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Diary Entry 1981-8 : Opportunity

Tag: English 1981 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1982 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1983 ← Please click here.
Other English Version ← Please click here.

b0071688_19271594.jpg
#Opportunity

Sitting next to me on the plane was a woman called Louise from Niagara Falls. She complained that her Filipino daughter-in-law told her, “It’s not you I got married to.” She also said to me, “Gould is a tall man with a pale face.”
When I talk about my maternal grandmother I always feel proud. Since I can easily talk about her even in my limited English, I made her a topic of our conversation.

“My grandmother was a woman able to do everything.”
“You seem like a person like that too,” Louise said.
The difference between the Japanese and foreigners is that foreigners are assertive and they praise people directly.
“I hope you will have many opportunities ahead of you.”

Since I didn’t know the meaning of the word “opportunity” Louise explained it to me. An “opportunity” is an equal “chance” for everyone to see good results of their efforts regardless of their family and educational background or their physical abilities. “Opportunity”, just like “chance”, includes a strong element of good luck and fortune.

“Opportunity” is a word that expresses the fertile soil of the North American culture, and it came to be a symbol of my destiny in Toronto.

Although I was born and grew up in Japan, that society had not nurtured my personal growth. However, although my ancestors had contributed nothing to the establishment of this country, Canada accepted me and allowed me to thrive in its rich culture.
While my English vocabulary is poor, this idea of “opportunity” and the idea of “self-identity” that I learned in Canada left deep impression on me and I feel profound gratitude for this.

The loanword “identity” has established itself in Japanese language. I think we had no original Japanese word that corresponded to it. However, we definitely do not attach “self-” to it.
b0071688_19282933.jpg
As we are approaching Toronto, anxiety assails me.
Since I was in Japan I have corresponded with Kotomi, an elder
sister of an acquaintance of mine. However, when we last spoke on the phone when I was in Vancouver we did not specify a precise meeting place at the airport. “Will I be able to find her without problems?”

I became genuinely worried once I reached Toronto and got caught in the crowd of people at the airport. Since I was fretting, Louise was nice enough to stay with me for a while.
“There are very few busses for Niagara Falls…” and with these words she parted with me.

I decided to go to the information desk and explain my situation, and to ask them to call Kotomi over the public address system. Suddenly, it occurred to me, “What if she’s waiting for me at the exit after the customs?” I changed my mind then and went to look for her after the security and customs instead. However, she was not there either.
So, what did I do next?
While Kotomi’s name was being called, I got it into my head that she hadn’t come to the airport. Then, I decided to take a taxi to my accommodation without going back to the information desk.

Different people have different dispositions. When I called Kotomi the first time from Vancouver, I got an impression that she was not really thrilled with the idea of having me over at her place.
“I guess it is bothersome for someone who gives their best just to lead their lives in a specific place to have some newcomer depend on them merely because they have lived in that place for a long time. Let’s put myself in a hotel for today.”

With these thoughts I got into a cab. However, because there was a chance that we had missed each other at the airport, I decided not to go to a hotel, but to Kotomi’s place.
As you can see, I was a type that would roll matters around and around in my head instead of making decisions in accordance with circumstances.
b0071688_10495350.jpg

Translated by Saiko   

Japanese version of this page・後追い日記81年8・opportunity 


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[PR]
by mhara21 | 2017-07-08 10:05 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)
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