合い言葉GG
by mhara21
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☆マサコのプロフィール
13才のときにグレン・グールドのピアノに 出会う。以来抱き続けたグールドに会うという夢を追って28才でカナダへ。後追い日記はその記録である。
属性はシャーマン。


☆ミクシに習って、ぬさんからの紹介状
不在の幻影から愛するひとを救い出し、グーグルキャッシュの中に愛のエクリチュールを刻印しつづける、GGの恋人。二人はもう触れあうことができないが故に永遠に惹き付けあうことができる、まるで恒星と惑星の関係のような、あらゆる恋人が夢見るユートピアに住むひとです。


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タグ:English 1981 ( 23 ) タグの人気記事

Diary Entry 1981-23 : LanguageTraining Programs for Immigrants


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#LanguageTraining Programs for Immigrants

August passes with me drinking medicines and going tothe doctor.

Since I can’t play the piano, I adjust my schedule so Ican attend evening English languageclasses for immigrants that are taking place in a highschool building.
“Please come on time and enter the class.”

I went there as I was told and entered the firstclassroom where a lesson was starting. The teacher was an Indian, and she asked me to be thefacilitator for the class.

After the lesson two persons from Yugoslavia approachme, a brother with his younger sister. “There is a person in my country who isthe spitting image of you,” the sister remarks. “It is really true what they say,that each of us has two other people around the world who look just alike. Theirhairstyle, the chin, the teeth, everything is exactly the same. Even theirvoice and the way of speaking are similar.”
Her brother eagerly nodded his head.

Toronto is simplymarvelous. Since there are more Japanese tourists traveling in Vancouver thanin Toronto, they take strict measures to prevent the travelers from usingprograms for immigrants.
However, when I reached advancedcourse in English program for immigrants in Toronto my teacher just asked me,“Welcome to Toronto. How long have you been living here?”

The brother and sister from Yugoslavia were also justtraveling in Toronto during summer. I later followed the news about theYugoslav civil war with hopes that both of them were safe.
 
During the day I go to the doctor or I sleep. When I canpractice a little I play the piano, and then I have dinner at home.
Around 7 o’clock I am in astreetcar, gazingat the bright Lake Ontario until I reachDundas West station. I transfer to the subway and when I reach Christie stationI walk towards the high school building. Even this simple life isfilled with happiness in Toronto.

There is a type of people – type A – who feels shock upon arriving to a newcountry and starting living there. If possible, they seek to return to theirhome country. Another type – type B – adjusts comfortably to their newsurrounding, but after several years they experience another kind of culturalshock from the type A people. The confusion that the type B faces is severeindeed. I belong to the type B.

Between July 28th and August 28th Iwas able to play the piano 19 out of 32 days. I played in average 43 minutes perpractice. The days I could play the piano had always been precious to me.
However, due to my health problems there were days whenI couldn’t play for more than 15 minutes. When I’d put together 30 minutes ofpractice, I would mark it as a circle in a chart I’d prepared. When I managed onlya 15-minute practice, I would mark it as a half-filled circle in the chart.
I loved making these charts, hanging them on the wall,and then filling it outwith circles as I played.

Translated by Saiko


Previous page : 1981-22 : Allergies



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by mhara21 | 2017-11-21 18:40 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-22 : Allergies

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#Allergies

The room where I practiced the piano was in a wide chapel decorated with stained glass. The room was a bit scary because the light there was dim and I felt as if ghosts were looming in shadows.
On third day of my piano practice I got an allergy attack. When I’d turn my face just a bit down I would start feeling painful tingles. Whenever I decide to do something, immediately problems like this begin.

When I was in elementary school, for each day at school, I would have to rest one day at home. On rare occasions when I’d go to school for two days in a row, I would have to rest for three days. My physical strength today is the same as then.
In junior high, when I would go to school for three days in a row, I would end up with different hives during the day and during the night, and I couldn’t sleep even at night.
One spiritualist interpreted my symptoms saying, “This is happening because your ancestors’ graves are covered with weeds,” but our ancestors graves should be clean now.

