Retai taip būna, kad skaitant straipsnį atvimpa burna ir negali patikėti tuo, kas ten rašoma. Bet šis New Yorker straipsnis apie Japonijoje populiarią giminaičių nuomos paslaugą buvo būtent toks.
Nishida contacted Family Romance and placed an order for a wife and a daughter to join him for dinner. On the order form, he noted his daughter’s age, and his wife’s physique: five feet tall and a little plump. The cost was forty thousand yen, about three hundred and seventy dollars. The first meeting took place at a café. The rental daughter was more fashionable than Nishida’s real daughter—he used the English word “sharp”—but the wife immediately impressed him as “an ordinary, generic middle-aged woman.” He added, “Unlike, for example, Ms. Matsumoto”—he nodded toward my interpreter, Chie Matsumoto—“who might look like a career woman.” Chie, a journalist, teacher, and activist, who has spiky salt-and-pepper hair and wears plastic-framed glasses, laughed as she translated this qualification.
The wife asked Nishida for details about how she and the daughter should act. Nishida demonstrated the characteristic toss of the head with which his late wife had rearranged her hair, and his daughter’s playful way of poking him in the ribs. Then the women started acting. The rental wife called him Kazu, just as his real wife had, and tossed her head to shake back her hair. The rental daughter playfully poked him in the ribs. An observer would have taken them for a real family.
Ir čia tik pradžia. Visas dešimties puslapių straipsnis kėlė itin didelį kultūrinį šoką: tikrai taip būna?! Tikrai jiems tai normalu?! Keisčiausia, kad paskutinėse pastraipose autorė sugeba beveik įtikinti, jog čia gal mūsų požiūris yra keistas, o ne šių japonų. Juk naudojamės psichologo arba masažistės paslaugomis ir tame nematome nieko keisto. Tad gal neturėtume stebėtis tuo, kad galima išsinuomoti dukrą, žmoną ar tėvus?