Thursday, June 30, 2011

Power To The People

Saturday, August 24, 1991 - second attempt.

I'm still here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan. I'm in my 13th month here. I'm a happy go-lucky person but I've been out of sorts lately... women problems... umpteen guests... lots of demands on my time.

Party-party-party. So many parties, man.... my liver hurts.

Dysentery. Blah.

Did I mention women problems?

Whatever. Today I get up early get some medicine for my gut and then head out for a haircut. Ohtawara is a funny little city. You just never know who you are going to meet.

the pharmacists and the barber are both members of the Ohtawara International Friendship Association and speak decent enough English for me to get what medicines I ned and to get a haircut that won't make me look like Moe from the Three Stooges.

Nakamura Muneo (surname first) is my hairdresser. He's my age - 26 - friendly, reserved, charming and witty. His barber shop is large, well-lit... and I swear it had a copy of a Penthouse magazine there to read while I waited my turn. This place is classy! Nakamura's! Visit and tell them Andrew sent you!

Along with getting my hair washed, cut and styled, blow dried, I got a neck, shoulder and scalp massage. I got shaved - as well as nose hairs plucked, ear hairs mowed back, forehead scrapped, and a hot towel on my face. I got lotions on my face, neck, ears and hair and when he woke me up, I felt like a million bucks.

As Muneo-kun (kun is a title given to boys/chan to girls, and allows you to use the first name in a  fashion that doesn't sound overly formal... as the Japanese call their friends by their last name quite often) puts my hair into a pony-tail, we chat more about his trip to America, having just returned a few days a go after visiting Santa Monica, California, Las Vegas, Nevada and the Grand Canyon - I think it's in Arizona.

Again - I feel great! Energized and ready to take on the world. Or at least my mom who is returning after spending a week traveling around Japan by her self. She's visiting me for a few weeks from Toronto.

I guess because I haven't had any free space or time off to myself in months, I felt a tad grumpy. Okay, I could have killed people. Is that still considered grumpy?

I go home, clean up the apartment a bit and await the return of the all-powerful MOM.

She arrives at 8PM, just as the Malaysian Fashion/Beauty Show is about to start. Oh well... can't win'em all.

We chat as she eats the remainder of some killer chili con carne I mad, and raves about all of the wonderful people she met.

Let's look at that last paragraph for a second. She raved about all of the wonderful people she met. People. Not the sights. People.

That is what she and I would always talk about after this. People.

It struck me so hard, that I have little memory of where exactly she visited. I assume it was Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Osaka and Kyoto.

She met a guy who she wants to match up with my friend (only my friend) Naoko. Naoko is a tough as nails, independent woman who is kinder and nicer than almost anyone I know. She doesn't take any bull crap from me - and that's something I have always appreciated.

It's funny... I know about five or six Japanese women who are tough as nails and independent, and not one of them was interested in sleeping with me (no problem there, but I was available should they have changed their tune) but all of them were having a hard time finding a mate. I think they scared off a lot of the Japanese men who wanted someone more domesticated and docile. That's just a guess, of course.

Anyhow... good luck to that poor bugger my mom wants to introduce! Ha!

What I do recall, however, is that my mom remarked at how often it seems to rain in Japan. Ha! I begin calling her Ame Okasan (Rain Mother) as it seems to rain whenever she travels... just like me, the Ame Otoko (Rain Man)!

I crash at 11:30PM (long after my mom has gone to bed)... but still 11:30PM? I'm exhausted! It must be the dysentery more than anything else. has to be. I haven't done anything else.

Somewhere people watching,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog is by: John Lennon: RIGHTON! I know the song is a revolution song, but it's my salute to the people of Japan who showed my mother a good time, even though she didn't speak any Japanese - none! And she never got lost either. I have no idea how she did or does it!
PS: In the photo above, you can see my mom showing off the kimono she bought.
PPS: In the photo to the right, here's my mom and Naoko together... my mom is proof that a strong, independent woman can get by in the world just fine. My dad did alright for himself.

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