Now this, in spite of all the efforts to make my practicing possible…
When I went to sleep in my room alone I remembered a seat cushion my mum made for me. She’d unsewn a grey serge skirt, and made it into a big square piece of cloth and eight small rectangular pieces. At the corners of the seat cushion she’d embroidered dandelions, violets and a tulip She’d made the tulip in two colours and she used a deep yellow for the central part of the violet flowers. The dandelions had a lovely design, and they looked like fluffy woollen clouds about to float away. At the remaining corner my mum embroidered her own imaginary flower.
Incorporating colours and talent, courage and sweetness in the design, she portrayed my life with a road of flowers in a vivid and deeply emotional way.

She stitched the pieces of cloth together using the lace she crocheted out of a thick red embroidery thread. This was a seat cushion for school use, and it attended many classes in school instead of me.
Sometimes my classmates would complain, “Ms Hara, your seat cushion is always falling down when we move your chair or desk during cleaning. And then somebody always has to pick it up and put it on your chair.”
The classmate living closest to me would wrap in a piece of straw paper the bread and margarine from our school lunch and bring it to me at home.
My seat cushion was like a children’s storybook. The value it represented was “self-respect and dignity”.
As if it spoke to me, “Your body may be weak but you will survive, so be proud of yourself.”

The smell of my mother had reminded me of a heliotrope. She had been very mischievous. She would call Gould by pet names like “Gureguru-chan” or “Guruchichi”, saying it was “cute” and that she was “getting proficient” in giving him nicknames, as if he were her schoolmate.

Nobody could consider my mother vulgar or common. She had had such grace, like the fragrance of wintersweet flower that carried through a paper sliding door of a convent. She’d loved flowers. She’d grown all kinds of flowering plants, from small tulip bulbs that wouldn’t normally bloom to plants with flowers as small as the tip of the pinkie finger. Even after her death, tulips would bloom in our garden all on their own and in the most unexpected places.
They were tulips in their original, small size. Her voice had resembled a duet of a skylark and a nightingale in the early spring. Compare to a fruit, she had been like a creamy, skin pink “peach”, gentle and soft, yet firm of core.

Our mother’s dream had been to raise her children into persons as independent as frankincense. When we, her daughters, learned half a year before her death that our mother was going to die of cancer, we joked gloomily, “She’s just bought her glasses and had her teeth fixed, and now we won’t be able to recover the cost.”

Saying that, “We can make other people happy when we are able to do work around the house,” she taught me how to cook.
On the days when I was not able to go to school due to hypotension of 50-60 mm Hg, she would send me out to do something for her in the evenings when I would finally become able to move. “You have to go out once during the day,” she would say.

My mother had wanted me to go out of the house at least once a day. She’d thought it was important for my mood to keep in touch with the outside world. She hadn’t wanted me to isolate myself in the narrow world of our household.
However, this would put me in uncomfortable situations with my classmates. I could feel their disapproval, “You didn’t come to school today because you were ill, and yet you are not home resting…” The teachers would also frown at me as if saying, “You look well enough…”

“You just don’t feel well enough to go to school during the day. However, when you feel even a bit better, it is good to do some work.”
These were my mother’s words of encouragement when I would get annoyed at the surprised reactions of my classmates and on some occasions my teachers when I would bump into them.


Two bags my mum made for me to carry to the church.
[two photos]

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by mhara21 | 2017-11-13 20:18 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-21:The Church

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#The Church

One day my landlady Mrs. Liang said, “Considering your love of the piano, you don’t really play often?”
“I haven’t been able to play properly since I was a child. Practicing the piano is not good for my body.”

“You do want to play, though, right? We have a piano teacher living in our street. She lives in a house across from the church. Go and ask her if she would land you her piano to practice.

When I looked for the house of the piano teacher my landlady told me about, I found there was a signboard hanging in front of it. When the teacher realised I hadn’t come to learn the piano but to borrow it for my practice she said, “I don’t lend my piano, but maybe people from the church across the street will lend it to you. I will give you their phone number.”

When I contacted the priest from that church he told me, “You should talk to the Bordons about that,” and he gave me the phone number of some other church members.
“I will tell them you called, but please come to our church service next Sunday.”

