6.18.2006

Canola Flowers

I knew going into last night that a perfect storm of suck was gathering: nicotine withdrawal, multiple crises effecting friends and loved ones, a party to make an appearance at, and an almost certain encounter with someone who hates me. Oh, and it was Saturday night, which meant plenty of chaos and inebriation in my fares. I popped in my gum, hopped on the bus, and resigned myself to crying at least once during my shift.

Things were looking up even more when the cab I was first assigned failed to show up. So instead I got to drive the one that doesn't have a stereo. This was not exactly a night where I wanted to be left alone with nothing but my thoughts, and I almost got to crying before the shift even started (dramatic and intense moodswings have come hand-and-hand with my new smoke-free lifestyle).

So I'm driving around at the beginning of my shift, and I pick up five women at various points in their middle-age - two Anglo, three Japanese. They ask me how I'm doing, and I tell them that I'm okay, but I wish that I had something to listen to.

The three Japanese women start singing a children's song. They sound like little girls when they sing it, their robust and confident middle-aged tones suddenly becoming light and chirpy. I am, for a minute, okay.

I thank them, and they sing the second verse, and tell me that it's a song children learn about canola flowers. I show them the comic book I'm reading - Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators -
and they're impressed that I'm reading such a cool book, and I'm impressed that they can recognize it as being cool (this book is indeed very cool, much cooler than its title would suggest). It turns out that one of the Japanese women owns a manga store in Vancouver, B.C. We talk about the Taiko show they're on their way to see, and they're impressed that I play gamelan. Again, I'm impressed that they know what gamelan is.

I drop them off, and it's one of the infrequent (yet also all too frequent) times when I really wish that I could get out of the car with my fares, hang out, and make friends with people I'd really like to make friends with.

  • Half Moon Manga

  • Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators


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