I’m not sure if this is even truly a H.C.A. story as the commenter said, but it made me LMAO. I will be thinking about it all day, and probably recounting it a few times…
There was once a story Christian Andersen about a blue bird flying south It was late in the year and the bird froze and fell to the ground lifeless. A cow walked by and dumped on the little fellow . The oozy warmth revived the bird who with joy in his heart started to sing.A farm cat who was nearby heard this singing and stealthily traced it to the bird - Pulled it out and ate it. The moral of the story is not everyone who dumps on you is your enemy and not every one who pulls you out of #$%$ is your friend.
A couple posts back I reposted the guy telling rock, paper and scissors to STOP FIGHTING. I like that one because, though of course I knew of janken (as it is called in Japan) before I got to Japan, I’ve never been in a place where it is such a big deal. It decides everything around here. We decide teams in sports using it. I’ve seen strangers in bank lines use it to decide order. I wonder if a day goes by when something in my life doesn’t get decided by this infallible trio. Definitely not a week.
I worked for a while with a food program that the YMCA was doing for homeless guys in downtown Nagoya. I remember being amazed that even among the guys on the street, janken is the rule of law. Whenever there was leftover food the guys who wanted it gathered together and peacefully shook fists until all was decided. And what blew me away every time was that the decisions stuck. No disputes once Judge Janken has ruled, no matter what part of society you’re from.
I used to work a similar job in Winnipeg’s North End. I think that is what left me so shocked at the peace and order of the whole thing. The thought of everybody sticking to a decision based on rock, paper, scissors? I think a knife fight would have been more likely.
Wow. The countdown to leaving Japan is really on now. A couple months. And then a decade of life in Japan is done. I think I am just completing the excitement-about-going-home phase. Now I find myself having a lot of thoughts that would be more the think-I’m-gonna-miss-this-place variety.
I keep daydreaming my way through memories of the past ten years, so it seems that maybe I should record them here. I’ll regret it if I don’t.
When we arrived, it was with a little blond-headed chipmunk who wasn’t quite two yet. As we leave, we leave with another little guy that is almost a carbon copy. And almost the same age. Jojo will be 2 and half when we depart.
I thought of this because the other day as we were sitting at a train crossing, Jojo calls from the back seat, “train cubbin’!” And it reminded me that this was exactly what Simon used to say when he was first encountering trains, and with exactly that same tendency to turn m’s into b’s.
They aren’t too many passenger trains in Canada. No more pointing out the different kinds of trains that provide so much entertainment for three little boys. No more Shinkansen.