I found it magnificent that he didn’t say, “Come to the service to hear my own preaching/”

When I went to the church on Sunday a beautiful woman approached me as soon as she saw me, “Mako? I am Martha. This is the key to the church entrance. You can come and practice the piano any weekday during the daytime. I live in a street on the east side of Cowan Avenue. If you want we can walk together on our way back.”

Martha too had a big belly.
Since I came to Toronto I’d met 3 women who’d later become mothers of boy babies.

“My baby is due in August. What are you doing in Toronto?”
“Have you heard about Gould?”
“Of course.”
There I went into my usual talk.

I managed to find the piano, now I needed musical scores.
I started going through a phonebook, but with my pathetic office skills I always found it difficult to mange lists and indexes. Thinking I was probably calling a wrong department, I dialled some phone number of Toronto University. The woman who answered the phone was ultimately kind. While saying, “This is not a sheet music store…” she gave me the information about a specialist supplier of sheet music.

I can broadly divide people in two types – the kind and the bad-tempered ones. I can compare the lady from Toronto University with another experience I had. When I was going to Montreal I needed a contact number of the YMCA, but I couldn’t find it so I dialled the YWCA number I found on a pamphlet.

The woman who answered the phone got angry saying, “We are not information desk for YMCA.” She then continued bad-temperedly, “Imagine, calling the YWCA to ask the phone number of the YMCA!”

I went to buy the scores of Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque” I had repeatedly listened on Kiyoko Tanaka’s record. Tall narrow shops on Yonge Street reminded me of Kadoya sheet music shop in Japan.

So, on a very stormy day I went to that somewhat gloomy church. I started my piano practice on July 28th, precisely one year after my mum’s death.
 
The following day, July 29th, I watched live coverage of the royal wedding in London.
Translated by Saiko



Japanese version of this page・後追い日記81年21・教 会




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by mhara21 | 2017-11-10 14:40 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-20 : The Goulds’ House

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


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#The Goulds’ House

On July 26th I got a phone call from Robert Smith.
“We got a baby boy last week. We are so happy! Would you like come for a visit today?”

Francis gave birth 7 days ago and her mother Key came to stay for a while to help them out.

For me, just being in Gould’s house was pure happiness.
They grilled mutton in the backyard. We had our dinner on the completed terrace.
Robert worked briskly and efficiently. He went around preparing our meal, taking care of the baby and doing other stuff in the house.
We had the desert inside. They prepared an ice cream garnished with fresh peaches. It was a sophisticated desert typical for the Smiths family.

“After the war, many Europeans had a strong desire to go to a new country. We were among them. My husband and I couldn’t speak a word of English, and yet we came to Canada together with our four children. My husband went to different factories every day asking, “Do you have work for me?” Francis’ mother reminisced.

Francis and Robert made funny faces at Kay’s words, saying, “Oh, no, not that story again…”

“I read once that the Japanese were buying Gould’s records most.”
“At first he was not sufficiently acknowledged, so his records often went out of print. However, when in 1968 his recording of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ with Stokowski as the conductor was released in Japan, he finally reached the first peak of his popularity among the Japanese.”

“Glenn was very close with his mother, and he thought his father should not marry again. So, when his father remarried their relationship went so sour that he even stopped having his customary Christmas dinner with his father. Although, Glenn said their lifestyles were so different he would end up not actually eating anything during those dinners anyway.”

I couldn’t help thinking that the only reason I could be in the Smith’s house and have this conversation with them was because Gould’s father remarried.
I told them about my experiences from the day of my arrival to Toronto until the day I came to Southwood.

“When I saw a baby buggy, I thought the Goulds moved from this house. When I saw a woman in a red shirt I thought she was Gould’s older sister.”
“That was Robert’s mother!”

Robert was very good in the art of conversation, and he flooded me with questions.
“How are marriages in Japan?”
“How is Japanese economy?”
As I was answering his questions in my faltering English, I noticed I had twisted up the tablecloth and pulled it to the left. Francis energetically put the twists back in order.

