Saturday, April 3, 2010
A Place I Called "Home"
This is a story when I had my journey to Japan. It was so amazing and has changed my life. In this note, I have a tribute to my host family, Takizawa Hiroshi and wife for all the time, laugh, moments, and chance I had with them.
First off, I'd like to share little bit about my self. I was grown up in a family where my father was very busy traveling to many places to earn money for us and my mother quite busy to raise me and my brothers up. As the eldest in the family, I must be an example for my brothers and impossible to be spoiled. It made sense to me and don't mind about those. Quite often I spoil my brothers because I love them so much.
When I was getting older and older, I became very busy with my study and any extracurricular activities so I became very rare at home. But at that time my father became less busy. In my life I spent very little time with my father. Our quality time only at dinner table.
As a child, I always wanted to experience close relationship with my parents and being spoiled, just like many other children in this world. The situation was different. Even though, it made me a tough person.
It was my very first day I arrived in Narita, Japan. I didn't know how did I feel. I thought I was dreaming. At the airport, I must find my host father and I kinda forgot his face since the last time we met was on 2003. But I easily got him because he held small banner where my name was written on it.
"Ohayo gozaimase, watashiwa Euthalia desu." said I while shaking his hand. He smiled at me and led me to the parking lot. On the way he asked to bring my luggage, but I said no. He insisted so I let it be.
He looked so old now with his 71 years old age. I was wondering how could he drove me home. Then we arrived in front of his car and I was surprised that he had a sport car. On the way to home, again I was so surprised that he drove like a young man. I didn't expect he could drive like that. I came to a conclusion, he is still very healthy. Thank God.The weather at that time around 7 C. For tropical people like me it's like entering a refrigerator but he got me a coat with cap and gloves.
Finally we arrived and from the house my host mother welcomed me and said that I was much taller and bigger and also resembled with my father. She's didn't look much older than last time we met. But to be honest this couple look very healthy and happy. Btw, this couple only had one mobile phone, simple one. Really, they maximized the function rather than the hedonism lifestyle.
At home, they prepared my room with futon, mattress,and heater together. Wow, I was amazed. Very rare happens in Indonesia where couple do things together. Most often the wife becomes a maid for her husband. Then we went out for shopping for our dinner. They really cooperative in determining what to buy and not. They also suggested me to have new pants and shoes. But again I refused it.
To be honest from my first day, I could see this couple were amazing couple. I could sense that they do love one and another and very happily live together. At night while dinner we talked quite a lot. I really enjoyed that house. The house was very warm, I didn't understand was it because the heater or their love. Btw, my host father told me that he had a daughter but she died when she was 20 years old. It was 23 years ago. I never knew that before.
I woke up that morning and still could believe that I was in Japan. I was ready for bathing and breakfast. My host mother already woke up and kinda busy in the kitchen. After bathing, we sat down together and had breakfast. My host father really was a good host. He even prepared my meal and made coffee for me. I did feel awkward because in Indonesia whenever I stayed in someone house, usually I'll prepare their meal. But it was different. That day we went to Kamakura, the ancient metropolis. It was wonderful place. There's a lot beautiful temples and shrines. I must admit it was amazing place.
Third until seventh days I had such great time in Japan, from Fujisawa to Shibuya, Harajuku to Akihabara, Hakone to Odawara, Yugawara to Chiba. Many trips were only me and my host father. We spent time together and I began to know him deeper. We shared about our lives, what had happened to both of us, our dreams, and our experienced.
There's lot of things that I found in my host father personality. He is humorist, caring, well managed, and simple. There were so many things that made me amazed of him.
When we walked down the street from or to railway station, he often offered himself to carry my coat, gloves, cap, and even my bag. In fact my bag is a girly bag.
He didn't mind to get my drink and remember what's my favorite.
He also asked me if I felt warm or cold, my shoes comfort or not, hungry or full, or if I want to go to toilet. He even wanted to know if I had enough money or not and gave me some money.
There were many moments that really unforgettable. Once we went to Tokyo and had one day tour. Because of the tight schedule so we must had lunch in the bus. So, from home my host mother prepared a bento for us. In the midst of the trip, we ate together from the same lunch box and enjoyed together. Really, for me that was a precious moment. I never had the same thing with my father. I didn't know why. Maybe it's because our indonesian culture, where father are very rare close to their daughter. While the trip, he explained to me about many historical things in Tokyo. I admit that he is a genius.
In other day, we went to Yokohama and again at this time our schedule also quite tight. We went to china town in Yokohama. To save the time, we bought 2 bakpaos from the hawker. We walked down and finally found rest in the open air area where many people sat and resting. He suggested to divide each bakpaos into 2, because one filled with meat and the other with bean so we could enjoy both tastes. We sat and enjoy our bakpaos together watching people had fun with their own things. It was awesome for me. Again, I never had such a experience like that. To tell you the truth, I never walked around some places just with my dad. But that time was very different. I did enjoy it in my self. Instead the beauty of Japan it self,I really enjoyed my fellowship with my host father where I could find my self as a child with her father. At that time, that was my last time walking around Japan with him because in the evening I would be picked up by Miyashita family, friends of my father. I was so sad when I must leave him,
Another day with Miyashita family. In the sense, this family had different typicality. However, my host parents still were the best. That night I was crying in my room before I went to sleep. I did miss my room and my host family. They were really nice to me. Usually every night, I said 'oyasumi nasaii' to my host parents and they would reply it.
