Stop the presses! There is unrest in our part of the Sea of Japan!
Just this week I got a knock on the door from our neighbor asking if I could help him out by interpreting. When I got to the door to see who was trying to talk to our English buddy, I was shocked to see a single police officer standing on our flat.
He told me that the police were on the look out for a criminal that was loose in our area. They didn’t know what said perpetrator looked like or where to find them, so he wanted us to be on the look out and report anything suspicious immediately.
At this point I was thinking two things. Number one: Holy crap! Crime has finally made it to our island! The biggest criminals are no longer people who don’t recycle correctly! And two: Boy am I glad I recently reviewed my Japanese textbook’s lesson on criminals! (@o@)
Now, as I was thinking this, the officer was continuing his explanation and I tuned back in to hear him say the criminal stalking our neighbor was a thief. Not only that, but said perpetrator had stolen “Buh-rah-gee-yah” and “pahn-tsu”, so I, as a woman, had better take extra care. Not recognizing the first word, I honed in on that one specifically and the police officer and I took turns repeating the word back and forth to each other. After a bit, I had a strange idea of what he might be saying.
Could he mean “Brassiere”? But that didn’t make sense. And at that moment, the second item popped back up in my head: “pahn-tsu”. Of course. “Pahn-tsu” sounds like pants, but it actually means underwear. Which meant that the dangerous perpetrator was actually…
I had another moment where I repeated everything back to the officer in disbelief.
“Bras and underwear?”
“Yes,” he said seriously.
“The things you wear under your clothes?”
“Yes,” he repeated.
“The thief is stealing…bras and underwear?!” I said, trying my best not to laugh.
“Yes. They are stealing women’s bras and underwear off of their verandas. You need to be especially careful, because you are a woman. But men should also keep an eye on their underwear.”
Since I had been expecting messy, dangerous home invasion, I was practically bouncing around on my toes wanting to tell Aaron the hilarious new development. The minute the officer left (after writing down all of our residence information), I turned tail and told Aaron all about Oki’s dangerous criminal who skips around in the night swiping all manner of women’s underwear off verandas.
Everybody watch out! The Oki Panty Swiper is at large!
Hah! …It just might be one of my students. T_T