The three of them were very surprised when they heard I’d visited Caravan.
“You are very independent, Mako,” Robert said, his face bright.
“I travelled the world at Caravan!”
(We could visit pavilions of more than 50 different ethnic groups from around the world.)
“You are willing to get yourself actively involved in everything around you. We really hope you will get to meet Gould,” said Key supportively.
“Moreover, you’re the first Japanese without a camera we’ve ever seen!” she exclaimed good-humoredly and everyone laughed.
“Though the only reason you came here for is to meet Gould!” Key continued, and then offered with a smile, “I think Mako takes mental photos and stores them in her head.”
“But, what proof will you give to people that you have met Gould? Francis challenged

“I didn’t come to meet Gould so I could tell people about it.”
I was just a bumbling person who couldn’t do things other people did with ease. Having a camera was bothersome. Primarily, it was always in the way when I carried it around. As Key said, my head was heavy because it was crammed with stuff. I was a master of anxiety.

Francis carried down the new baby boy for his feeding. Robert took him in his arms first and lovingly crooned over him.
The picture of the older boy snuggling up to Francis who was breast-feeding the baby next to a flower stand looked like one of Vermeer’s masterpieces.

Whatever I saw, wherever I looked, the hum and the atmosphere of the life in the Goulds’ old home overlapped with what was in front of me. I wondered if Gould had been raised on breast milk.
The Goulds’ house was like a fairy-tale temple to the gods of music from Greek mythology. There were legends there like the ones we could find in music from Greek mythology, and a piano that belonged to a woman who gave birth to a musician whose piano was blessed by gods.
Gould’s mother’s Chickering piano was easy to play. It produced even sounds and had a keyboard that was neither too heavy nor too light.

“I am going upstairs. Do visit us again and play the piano for us.”
It seemed that the second owners of the Goulds’ house were people with plenty of happiness in their lives as well.

I went down the Southwood hill followed by the sound of cool breeze.
The glitter of peppermint fragrance from the leaves that Gould too used to see permeated my skin. If there were other sick people who had a dream to come to Canada, I would be praying for their dream to come true.

Neither pretty nor shapely heroine, good in neither English nor at piano, ended this day filled with several hours of marvelous scenarios and stage sets at a movie-like Southwood.



Previous page : 1981-19 : An Angel from the Netherlands
Next page : 1981-21 : The Church


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by mhara21 | 2017-10-05 18:03 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-19 : An Angel from the Netherlands

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

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#An Angel from the Netherlands

On July 11th, after seeing “Swan Lake” at O’Keeffe Centre I could hardly wait to visit the Smiths’ house again. It was bad of me to barge in unannounced, but it was very difficult to call them on the phone and ask for a visit.
I could hear some noise from the back terrace. When I went behind and looked, I saw a beautiful woman standing on the newly built terrace.

“Good afternoon,” I greeted her.
“Are you Mako?”
Her voice was nice, and I felt myself relaxing immediately upon hearing it.
I asked, “Are you the lady of the house?”
Gazing at her husband, she replied with deep emotion, “Yes, I am.” Her name was Francis. I had an impression they were close and loved each other.

“Have you contacted Gould’s father for me?”
“He is ill, so I couldn’t broach that subject with him when I called,” Robert replied.

“Would you like to see the inside of the house? Please, do come in.” Francis stood up energetically, carrying well a big, round belly. A baby was going to come to this world any day now.

The rooms inside the house were beautiful. Private rooms of modest size were lined up with a fairy-tale-like atmosphere. We climbed a beautiful staircase that led to the second floor.

“This used to be Glenn’s room!”
I couldn’t believe such a big man like Gould had lived in that tiny room. Next to it was another room. That was my hosts’ bedroom. At the end of the corridor was a study room.

“We used to live in a house on the south side of this street. My husband is a lawyer, and he wanted to have a study besides the bedroom. When Mr Gould remarried he offered to sell this house to us, so we decided to buy it. I guess Glenn’s elderly father didn’t like the idea of selling his house to a complete stranger.
I don’t think there is another father who did so much for his son as Mr Gould. This house is full of his memories with his son.”

“Your husband is a lawyer?”
“Yes, he works in a legal office in Queen Street.”

“Oh, now I understand! Before coming to Toronto I spent one and a half months in Vancouver, and I though there I was going to meet a lawyer.”
“Why did you think that?”
“It was just a feeling.”

