Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.478

on July 27, 2013
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When I lived with my family in my hometown, taking a cab from home caused a commotion every time. There used to be a small lot that my family had inherited from our ancestors three blocks away from our house. A local propane company had rented the lot and used it as a filling station. My family used propane for cooking and our tanks were filled for free as part of the rent. My father would carry the empty tanks on his truck and have them filled at the lot. The station was quite desolate and no one was working there mostly. My father would leave the tanks when no one was around, ask for filling by calling and go get the filled tanks later. We called the lot ‘Propane’. Cabs in Japan ran on propane gas and a local owner-driven cab union also used our ‘Propane’ as its filling station for their cabs. My hometown was in such a remote area that a cab seldom came to pump there. On very rare occasions, we needed to take a cab from home. Since I was little, it had been a mystery to me that my family walked to ‘Propane’ instead of calling a cab by phone. To take a cab, we would walk three blocks and waited for a cab at ‘Propane’ although it might never come. I had asked my parents or my grandparents a hundred times why we wouldn’t call and take a cab from home. Their answers always mystified me: “We have ‘Propane’!” I knew we cooked with free propane, but owning the lot didn’t mean a free cab. We paid for a cab whether we took it from home or from ‘Propane’. Sometimes, we happened to see someone working at ‘Propane’, and once in a while there was a man who recognized us. When a man knew we owned the lot, he would greet us politely and call a cab for us from a tiny shabby shack that stood there. I suspected my family expected that special treatment and wanted to feel like VIPs by taking a cab at ‘Propane’. Sadly, we had an almost one in a million chance for that and neither a man nor a cab was there usually. As the solution, my father walked two more blocks to the busy street to catch a cab and bring it to ‘Propane’ for us, or he even went back home to call a cab to ‘Propane’ and take it from there. In this degree, it was impossible for me to comprehend what we were doing any more and everything was nothing but madness. I still can’t make sense out of what we did for a cab…

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***** 88th Planet Project *****

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