Written by Lorna Shapiro
My apologies to the ladies of NAGS who heard this when I spoke to them. I am telling this story because although it is not from my Japanese travels, it still makes me laugh when I think of it. Two of the Japanese women who live with us were catching a ride with me to a shopping centre. They were at first nattering away in Japanese. When they had sorted something out, Hiroko said to me in English: “We were talking about buying cards. We need to buy cards for friends in Japan. The Dalai Lama store has good cards. So we will go there.” “Oh, I did not know we had a Dalai Lama store in Vancouver”, I said. Hiroko looked confused and then started laughing. She had been saying the Dollarama store. We spent the rest of the drive practicing the difference between Dalai Lama and Dollarama! It seems to be very hard for the Japanese.