Francis laughed in a kind way. She was the fourth of five sisters and used to people, and maybe because of that she was clever and enchanting.

“I was ill for a long time when I was younger, and Gould was my purpose of living during that time. I lived to travel to Canada and meet him one day.”
She didn’t ask me more questions after that.

“Does your stomach feel heavy?”
“Well, yes, it does, but more than that, the baby is quite restless. It should be born before long.”

After she showed me the rooms upstairs, unintentionally I took her hand in a handshake. I put so much energy in it that it turned more into a grip of hands than a handshake.

“Thank you so much for being so kind to me. I can’t express how grateful I am. Thank you for your kindness.”

“You’re welcome. There are books and records that Gould’s elderly father couldn’t take with him after he remarried. Gould does not hate people, but he finds tenacious fans irksome. His performances on TV are proof that he is not a shy person.”

“Anyhow, I wonder if their special relation isn’t because Gould is an only child.”

My problem with English was vexing me so much. I met many nice people, and if I could have spoken in my native language we could have had such nice conversations. However, I fretted because I couldn’t express myself.
When I spoke in Japanese, though, the conversation led nowhere if the person I spoke with was not interested in its content. But I knew that, with my English language ability, even if I met Gould I would not be able to communicate with him.

There was a piano in a room downstairs.
“Do you play? This is his mother’s Flora piano.”

It was a piano with great performances. Of course, Gould must have played it as well. When I sat at the piano, I saw on the top shelf on my right a thick, old SP collection of Beethoven sonatas performed by Artur Schnabel.

Once, my mother who listened to Gould’s performance of Beethoven sonatas on the radio laughed saying, “Gould is imitating Schnabel. He must be Schnabel’s fan.”
My mother was right. This SP collection is the same as the one my mother listened to with her older brother when she was in her teens. Well, of course they would have it in this house.

Robert was busy with the construction of the terrace. Last month I received the top hospitality from the husband, and this time I received it from his wife.

“That piano was Glenn’s mother’s piano,” Robert told me.
“Yes, I heard that from your wife.”

“His father couldn’t take it with him, so he asked if we would buy it.”
“That is a Chickering piano, right?”
“Yes, it is. There are many things in this house Mr Gould left behind. You can come and see them later again. The piano has a rather good sound.”

“You made quite a nice terrace.” With these words I parted from them. I walked down Southwood Hill with my hopes even higher then they had been before.
 
When I returned to my lodging, for some reason I continued thinking intensely about nothing else but Gould’s mother Florence.
I remembered the lines written on the back of one of Gould’s record covers, “When I was three years old I started learning the piano from my mother who was an amateur pianist.”
“Is that the house? Where Gould pursued his passion?”
For some reason, persons of Florence and Francis came to overlap in my mind.

Francis was born in the Netherlands in 1953. She came to Canada with her family following their dream. She showed me a photo of her as an intelligent-looking child, standing on the ship bound for Canada.

She was cheerful and talkative. And later in our relationship I would occasionally notice, “You haven’t been really listening to what I was saying since a while ago, have you? Go ahead and try and repeat what I said last!” We communicated in quite a sister-like manner.

Translated by Saiko 




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by mhara21 | 2017-08-27 10:33 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-18 : A Trip to Montreal

Tag: English 1981 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1982 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1983 ← Please click here.
Other English Version ← Please click here.
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# A Trip to Montreal

I travelled to Montreal between July 1st and July 7th.
A very nice woman from the US chatted with me on a sightseeing bus.
Three women from France I met on another bus were also nice to me.
However, sightseeing was not well organised so I wasn’t impressed much with anything I saw or visited.

Today is July 7th and it is Tanabata Festival in Japan. I’m on the train back to Toronto.
A stout woman who boarded the bus in Kingston asked if she could sit next to me.
“I just had a lobster for lunch. Do you mind checking well if I have some of it stuck between my teeth,” she asked. She then leaned her head and opened her mouth wide for me to look.
I was completely dumbfounded with the request but I managed a reply, “No, I don’t see anything.”

I thought she was a Latina, but I learned she was actually an English woman traveling around Canada with her husband. So I ended up in conversation with this lady, who was about 60 years old, until we reached Union Station.

