Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I heard a wonderful story today from a friend, about a friend of hers who moved into a new place and wanted to get her kitchen bench remodeled, here in Japan. This friend was a gaijin, and a very tall, large woman. She wanted the kitchen bench to be raised. Kitchen benches here tend to be very low, and not at all suitable for a person of her height.

Because this woman was working, she wasn't able to oversee the workmen doing the job in her kitchen, but she met them on her way out the door, late for work, and quickly explained what she wanted.

They had never seen quite such a tall woman before. Just how impressed they were by her height, however, wasn't apparent until she got home that evening and discovered they'd raised her kitchen bench so high it was almost up to her shoulders. I guess she hadn't specified the exact height she wanted it, or was misunderstood. However it happened, she ended up with a bench perfect for a giant.

She got the workmen back to lower her kitchen bench again to make it useable, so all ended well. But my friend saw it before it was lowered, and told me that she had to stand on a chair to use it at all. My friend is not short.

What amused me most, hearing about this incident, is the 'fish tale' aspect to it. You can imagine what kind of conversation the workmen had while trying to decide what height to make the bench.

"She was tall, eh? How high do you reckon we should make it? This high?"

"No, she was MUCH taller than that. THIS high would suit her."

"Rubbish! That would give her backache from stooping. Didn't you SEE her? We'll have to make it THIS high."

And so on, until they ended up making the bench just the right height for the impression she had made on them.


Radioactive Jam said...

She'll likely grow taller still in *their* retelling. Maybe your friend can have some input in the naming of this soon-to-be legendary tale.

Notice how I did not say tall tale.

kenju said...

Ha! I think she had a good idea, but it is too bad that she didn't specify the height of it before hand....LOL

Kay said...

Oh, dear, what is a "kitchen bench"? Ah, for a picture from badaunt when I need one......must be sort of, like, unique?

Badaunt said...

Kay: Now you've got me confused. What do YOU call the bit either side of the kitchen sink, the surface on which you prepare food and so on, if it's not the bench?