Week 3: コーヒーが冷めないうちに (Intermediate BC)

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Week 3


Start date: 03 July 2021
Previous part: Week 2
Next part: Week 4
Wordlist: Google doc


Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (PB) Page Count
Week 3 03 July 途方にくれていた。 58 20

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.
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Finally found stopping point in WB. At my PC it’s page 54. On my phone it’s either 70 or 72 depending on resolution. Y u do this, BW o((>ω< ))o?

To find it, goto forward ~20 pages until next coffee cup picture with wall of text from top to bottom, including Latin characters facing both way (and the wall of text is impossible to miss), then go backwards, skipping 4 empty lines along the way. 5th empty line will be right after “途方にくれていた”

So far I read just 2 pages as I’m chilling on the weekend
And… How many times are they going to repeat ルール? They did it again. They’ve repeated ru:ru again, Carl! Hopefully at this point they’ll get tired repeating them(should I say (BW page 36) うんざり?) . I mean they should stop at some point? Right?

I have a strong temptation to find someone named Ru:ru/Ruru and declare them to be the mascot of the thread.

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Now more serious question. First ~7 pages, p42 BW, when story starts moving ahead and we get introduced to something new.

Is it ならで、そのを暴かなければ腹の虫がおさまらない。? It seems it’s 嘘, and it’s fits there. However in book there are additional stroke at the bottom, like in 墟 (i.e. instead of \ /, book has |_ _|).


This has already been discussed a little here:

Jisho lists 噓 under “other forms” for 嘘, so I guess both are valid. However, the in-built dictionary on my iPad fails to recognize it, for what it’s worth (not much, it fails to recognize lots of things to be honest).


By they way, is this ~なら~で~を thing a specific grammar construction?

And speaking of grammar, here’s a sentence I can’t seem to parse:

Is this saying that Fumiko had some bad expectations that the conversation supported (the double negative “didn’t betray” hurts my English speaking brain)?

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It reminds me of the 数は数で of the first week, but if it is a specifc grammar construction, I can’t find it. I interpreted it as “If it is ~ then ~ it is (so be it)”.

I think your interpretation is correct. Their conversation didn’t betray her bad (worst? Not sure about that 悪いほう) expectations, thus it was as bad as she expected)


Nothing in the Basic or Intermediate Dictionaries of Grammar, but I think its interpretation is straight forward.


If it’s a lie, then


as a lie

その嘘 を暴かなければ腹の虫がおさまらない。

they had better disclose it (or I won’t be able to contain my anger).

Or something like that.

This was a fun section! I’m really enjoying the book now.

The 幽霊 sequence was really funny. A ghost? Touches ghost. 数”: Yeah you can touch it. The curse was great too. I bet that would be hilarious to see on stage. And the return of つっぷす二美子!

This section ends at 16% on my kindle.


Great reading this week! We got a little bit more action and plot development in contrast to last week’s more slow burning character drama. It was really hard to stop myself from reading further as it seems we’re just on the cusp of finding out just what Fumiko intends to do/get out of replaying her conversation with Gorou now that she knows for sure she can’t stop him from going to the States. I’m not a very patient person when it comes to a good story.

A few impressions (small spoilers for this week’s reading):

  • I like the practice of using kana character shapes to describe facial expressions. This is the second time the book has done it. A への字 shaped mouth, ハの字 shaped eyebrows. It’s both charming and effectively descriptive. I’ve seen this done in other Japanese works before, but the fact that we saw it twice in a short span of pages here made me think about it enough to mention it here.

  • I thought of @omk3 during the ghost section. Given that you’ve confessed to finding Fumiko unlikeable at times, I figured you got a good laugh out of the curse she suffered due to her impatience and naïveté. In fairness, it would be hard to believe that a perfectly ordinary looking and corporeal being is in fact a ghost. But even still, I rolled my eyes a little when she asked AGAIN even after being physically stuck to the ground beyond her control by supernatural power, “is she really a ghost?”.

  • I had fun with the わらしべ長者 reference. I have briefly heard of this story before, but in order to properly understand Fumiko’s metaphor, I read about it in more detail on Wikipedia. It even inspired the lengthy trade sequences found in some of the Zelda games - neat!