In the sense that they don’t express their true feelings, British Anglo-Saxons are equivalent to people from Kyoto in Japan.
British two-facedness, that is the difference between one’s true feelings and feelings showed publicly, come out when they say things like, “Dracula is popular because it’s British,” or, “Americans could never come up with someone like Jekyll and Hyde in their novels.”

The English lady I travelled with seemed to be an exception to this rule, though. She was rather unguarded. She was self-centred, and took everyone but the British as idiots, not only Asian people.
Yet, I guess she was kind of cute in her simplicity. She pointed with her finger, “Look, that is my husband sitting over there,” and chirped happily, “When we get to Toronto we have to meet again!”
After we got off at Union Station, her saint-like husband promptly found a porter and together they took over our huge luggage.
“I chatted with this girl all the time on the train,” the wife informed him.


This husband and his simple-hearted wife were like the union of yin and yang, male and female principles of Kannon, Buddhist deity of compassion. I stared in fascination at them. I wonder what kind of man is waiting for me in the future?

Translated by Saiko 
  




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[PR]
by mhara21 | 2017-08-18 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-17 : The Immigration

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

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#The Immigration

On June 23rd I went to the immigration by myself.

Someone gave me advice, “It’s different if you go together with a white person,” but I didn’t think that was necessary.
I lied quite a lot to my immigration officer.
Compared to my life in Japan where there had been no need to lie, I did a lot of lying in Canada. For example, I told her
“When I finished school (I actually don’t have any formal education), I worked as a secretary in my older sister’s law office.”
“As my sister was very busy and I was extremely competent (actually, I was totally incompetent), and as there was no one to take my place, I worked virtually without any vacation or break (actually, because of my illness I mostly slept).”

“I took a vacation, planning to travel a lot this year. I thought to travel around Canada and Europe, or maybe to go to South America, but when I came to Canada I completely fell in love with this country (the immigration officer couldn’t help cracking a smile at that).”
“So, I decided to use this opportunity and stay here for a while. I even started attending an English language school.”

“Also, many of my friends from Japan will come for sightseeing during my stay here (no one came yet, though). So that must be good for Canadian economy, right?”

I didn’t have the slightest idea about how far my mouth would go on running, but in foreign countries people generally didn’t get angry with others for talking too much.

Yet, “I am not good in English so I can’t explain well…” I go on commendably.
“Oh, you are doing quite well!”

“I also have a return ticket bought.”
And so I got a visa approved until October 3rd, the day when my plane departure was due.



The biggest problem I had with English was at the bank. I couldn’t say a thing.
Since conversation at the bank hadn’t been included in the English language radio course I had followed, I hadn’t learned any phrases used at the bank. When I went to the Dominion Bank in our neighbourhood to open a bank account, I was in such panic that I sweated all over.

In Japan I had no time even for my piano, let alone for my English.
Even if I did want to study English, doing it turned into a lofty dream like the piano. I was unwell then, with my head spinning due to seizures and I couldn’t focus on anything because the pain was really bad.

Yet, after living in Toronto for about a month, one day I noticed my pains had decreased. Though slightly, my life did become easier. Maybe it was because of humidity?

If I compared the state of autumn leaves in Toronto and Vancouver, I could immediately see the difference. In Toronto, the leaves that fell on the pavement or the ground were dry and if I kicked them they would scatter in all direction. However, in Vancouver, even if I looked at them on sunny days they looked squashed, and leaves on trees stuck together due to humidity.
Or maybe it was because of the difference in the magnetic field, because in Toronto I could feel positive energy circulating up my legs directly from the ground.

Translated by Saiko 
  





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by mhara21 | 2017-08-13 00:24 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-16 : Hansa


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

I basically needed to enrol an English language school for my visa, but I started for Hansa Language Centre near Rosedale station in earnest.
I am a person who puts all her efforts in preparations when I have tests coming, so I studied a lot.

My Danish teacher was a friendly person.
“Mako, that perpetual enigmatic Oriental smile of yours delights me. By the way, what is it in Gould that attracts you so?”
“Gould is very sexy.”

“You think that man is sexy? If that is so, then I need to change my perception of what sexy means.”

