “Nigiri” (I think that was what he pronounced. Or maybe not! ….).
Since I didn’t know the difference, I said, “Okay maybe that is what it is”. Then he started to make those right away, I was looking at those and realized that doesn’t look like ‘what my daughter described. So I was a bit confused.
The Mexican guy saw my confusion then he started to talk to the Japanese guy. I heard the whole thing. He said, “I don’t think she wants that I think she wants the ones with rice” and started to show with the hand gestures I showed before.
Then the Japanese guy stopped making the “Nigiri Sushi” and said to me, “Oh you want ‘ONIGIRI’? I wanted to laugh out loud so badly, and I tried to control it, but couldn’t!!
I said, “YES, that is what I
I started laughing. The rest of the people nearby were looking at us with smiley faces. They probably thought we were just having fun making jokes. They both apologized and told me that they don’t
The point here is, I was pronouncing the same way they were pronouncing. Exactly the same. I guess when we here our own words from foreigners, we subconsciously block out what they were saying and hear what we want to here.
the bottom line was, my daughter, did not get ‘ONIGIRI’ LOL!