Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.390

In the region I moved in, it stops snowing every three or four days and we have a fine day. On a day like that, I put on rubber boots and walk for twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store for shopping. Between the shoveled snow walls that stand higher than my own height, there’s a narrow path leading to the store. I walk through it looking up and down busily, not to slip and not to take a blow from a lump of snow dropping off the tree. Long icicles are hanging under the eaves of houses and every time I see them, I can hear the game-over sound effects for Mario Brothers in my head. Although I’ve been living in the snow for over a month now, the beauty of the sight still takes my breath away. The snow-covered distant mountains, trees and ground all make me feel like I’m in heaven. It takes only a few minutes to sweat when walking on a snowy path. It’s twice as hard as walking on a normal road. After I finally arrive at the grocery store, I usually check the deli counter. Foods of better quality and larger quantity than the ones in the city sell at the same price as the city’s. Because I get them by an irresistible urge, my large new freezer I’d bought for life in here is already full. My habit of getting more food than I can consume doesn’t change wherever I live…

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.389

During the New Year’s holidays, Japan is crammed with people everywhere. The small mountainous town I live in is no exception. Tourists flood into this usually quiet town for numerous skiing grounds and hot springs. Where it’s crowded, people’s manners get even worse for some reason. The worst is a family with a child that is my natural enemy. They resolutely ruin my relaxing holidays with crazed shrieks and barbarous behavior. The only way for me to have peaceful holidays is to hide out in my apartment and wait for the New Year’s holidays to be over. Ironically, my apartment building is used as a country house for most residents and is packed with people from the city during the holidays. Parents and kids are bawling and squalling at the parking lot and screaming and diving in the communal spa, with no holds barred. I’ve endured the similar situation in summer when they got the summer holidays, but the New Year holidays turned out to be much worse with more families staying. I’m close to regain tranquillity I cherish here, as the holidays are almost over and schools and offices are beginning. Sadly, my holidays are also over at the same time…

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Sunrise / 88th Planet [002]

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.388

The first dream of the year is quite a big deal in Japan. It’s believed that the dream they have in the night of New Year’s Day tells what the new year will turn out to be for them. It’s commonly said there are three items that bode well if they appear in a dream; Mt. Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant. Japanese people get the holidays between the end of December and the beginning of January, and what they saw in their first dream is often brought up in friendly conversation when the holidays are over. I feel pressured every year to have an auspicious dream because it likely decides my new year’s fortunes. In my dream of the night of New Year’s Day, I was standing by a pond, flanked by two strangers. The pond had filthy dark green water with dirty algae floating. The strangers on both sides of me looked degenerate and had wicked smiles. They asked me, “Are you one of us?” I hesitated, considered my answer carefully, and said, “Yes.” They exulted and forced me into the pond by gripping my arms. I was submerged up to my neck in foul water with them. That was my first dream of this year. No matter how hard I try, I can’t interpret this dream as a good omen for the new year…

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