Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.371

Right before I moved in this small town, a cool Western style restaurant had opened near my new apartment. It has become my favorite place right away, as there are only few Western style restaurants around the town. Until this summer, it offered an all-you-can-eat buffet. But now it has been ordered a la carte and closed between lunchtime and dinnertime. Because I have a jinx that my favorite place is almost always destined to close down, I’ve been feeling anxious about the future of that restaurant. I went there for lunch yesterday and found they had replaced the menu book with a printed sheet of paper. A list of the menu had decreased to a quarter of the previous one. The number of the employees had been also drastically reduced and a chef was bringing the food to the tables and clearing them. The showcase that used to have lots of pieces of a variety of cakes was empty. Since I really like this restaurant, I do hope it will survive. But an ominous sign is that it’s already my favorite place. As long as I like that restaurant, there is a high probability that it will also close down like many other favorite places of mine…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.370

The other day, I happened to have an unpleasant need to call my parents. Since we don’t get along well, the last time we spoke was when my mother called me to see if I was all right after the Japan’s earthquake in March. Whenever she speaks with me, she brags about my younger sister at great length. My sister has drifted from one job to another all her life while I’m a musician all my life. Even so, my mother is extremely proud of my sister who she considers a member of society, whereas she considers me an outsider and has kept denying my way of life. In our latest telephone conversation, she mentioned that my sister had moved out my parents’ house for her new job and lived near my place when the earthquake occurred. According to her, my sister got injured and stayed at a shelter. I had thought I was the only one in the family who suffered from the earthquake because my parents’ house was far from the seismic center and I didn’t know my sister had moved to the region where I lived. My astonishment was, that my mother hadn’t told me all about this until now although we spoke right after the earthquake. For some reason, she had kept it in secret for her benefit. Whatever the benefit might be, she kept me from helping my sister on purpose by concealing that my sister lived close to me. I’ve known her useless secrets and schemes, but this time I was amazed what a monster she had become…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.369

Until I moved in this small highland town in the mountains, I’d forgotten about enjoying beautiful colors of autumn leaves. The leaves of trees around my apartment have been turning yellow and orange. As its peak seemed near, I decided to go up to a mountain park nearby. It took me too long to prepare to go out and I consequently missed the bus. The next available transportation was a train. When I went outside of the building, it was chillier than I’d expected, and I went back in to change my jacket to a heavier one. By the time I went out again, there was little time to catch the train, and I had to scurry to the station. It made me sweat and changing a jacket futile. I was already hungry when I got off the train and walked to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch. From the outside, I saw a kid in the restaurant, which meant I couldn’t go in as I have kid-phobia. I changed my plan to have lunch at the restaurant inside the mountain park. Because I was starving, I wanted to get there as soon as possible and scurried again to the cable car station to catch the earliest available cable car. It had just departed when I arrived at the station sweating all over. To the next departure, I was eating free samples of food and sweets at the shop in the station. I finally had lunch at the park and the view from the restaurant was absolutely breathtaking. Autumn leaves were woven through the mountains, from the front of the window into the distance. Beneath the window was a blanket of cosmos flowers. My hectic chases of a bus, a train and a cable car seemed to pay off. When I was leaving, the cashier couldn’t handle the cash register well and started to grapple with it. During her repeated unsuccessful attempts, the departure time of a cable car to go down the mountain was getting closer. I handed the exact amount of money not to receive the change and asked her to let me leave. I barely made it. Even on a day off, I was pushed for time all day…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.368

For the first time in six months since I moved in a new town surrounded by the mountains, I’m going to get out of the town by going down the mountains to the city. I’m going on a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort and my hometown next month. After precise planning, I made a reservation for a hotel and trains online yesterday. I found myself lucky when I saw some online special discount packages just released on the same day. The package included a hotel stay and a round-trip train ticket, which was cheaper than the list price of the train ticket. That meant a high-class hotel stay would be completely free. I jumped to the offer, filled out the application form and clicked a submit button. The web site showed an error message saying it was already sold out. When I got back to the package list page, the one I had chosen turned into an unavailable sign. It seemed sold out while I was filling out the form. I chose the second-cheapest package among the available ones, filled out the form and submitted. The result was again that it had been sold out. I repeated this for five or six times and still couldn’t make it. Each time, by the time I clicked a submit button, the item had been snatched. Was everyone online all at once making a reservation at this particular web site, for the same destination and date? Could it be possible? Or, was the application system simply gone down? While suspicion took hold of me, my online reservation had become a fierce battle of speed. Finally, I successfully made it with a less discounted package. Although it was still a great discount, I felt like I made a loss after seeing the bigger discount items…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.367

The high school I attended held a team event competition on a field day. Ten students from each class formed a team and put together an event. The team that won the competition would get a trophy. When I was a sophomore, I was a team leader of a costume dance parade on a field day. I planned and directed the show of 50 students, which featured music and characters from foreign movies. For two months, I’d prepared the costumes, choreographed the dance, and practiced with other members. In hindsight, it was a puerile silly show, but our team won the competition that year. As a team leader, I couldn’t help anticipating great gratitude from the team members. A trophy was to be handed after all events of a field day were over. I did some small after-event work in a tent beside the field when a teacher handed a trophy to our team. Although it had been always handed to a team leader in school history, one of our team members received it in place of me and the commemorative photo of the whole team was taken without me. Everything happened in mere five minutes while I was inside a tent. When I was back in the field, the team had been dismissed and the trophy had been moved to a school building. I got furious. I shouted at the team members ‘Why didn’t you wait for me?’ over and over. They seemed to realize my absence right then and made lame excuses such as they looked for me but couldn’t find me, and so on. I received great contempt instead of gratitude. None of them had an ounce of respect for me. I didn’t even touch or see the trophy. In the yearbook, I wasn’t in the picture of the glorious team as if I weren’t in the team let alone the team leader. I still can’t breathe for fury remembering that field day…

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