True Love Story

After I posted the blog about St. Valentine's Day, my friend, Esther in Australia sent this following story.
She seems to know this story from somebody. I love to share it with you like she did.  If you like to share with somebody you care about, please feel free to do so!

 It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly
gentleman in his 80's arrived to have
stitches removed from his thumb.
He said he was in a hurry as he had an
appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat,
knowing it would be over an hour before someone
would to able to see him.
I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I
was not busy with another patient,
I would evaluate his wound.
On exam, it was
well healed, so I talked to one of the
doctors, got the needed supplies to
remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of
his wound, I asked him if he
had another doctor's appointment
this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he
needed to go to the nursing home
to eat breakfast with his wife.
I inquired as to her health.
He told me that she had been there
for a while and that she
was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be
upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew
who he was, that she had not
recognized him in five years now.
I was surprised, and asked him,
'And you still go every morning, even though she
doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said,

'She doesn't
know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back tears as he left,
I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,
 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

  True love is neither physical, nor romantic.

True love is an
acceptance of all that is,
has been, will be, and will not be.



St. Valentine's Day

It is St. Valentine's Day tomorrow! In Japan, the Valentine's Day is always associated with chocolates.
Feb. 14th  is a very special day for girls who are in love. Girls give chocolates to boys they love. Although the girls never say, ` I love you', just giving chocolates equals the words. Then if the boys love the girls, boys will return something sweets like candies and marshmallows on March 14th, which is called `White Day'. That means I love you, too.  How sweet it is! But girls have to wait for a month to know the answer!
We know these customs are plotted by chocolate and candy companies. But it is a kind of good way to express love for shy Japanese.

These days, it becomes a kind of tacit compulsory for ladies working at company to give chocolates to coworkers, bosses and so on.

Chocolates stands can be seen everywhere in Japan about a week before the Valentine's Day. Many women taste a variety of chocolates and buy many of them. The amount of money women spend differs depending on whom they present. They rank chocolates like the most loved one, obligatory ones, friends, just thanks....

A month later, the White Day comes. This is the day for men to return something to women. Although they got something obligatory and small, they usually try to return something better because men are sometimes ostentatious. I'm sorry for men!

It is very different Valentine's Day from the West and maybe other Asian countries.

 For me? It's a top secret!

I wish all of you can express your true love!!
I love you all!


My hometown, Yokohama

This is Yokohama seaport, the biggest one in Japan. Big cruise ships come under this bridge, Bay Bridge to the ferry terminal, which you can see a part of it on the right side. When big ships arrive at the terminal, tour guides like me assemble here early in the morning. Then we escort the passengers to Tokyo or Yokohama. It is usually a half-day or full-day tour. At the end of the tour, they tip us. Since we don't have the tipping system in Japan, it was uncomfortable for me in the beginning but I learned refusing being tipped was impolite. Now I accept it happily.

Yokohama is a prefectural capital in Kanagawa, the 2nd biggest city next to Tokyo. It has the 2nd biggest Chinatown next to San Francisco, except for China. When Japan was opened to foreign countries after long-term seclusion policy, Yokohama was one of seaports first to open. In order to communicate with us, foreign traders borough many Chinese because we can communicate by writing. Then those Chinese settled here in Yokohama and made a big Chinese community.

The high building on the far left is Landmark Tower, the highest office building in Japan. The height is 7296.33m (987ft) and it's a 70-storied building, including offices, restaurants, shops and a hotel.

I was born in Yokohama. Now I live in a different city in the same Kanagawa prefecture. I prefer Yokohama to Tokyo personally and I often come here. On Feb. 4th, I came here again with my best friend.

I enjoyed pasta lunch and chatting with her. Feb. 4th was the lunar New Year. The lunar New Year is not a national holiday but more important mentally for Japanese than the solar New Year. The day before, we conduct Setsubun, bean-throwing ceremony. While we throw special beans, we shout, `Oniwa Soto(Devils Outside), Fukuwa Uchi(Fortune Inside)' and after that, we eat as many beans as the same number of our age. Then we are refresh and purified on the lunar New Year. We still conduct many ceremonies based on the lunar calender in Japan.
I celebrated the true beginning of 2011 with my best friend.
Good Fortune for all of You!!