  • Given Kazu’s nonchalance at the cafe’s time travel ability as well as its ghostly “regular customer”, I can’t help but wonder about the history of the cafe and the family that runs it. Was the cafe created for the purpose of time travel, or was Nagare just looking to open a cafe and happened upon some incredible enchanted property? Was there a time when Kazu was taken aback by her brother in law’s peculiar business but has since come to take it all for granted? Although these sorts of questions are somewhat inconsequential as far as Fumiko’s story is concerned, I do hope we learn a little more about it as we go on.

  • We got even more tidbits of character development and mystery with Fusagi this week - just add him to the pile of intriguing cast members I’m dying to know more about. Unfortunately, Fumiko is probably the only member of the cast I wouldn’t put in this pile at the moment, but I understand her purpose as a device through which the reader gets to learn about the cafe’s power and limitations.

I’m really enjoying this one so far, and tempted as I am, I’m not going to read ahead just yet. The cozy atmosphere of the book is begging me to slow down and take it in a bit at a time, so I’m going to do my best to do just that. Also - sorry for the lengthy post! :sweat_smile:


This part was where it finally felt that things were beginning to happen. The book reading woman being a ghost was an unexpected revelation.

I’m super curious about everyone’s backstories. It’s funny how the main character (in this part only?) is the most uninteresting of all, but that may have to do with us getting to read about every little thought of hers, whereas most of the other characters, Gorou (to a lesser extent) included, are wrapped in mystery.

As to Fumiko’s actions here, yes, it was certainly fun to see her briefly cursed by the ghost, although her whining internal monologue only grew more intense because of that. I still wonder how she can be an accomplished career woman when she is so impulsive, and even downright rude. Do manners go out the window when you’re dealing with a ghost? Who would drag someone out of their seat? She got away lightly with only a brief curse.

More mild plot spoilers: Fusagi is a mystery even greater than the ghost it seems. What’s up with him? Why do they treat him with kid gloves? Who exactly is this Kootake person? Also very interested in Kazu. When we first read that she was working at the cafe as a side job while studying, I thought she might not even be aware of the cafe’s special qualities, but of course that couldn’t be the case. Is it something about the Nagare family (with all their names filled with innuendo) that allows time travel? Or something about the spot where the cafe itself is located ? We may never know the mechanics of it.


I kinda think she’s been put through such an emotional roller coaster at this point that she’s almost past caring. And remember, she doesn’t believe that it’s a ghost - she can touch her, after all, and she has legs.

Goro left. But she can time-travel! But the rules state she can’t change anything. But still, it’s time travel! But there’s a regular live human woman sitting in the seat who’s just ignoring her - it’s probably a scam, and this woman is helping to maintain it. Sort of thing.

Tokita family. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Oops, yes, I suppose I thought of Nagare as the head of that family or something. :sweat_smile:

As for Fumiko, yeah, I get her emotional turmoil, I suppose. Up to a point. She just rubs me the wrong way. :roll_eyes:


Here’s a question. What’s up exactly with this word:

幸薄い (seems to be read さちうすい)

Context sentence from reading: ワンピースの女は、透きとおるような白い肌に、それとは対照的な長く黒い髪の幸薄そうな印象の女だった。

Is it slang? I tried three different dictionaries with no luck (Jisho, Weblio, and the 三国). Its meaning is basically obvious from its component kanji, and I was able to find a few different articles describing its use (if I had to translate it, I’d probably go with something like gloomy or melancholic), but I’m just curious where the word comes from. Anyone seen it elsewhere?

Edit: Just added some extra info.


Google coughed up this:

There’s even a section about a third of the way down explaining what it means for a woman to have a 幸薄い顔.


This gave me the hardest time, until I just gave up on it. It didn’t help at all that the iPad’s dictionary only gave “japanese pampas grass” as a meaning for 薄. :face_with_monocle:

Very enlightening, thanks. I checked all available dictionaries I could think of, never thought to just ask Google. The book’s English translation goes like this, by the way: “She was a woman who gave the impression that fortune had passed her by.” Not sure it’s entirely accurate, but I don’t know how it could be phrased better either.


Hi everyone, the topic for Week 4 reading is created, please join the fun here: Week 4