Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
11.23.2006 At a Corner (Chinese Version)
While I was waiting for my flight to Taipei at an airport in Japan, I sat by the shops watching people coming and leaving. Some were like me and decided to sit down and wait for the planes. They might be resting or chatting, and most of them brought their families with them. They were mostly Japanese and I could hear the language spoken near and far. There was an older Japanese man walking towards the resting area with a loud voice. Looking at his back as he walked and sat down, I couldn't help but wonder where was he going? These people who were sitting near me, what were their destinations?
I guessed this old man probably worked very hard everyday trying to provide food and shelter for his family. Therefore, his smile looked even more well earned behind a diligent look. When I looked at him again, he was tilting his head like mine, staring the front as people walked by. The difference between he and I was I was looking at him. He didn't notice. He must be waiting for his family.
At an old age, with loud voice, yet strong body, and anxious waiting.
There must be
people like him around us, waiting somewhere.
I never traveled with my grandpa. He used to join the old people tourist group going to the temples to pay their respect. His piety was was the cultural product witnessed by the generations before him and his, which was starting to get lost in the generations after his.
When I looked
again, this old gentleman got tired of waiting and lowered
his head as if he were in a deep thinking. With his back
bending I wondered what was he thinking?
I remembered one time it was coincidental that I went with my grandpa to a wedding by bus. Going to weddings was something I liked since my childhood times. The only difference was that back then people used to have their weddings by the street with plastic tables and chairs, but now, people have their weddings at fancy restaurants with setting decorated with a modern romantic touch. My grandpa was like a scout, he was looking out for the bus to take and counting the coins for the bus fare. All I needed to make sure was that I didn't get lost. Grandpa treated me as if I were still a child; this was his style just like during the Chinese New Year's everyone, both adults and children could have the red envelops, stuffed with money. Handing out money in a red envelop is a tradition that usually is given to children or unwedded young adults. Grandpa was extremely happy that day to be seeing friends and coworkers when the last meeting could be several decades ago, yes, it was a very rewarding surprise for him. I remembered he would disappear from time to time and I would have to look for him knowing very well that he must be socializing somewhere with somebody. It was unusual to see Grandpa being a social butterfly. :)
Indeed it was apparent to see Grandpa's excitement that night. His friends passed away year to year so when seeing who was still alive and chatting was naturally surprising.
It looked like the old man has finally met up with his family. He was chatting with his wife and two daughters. Maybe the topic was trivial but the feel must be pleasant and sweet.
My flight was set to leave at six forty five, so I was naturally still sitting and writing without any concerns until I heard someone said Taipei and I automatically looked up. The airline personnel saw me and changed the language to English. The time was six twenty and it was time for me to board. I must say Japanese people are very devoted and onetime to their work. By the time I got onto the plane, I was to find out I was the last one to get on. This was so when I was in Austin, and in San Francisco, yet again here in Japan. I thought I should change my name to "the last passenger" instead. :)
But under a
very coincidental chance I observed and witnessed this old
man, what I wanted to say was, despite the country despite
where, there will always be some down to earth old man
waiting by his family to provide and protect.