“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ―John Joseph Powell
I was introduced to Yasu unexpectedly. One day, after living in Japan for over a year, I came home to a box of chocolates on my doorstep. A letter was attached to it. It read:
I am Yasuko from upstairs.
When I was tired from moving work, you gave me a dessert. That was very delicious and thank you so much for that. I wanted to always talk with you.
But I will move on April 30 to next village.
The new address is Nishiawakura village.
If you don’t mind, could you hang out with me sometime?
I am really bad at English, but I hope we could be good friends.”
The dessert she was referring to was actually a blueberry smoothie that I made for my neighbors after seeing them gardening on a hot day.
When I finally met Yasu and asked her why she hadn’t introduced herself earlier she said that she had been too shy/scared. Can you believe it? One year of loneliness, living below my now best-friend.
Alas, we have done much since the letter: smoothie-bowls, food outings, yoga-classes, dinners with her family and yesterday, pottery class followed by a home-cooked Japanese dinner and my black-rice pudding for dessert. On the latter, her father told her mother he absolutely didn’t like it. He said this in Japanese but I understood regardless (hehe) but, no matter. It must have been an unusual taste though black rice and coconut milk is readily consumed in Asia. Yasu’s father reminded me of the many times my own father has made inappropriate comments in Persian thinking no one (but us) can understand him when they (the non-persian speakers) can easily read his facial expressions or sense his intent! Oops hehe.