Week 2: コーヒーが冷めないうちに (Intermediate BC)

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Week 2

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Start date: 26 June 2021
Previous part: Week 1
Next part: Week 3
Wordlist: Google doc

Reading

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (PB) Page Count
Week 2 26 June カラフェを持って出てきた。 37 17

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.
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Participants

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  • I am reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I am reading behind the schedule
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1 Like

I’m always a bit amused when random English pops up in Japanese. I mean, not just the occasional wasei-eigo, but straight English words used in straight English ways - in this case ノーではない。ノーではなかった。

Reminds me of one chapter of Yotsuba - Yanda turns up to gatecrash whatever activity Yotsuba and her dad are up to, and when he asks if he can come along, Yotsuba just turns around and gives a flat “No.” in English, and for some reason, I find that uproariously funny.

4 Likes

My impressions of the Week 2 Reading:
(No major spoilers, but probably best to leave blurred until you’ve finished the reading)

  • I find Hirai to be the most interesting character so far, I think. You want to dislike her for taking such delight in squashing Fumiko’s hopes in this week’s reading, but it’s so obvious she’s dealing with a painful past of her own (I thought this even before the small discussion about her sister and the family inn came up). I wonder if she herself even had to face the reality that she couldn’t use the cafe’s power to “revise” whatever regrets she might have. And her sincere concern over Kei makes it clear she’s not as cold a person as her attitude towards Fumiko would have us initially believe.

  • Speaking of Kei, and the rest of the Tokita family, the author definitely had a bit of fun with their names, huh? A man named 時田流 owns a café that just so happens to let one circumvent the “flow of time”. I like it.

  • This is turning out to be such a cozy book. I love stories like this that delve into the details of a bunch of seemingly ordinary people through the lens of a particular setting (kind of like Midnight Diner). This is definitely the kind of book I could easily read in a single sitting on a rainy day with a cup of tea and just soak it all in. Except that my vocabulary isn’t strong enough for me to read a whole Japanese book in a day unless I could allow myself to be totally unconcerned with looking up/learning/retaining new words, which I am unfortunately too obsessive-compulsive to do.

11 Likes

There’s definitely a theme with the Tokita family names, I noticed it too. I wonder if other names in the book also bear some significance.

I’m also interested in Hirai’s backstory, I hope it’s covered at some point. As for Fumiko, I don’t know if it’s me, but I’m finding her hard to like. Her reactions seem somehow a little too exaggerated to me.

3 Likes

It’s not just you. I want to yell at her a little for being so sulky: “Geez, you’re young, extraordinarily attractive, talented, and successful, I cannot imagine it will be very difficult for you to find another mate. Never mind the fact that the one you had seemed irritated at the very idea that he even had to sit down with you for a few minutes to dump you properly before fleeing to another country. That’s not exactly the type of relationship you mourn.”

Oops, I got a little heated, didn’t I? :sweat_smile:

Still, the text does hint that she’s not quite aware of all of her good qualities, and she’s apparently getting a lot of pressure to finally “settle down”, so I’m guessing she’s dealing with some self doubt. But yes, I find her less likeable and less interesting than some of the other characters for these reasons.

4 Likes

Someone mentioned that the original work was a play, and with people popping in and out, heads popping out from doors, etc. this feels a lot like a play, which is kind of cool. Whenever there’s a mention of 独り言, I picture a breaking the fourth wall moment where the character says something to the audience. (Wandavision comes to mind). To me, all the characters are a bit exaggerated, which makes them feel like characters in play.

Now with 二美子, we have someone who is very successful at making this go the way she wants them to go. It seems like not being in control is something she’s not used to. Perhaps there’s room for character growth there, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll like her more when that happens. Also, I found all the references to つっぷす二美子 pretty amusing.

edit: and oh, as maykeye said, nice stopping point! This is at 10% on Kindle.

3 Likes

Yoooo! This time it’s easy to find a stop point. On bookwalker at 1900x1200 screen resolution, it’s page 35 (and on my phone it’s page 44).

It goes right before a coffee cup symbol, so it’s hard to miss.

1 Like

That’s just something I don’t understand. jisho gives ‘to fall prostrate’ for ‘つっぷす’ which doesn’t make any sense to me (perhaps due to my insufficient English?).

1 Like

I did not know the english word either so I prefer the JP definition

[動サ五(四)]《「つきふす」の音変化》急に顔などを伏せる。「テーブルに—・して泣きだす」

3 Likes

“Slumped”, maybe? “Slumped over the table”.

This is the posture I have in mind, in any case:

upload_2018-10-13_6-52-5

7 Likes

Exactly what I had in mind too. And it’s probably the one thing she does that bothers me the most. She’s supposed to be a serious career-minded woman after all, come on!

Good point. Theater tends to amplify everything.

2 Likes

Funnily enough, this is exactly why I can sympathise with her. If I remember correctly this was her first time being in love, and there’s something endearing to me about this successful career woman being unable to deal with heartbreak in a non-dramatic way.

4 Likes

So, the lookup sheet had あね as the reading for 義姉 on page 29, and while that’s listed in Jisho as a reading, that’s not the standard one - none of the main online J-J dictionaries list that as a reading. ぎし is the correct reading.

What お義姉ねえさん is demonstrating is that while Kazu is saying “elder sister”, what she means is “sister-in-law”.

Side note, this book really likes describing what the female characters are wearing, doesn’t it?

5 Likes

Yes, I thought it was one of those cases where the kanji are used to give additional subtext to the words. I chose to write the あね reading in the lookup sheet because Kazu is using it like that, my understanding being that she feels close to Kei as if they were sisters.

Right? Not that men are left out, they too get quite a detailed description, at least as far as clothes are concerned. Facial features seem to be more important for women. I wonder if once again it’s because of its theater play origins? Or maybe the author just likes this sort of thing a lot.

2 Likes

That seems to be the one.
Google Images

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Heh. I got that picture above by doing an image search for “slumped over the table”, but for some reason, it never occured to me to stick つっぷす in as well.

1 Like

Alrighty, finished this week’s reading.

The narration kinda feels a lot like stage directions to me, for some reason. The whole “A woman walks in wearing a pink camisole and black leggings walks in. Her name is Hirai.” sort of tone.

2 Likes

Just saw this in another thread:

and was reminded of another color confusion in our book.
紺色のスニーカー is what Kei is described as wearing, and every dictionary I checked describes the color as navy blue.
The English translation of the book, though, goes like this: “She was wearing a beige cardigan over a pale aqua shirt-dress and crimson trainers”.
Is this a simple translation error, I wonder, or am I missing something?

1 Like

Translation error, I reckon - maybe they misread it as 紅色.

Though while we’re on the topic, what exactly is a バイオワンピース?

5 Likes

Sounds like a translation error to me… Crimson would be 紅 , so maybe just a misreading on the translator’s part?

3 Likes