“Now, Marseilla, what have you been laughing about there? “
“Because of that talk about kissing booth from earlier. Mako actually asked questions like, ‘Where do you kiss?’ So I showed her we kiss with lips and then I just couldn’t help laughing.”

“My god, Mako, what sorts of things are you thinking about?”
“Why, in Japan, we have nothing like ‘kissing booth’ during festivals. So I was just wondering where you did that.”

“……… (Stop playing the innocent!)”

The teacher placed a finger on his lips and sent me a mental message to shut up.


Translated by Saiko 
  


Japanese version of this page・後追い日記81年16・ハンザ


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by mhara21 | 2017-08-07 02:47 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-15:Caravan

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

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 This is Monica's passport in 1984.



#Caravan

Mrs Liang told me, “Caravan is starting soon. You must go and visit it!”
I made a phone call to the Caravan Board.
“Where are you located?” the person who answered asked me.
“I don’t understand the meaning of ‘located’.”
“I would like to explain to you how to reach a closest pavilion. There you can buy a passport for free access to all pavilions.”

So I started from the Odessa Pavilion.

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Caravan started as an international festival, with the purpose to encourage and promote intercultural understanding by offering a chance for visitors to hear folk songs and music instruments of immigrants from different countries, to see their traditional dances and sample various ethnic foods.

Immigrants from multi-ethnic countries had their own pavilion each. I was astonished to see how many pavilions there were from the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union.
Those ethnic groups who do not have their own community centres can rent facilities like movie theatres or libraries during Caravan to set up their pavilions.
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Going around various pavilions, I am overwhelmed by the sheer size of Toronto suburbs and natural beauty of its rich neighbourhoods.
There is a special Caravan tour bus starting from a spot in the vicinity of CN Tower, and visitors can choose between 5 routes. Each course includes a visit to different pavilions, and it is a necessary system to reach distant places. If I’d use a Caravan route bus it would be good, but then I’d not be able to visit all the pavilions I want in the limited time I would have. So, as I don’t own a car, I decide to use a regular city bus. Even finding bus routes I need is very difficult for me who has just arrived to Toronto.

That is when I had a really unpleasant experience.
The Japanese Pavilion was placed in a beautiful building of the Japanese Culture Centre. I asked them for the direction to the Riga Pavilion, but no one bothered to give me any attention. One of them even went and said, “Who the hell is this person?” I even asked some boys who were selling vegetables in front of the pavilion, but they pretended not to see me.
I guess they are busy with the preparations of their own country’s pavilion. However, I was disappointed because of their apparent lack of interest in pavilions of other countries around them.

I took a bus from Eglinton East. Showing the driver my map I asked him for directions, but he didn’t seem to know because the bus stop he told me to get off at was close to Victoria Park. I still had about two more bus stops till the Riga Pavilion.
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I met an elderly Japanese Canadian couple. While waiting for the bus I told the lady why I came from Japan and what I wanted to do in Canada.
The lady listened to me kindly and then told me things about herself.

“During the 2nd Word War the Japanese as people from an enemy country were forcefully removed to camps. When we were released after the defeat of Japan, and needed to decide where we would resettle, many of us couldn’t imagine going back to Vancouver. So, many decided to go east and create a new world for themselves there.
In Vancouver the Japanese lived bunched together, and they were easily rounded up and detained at one throw. That is why we decided to move to the east and live scattered all around.”

Looking at her beautiful face while she was telling the story in a quiet voice, I felt deeply that us newcomers could walk around Toronto today as if we owned the place thanks to the unimaginable suffering of one generation. However, I couldn’t say anything, I just listened.
The logic was that if the Japanese lived scattered instead of bunched together, and if they lived in the east where there were immigrants from many different countries, they wouldn’t be the only ones hated as enemies.

People from other cultures in Canada who led more laid-back lives saw the extreme perseverance so typical for the Japanese as a threat. I heard many similar stories during my 7-year stay in Canada, but this story that the lady so gracefully told me stayed firmly fixed in my memory.


