As I have lived in this country for 16 years (plus a few months), I thought that nothing would surprise me anymore. When I first got here, I was surprised / shocked / amazed / intrigued sometimes many times a day. So much of this strange and wonderful culture was (is) just so different and once I got over the feeling that I absolutely hated being here (long story...another time...maybe), I could go out and experience what this beautiful city and her people had to offer.
But, now....16 years later...eh?...not so much is new...this is my "home" now (until that lottery comes in and then it's "sayonara" and color my ass in Hawaii!!)....things just go on, without much excitement or "wowness".
That has been altered...just a bit.
A few months ago, at the daycare that my youngest goes to, I noticed a bag that was hanging with all the others for the parents of the "baby" group to carry their things back and forth. It was a beautiful bag....Hawaiian quilted design with a pineapple on it. Okay...I'll be honest...I pretty much lust for anything "Hawaiian" these days.
I asked one of the teachers about it because I was interested in buying one. "No", she said, "probably not for sale. The little girl's grandma made it."
Well....phooey.....with one last yearning glance at the bag before I left, I sadly went to find my little one to take him home.
About a week later...as I was arriving, once again to pick up youngest child, I met a young mother with a little girl and the mom was carrying THE bag. I politely greeted her and I oohed and awed over her little girl....then I asked about the bag. Yes, her mother-in-law had made it....no, you probably couldn't buy one....thank you for the nice compliment....byebye. And she left, taking the darling little girl and her beautiful bag with her.
Fast forward to the Christmas Pageant (it's a Protestant daycare!!). Before the show was to start, I see the young mother headed my way. She is carrying a shopping bag and she hands it to me saying that it was for me. I opened the bag and I saw this.....
She explained that she passed my compliments on to her mother-in-law....and in return, she had made me one, too.
Now...for those who know me know that there are very few times in my life when I am speechless....this was one of them. I tried to tell her (in babbling Japanese, I'm so sure!!!) that I didn't even have the words in English as to how I felt. And...to make matters just a bit more interesting (and I'm blaming it on the whole Christmas season stuff), I have to admit that I did get a bit emotional. The poor girl really didn't know what to do with me then!!! :-D So....I got myself together, bowed as deeply as I could and thanked her the best way I knew how.
It just made me realize that even though I think that my life is just "same s**t, different day" sometimes....someone can always surprise me and make the day extra special!!!
(If you were here with me, I'd be putting my wrist up under your nose!!)
Speaking of nice surprises... this one is NOT from a stranger, but from one of my very nice and wonderful students. She went on a holiday in December and visited a few countries in Europe and as most Japanese do, she brought me back "omiyage" (a souvenir). .........a bottle of perfume...a very nice, and probably expensive bottle of perfume!!!
I can honestly tell you that I have never owned a "brand name" perfume...tearing out the perfume ads from Cosmo and rubbing them all over my body does NOT count, I'm pretty sure. Was a bit leery about this....Chanel can be a bit intimidating....but, I have to admit....I think I like it!! The description of it says,
" This superior fragrance contains citron, rose, jasmine and is accented with honeysuckle, vanilla and oakmoss making Allure perfect for passionate use. "
*Note to self: find some passion. :-D
Now, I can tell you right now that I'm not one for wearing "perfumes" or "colognes". In high school, my mom will tell you that I used to "bathe in that damn musk."...but I think she exaggerates. I was more of a Love's Baby Soft kind of girl.....and then later, I graduated to vanilla.
I may not wear it everyday....but it'll be nice to have for special occasions.
*Note to self: find some "special occasions"
So....a big thank you...arrigato...gracias...mahalo...to my student. The perfume was a wonderful surprise and won't go to my hips like the chocolate she gave everyone else would!!
You all have yourself a great day....may a surprise or two come your way!!!