Saturday, March 29, 2008

Long time no post: The lost letter 久しぶりにポスト!失われた手紙

I'm returning with a light-hearted post. Next post will be a longer, more serious report. I'm not sure though, if after all this time (6 months since I returned) my blog lost it's significance or not. Annnyways...

Two posts ago, when I received my delayed books, I said that I have completely returned from Japan. Truth is, this was a lie. I should have said 99% returned. There was something else chipping or nibbling at my conscience all this time.

In the last program day, when I and Mao-chan exchanged gifts, she gave me a cute little envelope and I promised her that I will read open it and read her letter in the airplane on my way back. Not sure if a 7-year old girl would understand the courtesy I meant with with promise, but atleast her grandparents did.

The next day after the last program day was departure day (say this 3 times fast!). I was very hectic and nervous because of the luggage limitations and having to send stuff by mail. On this day I also gave the program supervisor a gift, a book in Japanese I found in Holiday Inn Amman about Jordan's history and arts. I received a generic letter of appreciation from the JP Kansai Center library prepared for any book donors, but it was enough to make me feel nice in the inside. I went to the library again to sign the book, and I was told by the librarian that before this book they only had a small poster of Jordan. What do you know? My give and take approach to Japan and Japanese yielded results.

Anyways, so, back to the letter, as I said I was hectic and nervous and so on, when I was packing my stuff, I missed the envelope! I started looking for it everywhere in the room. I turned it upside down; didn't leave any nook or corner unchecked. But I didn't find Mao's letter. I got more nervous.

Then I took a deep breath, calm down Samer...
Whenever this happens I tell myself not to put doubts in my mind. If, for example, I park the car somewhere and I come back to that place and don't find the car, this does not mean that I parked it somewhere else; This means that the car was stolen! This is what I tell myself. Don't doubt yourself. I faintly remember putting the envelope inside one of the books, so I start searching all the books, all the time worrying that I will not find it and fulfill my promise to Mao.

After searching all the books and papers, I didn't find anything.
So it's not in the room and not inside the books. Where is it?.. Could it be in the book I gave the library?.. This is the only possibility, but something about the timing tells me it's not there and I didn't see it when I went to write the dedication on the cover's backside.

I turn the room and the books one more time then I gave up on searching, but didn't lose hope in finding it someday.
I felt guilty because I couldn't do as I promised her; I didn't read it in the plane.

After returning, everytime I remember losing the letter I feel bad, but I didn't lose hope. When I received the books after 2 months from returning, I looked inside the books again, nothing. But there was a small gleam of hope inside me that I'll find it. I didn't feel any finality about losing it.

So, around the end of December just before new year's, I started eyeing a book on the shelf with suspicion. It was the other book I got from Jordan to show to people, a book about Islamic geometric art. The book started looking suspicious and I started feeling that maybe I didn't search it. This feeling kept growing inside me, until I fetched it and opened it, and 'lo! Mao's letter in all its colourful cuteness was there!

Happiness 喜び

Sweet relief! I was right from the beginning; I did put it inside a book. See? "No need to doubt yourself, the car was stolen!" I told myself. Now I can say for sure that I fully returned from Japan (and repeat the happy dance).

Full of curiousity, I opened the letter and here's what I found:

Mao expresses her true feelings towards me

This reminds me: In the first homestay day, while we were preparing for lunch, Mao started drawing something and her mother came to her and asked her, what are you drawing? She answered "hen na hito" (a weirdo). Then after a short while, she came up to me and gave me that same drawing finished and with Samer written under it in Katakana. So then I was the 'hen na hito'. Nice to know that!

ookini, Mao-chan!

Mao, upclose and personal  まおちゃんクローズアップ

Now I'll tell myself: sassato uskot.

Yoroshiku habeebis. see you next post.