Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Japanese people have many ways of expressing their gratitude and appreciations. They let known their feelings of thankfulness with ease without letting it sounds like they owe you the world.
Gokuro sama deshita. One version of thank you but the word thank you is not even mentioned. In what situations do you use this phrase.
The postman delivers you letter and it so happen you are near by, you don't keep quiet and just let him go.
You shout..."gokuro sama deshita...." at him and he would nod at you back.
When the meterman comes quietly to check on the meter at the back of the house, he would say something like "excuse me, I am checking the meter" of course in Japanese to nobody. He just say it to let know to anybody around the area.
So, when you hear this being said and see he has done his job, you shout all the way from the house..."gokuro sama deshita" but you don't need him to reply back. The most he might just shout back "hait".
O-tsukare sama deshita, another way of saying thank you.
Normally this version is said between friends.
Like when you've bathed together in a common public bath and you say to your friends who is about to leave..."o-tsukare sama deshita".
Or like when my sister-in-law helps to clean her father's house, I would show my face and just say..."o-tsukare sama deshita".
In this case, I wouldn't say "arigatou", it's not very right.
Then you have that all too familiar phrase "sumimasen deshita".
"sumimasen deshita" is an all-functionable word, use very loosely but actually have little meaning to it.
You want to have some space, you say it.
You want to start a conversation, you say it.
You want to ask for direction, you say it.
You want to tell somebody who steps on your foot shouting inside "you big, blind rejected samurai, let go my foot", you say this with a smiling face.
Last of all, maybe I missed something else, you tell your appreciation, you say it.
Some nice guy open the door for you to pass through, you say it.
You let a woman holding a shrieking baby go through the cash register first and you will get a happy "sumimasen deshita".
Anyway, why am I giving a Japanese lesson on a beautiful morning now?
Because I do not have much to write anymore. There are many things on my mind right now.
I have many people to thank and give appreciations...
like the huge steamer an ultra-active lady sent by post from Tokyo that she brought over from KL and I have yet to use it...
"o-sewa sama deshita".
Like the novel, Cinta Fansuri, a friend from KL sent via another friend that I still can't figure out the plot even after passing bab 6..."o-tsukare sama deshita".
Like the six-metre Beijing silk with soft rose-petal design, from a friend whose brother took the trouble to bring all over Hokaido in North Japan and sent it to me, while I am still trying hard to figure out the suitable style to pattern it..."sumimasen deshita".
To all these friends and from the bottom of my heart...
"honto ni arigatou gozaimashita".