Brief Encounter with a Maiko

Yesterday morning, getting off the No 5 bus at Sanjo Keihan Station and just before I went down to the subway, I saw a Maiko (apprentice Geisha) in her day clothes. I raised the camera but she was shy so quickly hid behind a pillar. I followed her and asked if she spoke English, she shook her head as ‘no’ so I asked if I could take her photo. The teenager nodded ‘yes’ and said “One” so I positioned her and took two. I didn’t get her name and as she began to move off I said in English, “Thank you”, in Japanese, “Arigato” and in local Kyoto-ben dialect, “Okini” at which point she burst out laughing. She will remember this ‘gaijin’ for that!