Well, I also like whenever my host father smiled at me. Everytime I woke up from my nap, after bathing, after meal, and everywhere. There's something that I couldn't describe with any words about how I felt whenever I had fellowship with my host parents.
In the morning, very early, I went to Tokyo Disneyland with Miyashita family. The weather was cold and rainy, I got coat from them. But I didn't expect to be that cold. Time rolled by and I realized that my coats and shoes were wet. I felt so cold and wet. I missed my host father badly because when we together, he often asked about how did I fell. In my side, I didn't fell hesitant to tell him about my feeling. I didn't enjoy Tokyo Disneyland that much instead of many attraction were in Japanese.
At the evening, I was sent to Zengyo station where my host father would pick me up. Really.. I couldn't wait to met him. Finally we arrived and my host father came with my host brother. I was so happy.
Inside the car, they asked me how was the trip. I told them how I felt including my wet shoes.
So we arrived at home and my host father suggested me to pack my stuff and take a bath that night because the day after that would be my flight to leave Japan. I finally told to my host father that I felt like at home not in foreign country and have a family here. He was quite and still for awhile then he said "in the sense, you have lived our late daughter". Oh gosh, I didn't know what to say. I was so shock. I never knew that he had that chemistry. For me he's like m father. And for him, I was a daughter.
I did what he told me and I took a bath that night. I was so silly, but while bathing I couldn't resist my tears. I didn't know why but I felt like I didn't wanna leave this family. I already found what I had sought; a family, a home, and love in this house .
After I took a bath, I went out and again, I was so surprised I found my wet shoes in front of the heater. I asked him what's happened and why. He just smiled at me and said it was okay to make my shoes dry. I was so touch. I never threatened like that before. Suddenly I remember when I was in school. I often caught in the rain and wet from my bag until my shoes. My parents didn't realized that much and they never dried my wet stuff. Well for me it wasn't a big deal. I knew my parents still love me so much. But this was very different. I couldn't believe what I saw and my feeling was so mixed. How could someone like my host father, who ever being in the highest rank of position in one of the biggest japanese automotive company, had initiative to dry shoes. Shoes, a symbol of humility. I didn't know what make him do so but caring and compassion driven by love.
Then he poke my back softly when I said 'oyasumii nasai'. I saw him smiling at me. I was trying to figure what did his eyes and smile say out. It could be he's gonna miss me or just wishing me a good sleep. I didn't know. only God and him knew.
At night, my last night in Japan.
Again, I didn't know how long I had been crying. But my heart felt very sad to leave my host parents. My heart had been drawn to them. I even thought that I must came back to this country, even just to take care them at their old days.
In the morning, I woke up and wondering how could I hide this feeling from them.
My host mother reminded me to wake up, otherwise I could be late for train. Then I got my self ready and cleaned the room as much as I could. I folded the mattress with the futon also. Then after I was done, I went down and had my last breakfast with them. Like usual, my host father prepared me a cup of coffee.
We had breakfast together. After the meal, I still had sometime then I played the piano in the house. I really enjoyed it. Then we went to train station. My host mother drove us to there. From station, we took train to Narita.
In the station while waiting I sat and trying hard to keep my feeling while my host father listening to the music through his pocket radio. I still tried to keep my tears and suddenly my host father put one of the earphone to my ear so we could enjoy the music together. Oh gosh, I was so shock yet so amazed. Really, I felt that my feeling to him that I had my own father. I believe if I were just a guest for him, he wouldn't do that to me.
Finally the train came and we got in. We sat together at the same row. We still talked lot. How his opinion about my stay in his house. He also told me that his wife really enjoy during my stay. He even said that she would came to visit me if I could work in certain countries. That's really motivating me to achieve that. Once he also told me that he wanted to see me to be someone in the future. Along our journey to Narita, we talked about many things. Even things that I never expected before. He was asking about my boyfriend and we laughed together because I said I was a single.
We arrived at Narita and he were with me untill I was about to get in to the waiting room where only passenger only could get in. He helped me to carry my luggage and check in. Then we sat together inside the airport. He told me that he had traveled to many cities that's displayed in the board inside the airport. Then finally, we must said good bye. We stood, I bowed my head and said 'sayonara, till we meet again'. I also shook his hand. After that, he's gone walking slowly away from me. I only could see his back and I didn't realize that tears were dropping by from my eyes. I felt my eyes so hot, my checked, and my back. I cried and I enter the waiting room.
So, I was in the plane. Seven hours flight from Narita to Kuala Lumpur. I couldn't handle my self. I cried and cried. I didn;t know how many tissues I had spent. I didn't care about another passenger around me and also the flight attendant. I only wanted to cry, to pour up my feelings. That was the longest time I could cry. I knew I was so silly, baka.
I missed them.. I really wanted to be with my host parents. I knew, there where my heart was, and is, and maybe will be.
Arrival at Kuala Lumpur..
I met my father in KL and I shared all my journey in Japan. I thought I must told all the goodness of my house parents. I guess he realized that I already stuck with my host parents.
Now, I came with the conclusion. My host father had tough me many things. From simplicity to humility, from caring to friendliness. He had been an inspiration and motivator for me. I pray that God will grant them with health more than wealth, with strength and joy, happiness and everlasting love.
In this case, I know I have my own parents. However I still love and will be love them always.
This is my life and my experience that something couldn't be bought with money.
I wish, whoever read this note could feel how I felt in the journey and it could inspire them.