Haven’t been at home much today. I went with a good friend to a big pottery/porcelain festival downtown… one which is held every year for a period of five days.
It was nice to see many familiar faces, shop owners that we’ve bought dishes from. (A couple of my friends and I are trying to start up a side business, so we go to these festivals on a regular basis.) The whole group of us wasn’t together today because of conflicting schedules and the vendors we know all seemed to ask about it.
There are times when I wish that I was Japanese… a thought which has passed through my mind my whole life! But there have been advantages and positives to looking like I do and being a “gaijin” or a foreigner. And when you’re meeting important people whom you want to make an impression on, it’s not a bad thing to be a gaijin! 🙂
Anyway, getting to the point of today’s title…
My friend and I visited every vendor today and I think there were about 250 vendors from all over the country. (Most were from Fukuoka Prefecture and other parts of Kyushu.) As we were getting to the last ones, we stopped in front of one place, admiring the pottery which was quite appealing to the eye, yet very simple. The seller was from Kumamoto Prefecture, which is about a 2-hour drive south of here (Fukuoka). He began to explain the area where he lives and that the poster of the pre-fab wall was a picture of his living room… it showed a wood-burning stove and comfortable looking furniture.
I got excited and told him the same exact stove was in the house where I grew up. He asked where I grew up.
“I actually grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture.”
“Really? I used to live there, too. In Yamato City.”
“Which part of Yamato City?!” (I was really excited at this point.)
“In an area called Minami Rinkan.”
“THAT’S WHERE I GREW UP!!”
You see, that’s like running into someone who grew up and lived not only in Seattle, but in the same apartment complex on the north side of UW near the local Safeway and Ivar’s!!
He and I knew the same stores and restaurants. He explained where he lived (rented one of the houses usually rented out to military families) and I knew exactly where it was. It was completely wild!!
The world is a small place! It truly is! Yes, all these social networks and the Internet have brought everyone even closer together, but even without these things, we find ourselves in various places and different situations, meeting people in airports, standing in line at the post office, walking from ride to ride at the amusement parks… and when we strike up a conversation with others, one might be very surprised. It’s not impossible to run into someone who has a very close connection to our own pasts.
Isn’t that cool? 🙂
Here’s to all those who grew up in Minami Rinkan… may we all run into one another one of these days! 🙂