steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Sending in the Paras

Finding Japanese people to interview about the Cotswolds in hot weather in the UK is in one sense really easy: just follow the parasols. Not that everyone carries a parasol (and I admit that those who do are not a randomised sample, being largely adult females), but parasols are easy to spot at a distance, and you can be pretty sure that anyone carrying one will be east Asian. Not necessarily Japanese, of course - there were more Chinese than Japanese at Bourton-on-the-Water the other day, for example - but it's a start.

I bought my parasol (or higasa - literally, "sun umbrella") in Tokyo last year, and I use it quite often, being fond of neither sunburn nor suncream. However, in Bristol I've so far seen precisely one other white person carrying one. When I walked past a Romsey school the other day, a pupil shouted, "It's not raining!", and I felt a bit like Odysseus when he'd walked so far inland that people mistook his oar for a winnowing shovel...

Googling parasols just now, I find that the ones on sale in the UK are not what I first think of as parasols at all, but big garden devices for shading your patio. What would Monet have thought? Why would people abandon such opportunities for elegance?

Do people carry parasols where you live, reader?
Tags: nippon notes, real life
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