At pavilions, we can eat simple and fast foods and different kinds of sweets.
When it comes to food, the Turkish Pavilion was exceptionally expensive.
At the Spanish Pavilion, a boy who was staring dreamily at the ingredients of paella muttered, “Where could a shellfish’s mouth be?”
His tough-looking mother answered, “Why, in your stomach, of course!”

At every pavilion people ask me, “Did you like the food? Did you have a good time? Did you eat something?” However, I always end up talking to them about Gould. Because I thought that at any time I may encounter one of Gould’s friends.

Whenever I talked about my dream of meeting Gould and playing the piano with him to people in Canada, they were all supportive. Maybe that was because here to I chose people with whom to speak with based on their looks and the atmosphere around them.
“Such a small girl, and yet dared to come alone all the way from Japan?”
“I am holding my fingers crossed for you. I pray that your dream comes true.”
With such encouragements I grew in Canada, fostering my dreams more and more.

For big fans of Caravan, this season is like a dream. They check out schedule of different shows and plan their visit efficiently to be able to visit as many pavilions as possible. Of course, the enthusiasts end up meeting each other repeatedly at different pavilions.
At one pavilion I met a girl I’d gotten to know at another pavilion. The two of us were so focused on items displayed at an exhibition, going around them, viewing them from afar and up close, that we hadn’t noticed each other until we bumped into each other with our buts.
Surprised by the impact I turned around, “Oh, you again!”
Neither of us could stop laughing for quite a while.

On June 16th, a child was born at the Liang’s house where I am staying. It is really nice to hear cries of a newborn baby in the house. Yet, more than anything else, I am concerned about the reply from Southwood.
However, there is still no reply, and I end up with cold, probably because I overtaxed myself around Caravan.

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Translated by Saiko   


Previous page : 1981-14 : My Diary June 6th, 1981
Next page :  1981-16 : Hansa

Japanese version of this page・後追い日記81年15・キャラバン



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by mhara21 | 2017-08-02 18:58 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-14 : My Diary June 6th, 1981


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

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# My Diary of June 6th, 1981

What a day it is!
I guess the reason the house at 32 Southwood Dr appears so small is because it is surrounded by a forest-looking-like grove.
Perhaps I will get an opportunity to see Gould’s parents… With that thought I left my new home. I met an elderly man who seemed to work as a building contractor and ended up chatting with him.

Today I feel like a ray of sun that glistens over Lake Ontario. As I am sitting by the side of the lake with infatuated look on my face, a little girl asks me with real contempt, “Are you a Chinese?” She is standing there almost naked. There is also a middle-aged woman, looking at me kind of distastefully. It appears that Gould himself says, “I am of Scottish ancestry, I am an Anglo-Saxon,” I guess maybe this is a WASP residential area.

When I came back home I talked with my landlady, Mrs Liang.
“So, is Gould’s house big?”。
“Actually, it is small! There is a man who knows Gould’s father, so he will speak with him for me!”
“Wow, they must have asked themselves what kind of a crazy Japanese girl they were dealing with!”
“Well, its better than nothing”
“Is Gould rich?”
“He has four houses, so I guess he must be.”


Ah, I wonder if I managed to convey my feelings well. Next time, I have to visit them again, wearing a proper suit. I really want to get inside of that house.

At the time I was in junior high and ill, there was a pillow in the house handmade by my mother. When I couldn’t go to school, or when my body suffered in pain, or when I couldn’t sleep at night because I was worried about my future, I would hug that pillow and comfort myself playing a game of make-believe, imagining my pillow was Gould’s baby.
My heart would turn peaceful when I imagined, “This is that man’s precious child.”
What are these feelings towards Gould that I have? I wonder if it would be quite annoying for Gould to have someone think of him and have feelings for him, someone he didn’t really want to think of him and have feelings of him.

Oh, if only I could get to play the piano with him… Ah, the very thought makes my legs all wobbly.
But I already know, my mother’s words.
“There is no way a world genius would have anything to do with someone like you. This is a childish behaviour of yours that exasperates me!”
“I won’t know that unless I go and ask him!”
But, yes, I guess my mother was right.
However, I will know how things stand now that I acted on my dream and came this far.
And yet, I don’t even know what my own feelings for Gould are.


Translated by Saiko   





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by mhara21 | 2017-08-02 10:17 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)