Friday, May 30, 2008

Those Halcyon Days


Do you ever find yourself yearning for a simpler time? Well, perhaps not a simpler time, but at least one that was a while ago? Then, when you get some more information about it, you think you just want the Disneyland version of it? Whenever I get bored, say like the past little bit when I've been here in my hotel room with my very tired little girl sleeping and naught but my laptop to keep me company, I surf my sites, then hope that i can think of something I'd like to learn about by visiting Wikipedia, which I then hope is true. Usually it ends up with me looking up cities and/or train stations and/or businesses from Japan. That's when I turn to my good friends at Google Earth, swing over to Japan and start playing the utterly contemptible Way We Were by Barbara Streisand. Since I lived there for a good 2 years as an actual semi-citizen (not just a guy on an army base or anything) doing missionary work, I think back through a rose colored brain and remember how great it was. However, I looked back at some things I wrote and that reminded me just how lousy some days were. It's exceedingly tough to reconcile those two things - how much you like and would love to go back and have some of those experiences again and how much you hated being kekkoed and having an idiot for a companion. (After all, who other than an idiot would take your 1000 yen and give you back a week of breakfast that consisted of cracked wheat cereal that was already there for 3 days, curry for 1 day, one egg sandwich for 2 days, and the pièce de résistance, 3 pieces of cinnamon toast for 1 day?)

4 comments:

Michael Brady said...

This post was nice 'n all, but I've a hankering for some more prophecies. Bust out the divining rods, Sorro!

Cheeth said...

You are referring to nostesia.

It is the same thing that makes Japan look back fondly on the Showa Era. You know, the glory days when kids respected their elders, people appreciated the value of a yen, and were thankful for good meals. They always neglect to mention that the respect was leftover from education performed by an oppressive military regime, appreciation of money was because of war-ravaged coffers, and thankfulness for food was because of near-starvation.

As for your 1,000 yen problem, I am proud to say that communal breakfast never remained by the time I left an apartment. It was a barbaric practice.

Michael Brady said...

Yeah, I've got to say that while the kekkos and the "nobody is home" messages from rusu pseudo-occupants molested my feng shui, or wa if you will, I would have to say what irked me most about the mission was either "Downtown" and his condescending journal entry blasting other missionaries, myself included, which he read aloud in district meeting, or the fact that there are some ward members who are so about propriety that an entire ward dies.

If there was a Big Fuji in every area, the sen-en dilemma would have produced bounteous breakfasts, whether you threw your money into a pot or not.

I would serve a mission in Japan again, no doubt.

Sorro said...

Cheeth,
You were extremely proud of the fact that you killed community breakfast in each and every one of your areas, and in our instance, I'm certainly glad you did because I can still remember G storming around the apartment muttering "three pieces of cinnamon toast!" as he slammed the fridge door, tossed the dishes in the sink, slapped his BOM down on the desk, and generally acted more annoyed than anyone I had seen in a while. Wow, that was a beast of a sentence. My 10 bucks was of much greater use in a non-communal setting with Johns at the breakfast helm.
Mike, I forgot about the nobody is home message. That's right, and downright hilarious. You'll have to post some memories of Downtown's journal entry, because I can't remember it at the moment. The thing about the 1000 yen dilemma was that it wasn't one. We had a Big-A that was dirt cheap. While it can never be proven; G, Heaton, and I think that most of our combined 3000 yen went into the "provide bread for Johns" fund. Seriously, when he shopped he bought 10-12 loaves a week. It was crazy.
I would also go back in a heartbeat, but only as a couple missionary. My wife knows and accepts this as long as I'm willing to spend equal time doing a German one too. That's a condition I'm more than willing to accept. I think what she wouldn't like is a vacation to Japan where we go grab an old mamachati from one of the ekis and go nuts riding around all the little side parts of Tokyo and surrounding environs. Yeah, that would never fly.