Week 13: コーヒーが冷めないうちに (Intermediate BC)

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Week 13

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Start date: 11 September 2021
Previous part: Week 12
Next part : Week 14
Wordlist : Google doc

Reading

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (PB) Page Count
Week 13 11 September end of 3rd story 265 24

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Participants

Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I am reading along
  • I am reading behind the schedule
  • I have finished this part
  • I have decided to drop the book
  • Okay, and as for the results…:durtle_tomato:

0 voters

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Just to confirm, Hirai time-leaps on the same day that she arrives back from the funeral, right? Does noone in the past notice that she’s wearing black rather than her usual ド派手 fashion?

2 Likes

I was wondering that too. Maybe you appear to be wearing the same clothes you were wearing that day when you time travel? So many rules aren’t explained, yet we get the same ones repeated again and again. Another thing I was wondering, is there a rule that you can’t go back twice? Why is everyone acting as if it’s their only chance to do whatever they want to do? What’s stopping them from going back again and again to their heart’s content?

2 Likes

Okay, I finished this part and I don’t how to feel about any of that.

First of all, time travelling is doing my head in again. So, Kei is there when Hirai returns, and was also there with Hirai in the past. If I understand correctly, in the book it goes that Kei didn’t know what Hirai had experienced, nor did she need to. Shouldn’t she have a memory of what transpired in the past if she was there? Is it a bubble universe or not after all?

Secondly, Kei is obviously an awesome friend to have around. In the blink of an eye she realized the truth about Kumi’s imminent death, recovered from the shock, saved Hirai from becoming a ghost and made sure that Kumi died happy. (Unless her death wasn’t instantaneous, then I suppose the irony of her being so close to realizing her dream, yet losing that chance for ever, must have been especially painful to her.) But what about Hirai? Hirai has to go back to a life she has spent so much time and effort escaping, without her sister, alongside parents who have every reason to resent her at this point. How is that a good outcome for her? Or is it supposed to be a punishment she deserves? I can’t see it that way, honestly. The way she had been avoiding her sister (and maybe the way she left home?) was problematic, but I don’t really see her as responsible for her sister’s life, or her accident come to that.

The stories tend to end on a rather mysterious note lately, or is it just me? What does the sentence in the parentheses refer to?

(はたして、あきらめてくれるだろうか。。。)

1 Like

Oi. Yeah, I’m definitely going to try to not think about the time travel stuff… at all.

The ending felt really flat and totally unearned. I could see, in a longer story, Hirai coming around to go back to the ryokan to work, maybe, but here it seems more a fleeting feeling. That “I’m never drinking again” feeling. I think realistically the sun will set and rise, and that will end up being the closest she ever got to returning. And for her sake, I hope it is, because as you say, going back to work at the inn doesn’t seem like a happy ending for anyone. I guess, maybe if I saw it from a more traditional Japanese culture point of view I’d think otherwise. Life isn’t about happiness–it’s about respecting your elders and your parents, or something. But that’s not how I see it. I can’t even conform to my own family’s loosey-goosey traditional American expectations.

(はたして、あきらめてくれるだろうか。。。)

In context it seems that 流 is giving 計 some kind of look, and maybe expressing through that look his thoughts, “she (平井) will finally accept [her fate], after all.” or something. At least that’s how I interpret it now that I’ve read it a couple times. I’m not sure that’s right since he uses “くれる” which I guess would imply he received something. In the next sentence he’s got an ‘unsatisfied’ look on his face, so maybe he’s think the same thing that we are.

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Oh, thanks, that sort of makes sense. Because he was looking at Kei and because of that くれる I felt sure he was talking about Kei, and couldn’t figure out what he might mean. If it’s about Hirai, then it’s not really mysterious at all. (But still, why くれる?)

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Hm, maybe he’s including Kei in the in group and Hirai’s acceptance benefits Kei (who seems to be happy about it). Maybe it’s like “Finally, we can stop hiding Hirai,” or “finally we don’t have to painfully throw out letters that her sister gives us.”

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I read a little ahead and I don’t think it’s a major spoiler to say that yes, yes there is! Now why they’d wait until almost the end of the book to just mention it in passing, while all the while repeating the other rules to death, is beyond me, but there it is. Wouldn’t you think it’s important to know you won’t get another chance before going back? :angry:

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Hello everyone! This is the Week 14 topic and the last story within this book!

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Woo! Three-quarters of the way through!

Well, one thought: dunno if you’ve been picking up on the hints, but Kei’s preggers. Perhaps it’s about giving up working in the cafe to become a housewife. Perhaps it’s something that will be come clear later. :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s exactly because of that that I was a little worried. I somehow thought that he might be thinking about giving up the child, but there’s no context at all to support this, and it’s probably a little too dark for this book. The housewife angle sounds better. I guess we’ll see.

1 Like