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Monday, July 27, 2015

Noboko And Andrew: Climb Every Mountain

You might think that the trip back from Japan to Canada would be the worst 15 or so hours of my life, considering it appears as though my relationship with Noboko is not going to work out.

How does that effing happen?! Sorry for yelling… apparently just thinking about it makes me angry… which is why it has been a chore to complete the diary.

How do two people in love - in the very late 20th century (it was/is 1993) - who are both very strong-willed individuals NOT get together and live happily ever after.

Despite her reluctance to continue pushing her father for approval, I have not willingly given up on anything in the past four years of my life.

I have to admit that before that I was a slug, who probably never gave anything his all… and somehow got a university degree in political science and a college whatever in journalism.

I've coached soccer, taught piano and keyboard. I worked as an intern on a newspaper program for Canada's best or certainly most popular newspaper. I've spent three years teaching English to Japanese junior high school. I lived. I survived Japan.

I arrived a virgin who had never lived on his own, cooked a meal, shopped for clothing or food, did laundry or even how to sew on a button.

I leave having performed all of the above deeds multiple times. Let's just say I was in the 30s for screwing around with different women.

I also was a chili con carne chef, could make lasagna from semi-scratch, and could cook a mean set of eggs, bacon and beans. Those three meals were my "western" foods that I would make - the first two helping keep fellow westerners happy.

The chili was something I made whenever I had a date… but considering its gaseous properties… maybe I should have rethought that meal deal.

So… the flight home… I'll be honest… I don't recall much of it… I do know I was staring out the window (I always get a window seat where possible), looking down… catching that last glimpse of Japan… wondering what Noboko was doing now… probably getting hit on by some dweeby Japanese guy…. I'll tell you about some day soon….

But there… outside my window… what the hell is that? No… it can't be… it doesn't exist… there's no such varmint… it can't be, can it… is that really…

Mount Fuji-san.


So it DOES really exist. Regular readers will know that it was always hidden to me by adverse weather conditions whenever I tried to spy it - even when I was at the supposed foot of the damn thing. And now...

It shows its ugly head as soon as I pretty much clear Japanese air space.

But… like some shaky footage of a sasquatch… I pull out my camera from my carry-on (too valuable to put in the suitcase), and snap the photo… just as my film runs out…

In my mind, my first thought was that Japan was saying sorry for always playing that horrible trick on me by hiding Mt. Fuji to the weather… and maybe even saying sorry for making Noboko's father such a stubborn dick…

… and then I thought… no… this is a sign… a mystical sign… that I should not let go of Noboko… that eventually good things come to those who wait… no, wait… persevere…

I arrive back in Toronto… my father is there to pick me up, much like he had been to drag my scared butt to the airport back in July of 1990.

My mother was out of the hospital… and when she saw my face… that I wasn't bubbling over to tell her everything… she didn't need to ask… except:

"Are you giving up?"


Andrew Joseph
PS: Today, July 27, 2015 is the 25th anniversary of my arrival in Japan.