Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Phoning Home

Even though I live in a suburb of Tokyo and work in a rural school district, I don't feel so cut off from a "larger" world as I did when I grew up in a rural town in Ohio, and went to college in a disintegrating working class city of Ohio either. I'm forty five minutes by train from Tokyo. This December, I'm going to visit Bangkok, Thailand. I take trains around Japan all the time, to visit different areas of the country. There is greater access to movement here than there was in Ohio. America is not a railway country. But I've come to love living in a country where the train is the dominant form of travel. It's given me a different perspective on time and space and what is reachable. So much so that I sometimes forget the smallness of the town where I grew up in Ohio. Don't get me wrong. I loved growing up there and wouldn't change it for anything. It had as many rewards to balance each negative aspect I encountered. But it is night here in Japan and I just had to contact my mother about some contractual things she is taking care of for me back in the states, and I had to reach her at the school where she teaches, so I called to the junior high, the same junior high I went to, and found out she wasn't at that building today, but at a meeting at the high school. Before I got off the phone with the secretary, the same secretary who was there since I was in kindergarten, she wanted to speak with me a bit. Then I called to the high school and first talked to the secretary who was the same secretary who was there when I was in high school, and talked to her for a bit before she patched me through to the library, where the librarian, who is the mother of a friend of mine from high school, also then wanted a bit of a chat before she went to get my mom. I'd forgotten how much everyone really does know everyone in places like my hometown, and I was also surprised to find myself genuinely delighted to have a chance to speak to all those great ladies from my childhood and youth. It's been a while since I heard the voices of people from home other than my mom or dad. It was good to hear Ohio for a few moments.


Blogger NotCarrie said...

I wish transportation was better around here...I avoid traffic and end up missing things.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, just want to let you know Shirley, Darlene, and Mrs. Deeter were so excited to talk to you today. Shirley told me when I got back at day's end that she told everyone she talked to you in Japan. Mrs. D. was just thrilled to hear your voice. And for the record so was I. But of course I am always excited to hear from you. God you scared the crap out of me when they said you were on the phone from Japan. Your brother got everything faxed for you. Love you, Mom

8:52 PM  

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