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Wait...I Thought You Were Bisexual

When I taught ESL in a college in Japan, I worked with a handsome Japanese professor who really surprised me at lunch one day. He smiled and said “I’m Ba’Hai” and I heard “I’m bi.”

I was shocked. “Oh” I said, managing a smile. Now, I assumed that he was confiding in me because I was a foreigner. Japanese often confide in foreigners things that they would never tell another Japanese person. Then he invited me to a pot-luck dinner that he and his wife were throwing and said that everyone there would be Ba’Hai. And I thought, ‘have I just been invited to a swingers party? “What should I bring?” “Well, we’re all vegetarian, so something like that.” I made vegetarian lasagna, placed it on the passenger seat of my car and drove the one hour to the bisexual vegetarian Japanese potluck dinner. When I walked inside there were children running everywhere: bisexual vegetarian Japanese children. I swear to you that’s what I thought I was looking at. Then I rounded the corner into the living room and there were adults sitting on the floor playing a parlor game. It was about 10 minutes later that I learned that Ba’Hai was a religion. That I had never heard of. Suddenly I longed for them all to be bisexual vegetarian Japanese. But they weren’t. They were very nice and no one tried to convert me. I think they asked about my religion and I had to pretend to be knowledgeable.


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