Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Still missing Japan

Late this morning I went for my customary walk down to Chinatown and up Harris Street back home, stopping off at a Japanese place for a bowl of noodles for lunch. Once home I did the ironing and then had a short nap. I got up at about 4pm to step up to the computer. And then at some point in the late afternoon I contacted my daughter on Facebook Messenger.

Messenger has changed its layout, moving the service to a dedicated URL and making the interface a bit bigger and brighter. It's not at all an improvement as far as I'm concerned because you need to open a new tab now to use it, so it's less easy to use for me. But at least it works in the same way that it has always done, which is a relief.

I miss my kids terribly after getting back from Japan a week ago. Their lack has replaced the lack of my mother that dominated my life previously. I still remember Adelaide introducing her boyfriend to me one day in Chinatown, Yokohama. We went to a nice restaurant and drank beer while eating our way through the course meal. Courses of food that are modified for the Japanese palate, not like the authentic stuff they served me in the Chinese place in my hotel in Shibuya.

Adelaide and Ryo - for that is his name - took me for a walk around the Yokohama foreshore until we arrived back at a railway station where I could catch a train back to Shibuya. They were courteous and considerate. They chatted easily between themselves. I could feel that they liked each other, which is the most important thing for people their age from my point of view. Later, when Adelaide and her mother and I were sitting around in her flat in northern Yokohama, I asked if she wanted to marry Ryo. She said she had talked about it with Ryo. They had discussed having children. They had discussed Ryo's job. There were a lot of things to talk about.

What was clear however was that my daughter wants me to be part of the process of discussion. She had introduced her boyfriend to me even before introducing him to her mother, after all. She thinks I still have something to contribute.

My son also tells me things about his girlfriend. These children are still looking for guidance and help in their early maturity. It's up to me and my ex-wife to try to deliver the help that they need, when they need it. It's out job, and we are obliged to take it seriously.

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