Killer Roomates

During my last year of college I had a stint of bad roomates. After the first one I swore to myself that I’d make sure and be more careful when choosing future roomates. I was more careful, but no matter what you think, some people are just crazy and all their cracked idiosyncrasies come out in full force when you live with them. One such roomate who wasn’t 100% crazy but very strange was Yoshi.

Yoshi was from Japan and had come to America and the great city of Newberg to study Computer Science. He also came knowing very little English so it is very impressive that he could communicate at all. Yoshi had the thinnest eyes I have ever seen, I don’t know how it was possible for him to see outside of his head. He usually looked like he was walking aroundwith his eyes closed (which would explain a lot) but at times of sloth-like excitement he would open his eyes really wide like that crazy bride-to-be that ran away from her fiance before they could be married.

In general everything Yoshi did was in slow motion. Often it was very annoying but other times it was simply amazing. One of Yoshi’s amazing skills was revealed to me as I was sitting in the local mexican joint tucking into a man-sized meal of beans, rice and other mystery meats. As I shoveled in the food I looked up to see Yoshi with his eyes (seemingly) closed, riding by the window on his bicycle, slower than humanly possible. When I say slower I mean the slowest you’ve ever seen. It would have been a nail-biter of a finish had a geriatric woman with a walker pulled up alongside ol’ Yosh. Not only was it an amazing feat to ride a bicycle so slow, he also did it with zero wobble! It was as if once he mounted the bike he entered a zen like state that allowed him perfect balance on two wheels at 1/16 mph. After time I began to wonder if maybe he didn’t understand the concept of pedaling? I never saw him pedal, yet he often rode his bike back and forth from our apartment to campus. I think maybe once he pushed off from our doorstep and put his feet on the pedals that was all the momentum he needed to carry him down the street. It’s no wonder he always went so slow!

Besides ridin’ slow and low on his bicycle, Yoshi also had an insatiable hunger for pasta. Specifically spaghetti. He could plow through plates of spaghetti faster than an angry farmer on a field of dirt. The problem was, most of the plowing was done with my noodles. At first I didn’t mind so much, because I thought that he was only going to have one plate or two, but when I saw that all but 10 dry noodles were gone, I was a little miffed. I replaced my spaghetti only to find the new package ravaged within a week. This was during a time in my life when I had about $174 in my bank account and no job to add more fundage. I was constantly hungry and one day I finally broke down and spent $14 on my credit card to buy bread, bananas, ramen, peanut butter and a few other items. I felt like a king! So, to have spaghetti constantly end up in my roomate’s belly was vexing. He also liked to top his spaghetti with my spicy ‘cajun mix’, making quick work of the contents but very kindly leaving the empty container in my cupboard. I told Yoshi he was going to have to buy me more noodles and cajun mix. He agreed with a typical 5 second head nod and was off (slowly) towards the store just a few blocks away. A half a day later he returned with more spaghetti to replenish all my stock, but I noticed that he didn’t bother to buy any for himself. He said he couldn’t find the cajun mix so he bought cayenne pepper instead, which I’m pretty sure they would fry you like a catfish in Louisiana if you called cayenne pepper comparable to cajun. Not the same thing. I was annoyed but it really didn’t matter because the very next day I came down to the kitchen to make myself some spaghetti only to discover that Yoshi had eaten nearly all the spaghetti he bought one day earlier! I confronted him and in his mind he was totally justified because he bought it. I tried to explain to him that if you eat someone’s food, and you replace the food, but then eat the replaced food, it doesn’t make everything ‘even Steven’. He didn’t understand who ‘Steven’ was, so I told him Steve is part of the pasta patrol and he says you need to buy more spaghetti! Yoshi did, and before he could break it open, I hid it in my room. He also had nearly the same habits with bananas, except he would actually ask if he could have a banana.

One day I come home from work, to be greeted at the door by Yoshi. Before I could barely get inside he looked at me and said, “oooooh Micah, It ok if I have banana?”
**Side note: Yoshi always addressed me as “ooooooh Micah”, kinda like Mr. Miyagi calling Daniel, ‘Daniel-san’ in Karate Kid. I don’t know if it was a Japanese thing or not, maybe “ooooooh” in Japanese means “asssssshooooooooooole”. Either way it was funny to me and to this day cracks me up. Unless he was cursing me, then big disgrace instead. End Side Note**

I knew there were something like 6 bananas on the counter because one day earlier I had bought them. I didn’t feel like being an a-hole so I told him yes. I went upstairs, changed my clothes and came down to find one banana left sitting on the counter and five banana peels in the garbage. I learned two things at this point. 1. Yoshi had not grasped the idea of singular and plural nouns, or if he had, his Engrish did not convey it. 2. Yoshi’s new schtick was to retro-ask my permission about the banana(s). Soo frustrating.

But at least I stuck it to him in the rent!

Part two coming soon! Tales of Yoshi’s Pajamas, Michael Jordan, Book reports in the toilet and our flea ridden cat Raul. In the meantime if you forgot, or haven’t read it yet, there is another story of Yoshi in my post about towels from Oct. 9th. Check it out~!


  1. Phil said,

    November 16, 2006 @ 10:47 am

    I was at the mexican place when he rode by! Rauuuuuuuuuuuul!

  2. momma said,

    November 16, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Yoshi, I remember him well Micah-san (or at least the stories)

  3. Mego said,

    November 16, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

    funny- now talk about raul

  4. Anthony said,

    November 16, 2006 @ 9:59 pm

    Ok, simply put…..
    That was the best post ever…
    Even though it was rather long, it read like a fairly tale booklet..
    This page turner had me going and I just could not put it down until the very last word..
    Well done I say..
    Jolly good show :)

  5. » Wake me up said,

    June 4, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

    […] brain instantly recognized the voice as my eccentric Japanese roommate, but my body was already en route to destroy him. I de-cocked my arm, tried to put the brakes on […]

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