May 25, 2017
Let me start this by saying that I was very nervous. From May 7th to May 21st, my parents visited us here in Tokyo. It’s both their first time in Japan. My father visited me in Korea maybe seven years ago, but my mother never came, so it’s her first time in Asia altogether. They’re both 72 year old Polish people that spent the first half of their lives in Poland, and the second in Canada. They’re not the most adventurous people. My father plays a lot of bridge, and my mother is a dedicated church-goer. I wasn’t sure how much they’d like Japan, seeing how different it is from life in Pickering.
I had to make sure they weren’t too shocked with the transition. They don’t travel much, but they’re even less adventurous with their food. They don’t go out to eat unless it’s someone’s birthday, and when they’re at home they cook pretty much the same few meals over and over, in different order. An example of this comes from my hatred, pure unadulterated loathing of banana bread. FUCK BANANA BREAD. Why, you might ask? Why Simon? Banana bread is delicious, you might say. And I agree with you. It’s great. But, you see, my father likes it as well. My brother’s ex-wife introduced it to us when I was a child. We all loved it. My father quickly took down the recipe and made a loaf the following day. It was lovely, we all agreed. He then went on to make a loaf every week for a decade. I hate it now. I can’t stand banana bread. It’s delicious and it’s been ruined for me.
But the point here isn’t to talk about banana bread, but about consistency, and when it comes to eating, my parents have not much variety in their food. I thought they were going to have a very tough time here in Japan with the food, but it turns out that they actually really enjoyed it. We had a strategy on how to get them acclimatized to Japanese cuisine, which we went over in this week’s podcast, and it worked out well. We didn’t give them the crazy stuff at first, and slowly worked them up to the more adventurous stuff. And worked out amazingly! My parents loved it all to bits, and told me that they’ve never eaten so well in their lives.
My father actually told me something really interesting: he said that when he watches our food videos, he’s skeptical, because I’m always saying it’s the best this or the best that. He thought I was exaggerating, but after eating here for two weeks, he now sees what I mean. Growing up in Pickering, I never ate anything as delicious as what I regularly find here in Japan. And my parents now agree. And I’m thrilled!
On a more personal note, I thought about making a video about this, but I’m not sure it’ll work out well, so I’ll just talk about it here. I had a good heart to heart with my parents. I’ve been living overseas now for almost a decade. I left Canada as a newlywed and a teacher, and now I’m about to celebrate my ten year wedding anniversary, and I do this thing called YouTube for a living. I’m very different now compared to then, but not just in career, but also in terms of personality. I was really dark in university, and that’s how my parents knew me. But after spending two weeks with them here, they told me that they feel like they’ve just been introduced to who I am. I’m calmer now, profoundly happier; still pessimistic, but not defeated about it. I’m more passionate and excited than I was. I’m more inquisitive and adventurous. And I’m just less of a dick to be around. I’m really happy my parents could see me for who I am now.
Traveling has changed me a lot, but my parents told me that in their two weeks here they’ve changed, too. They’re looking at food differently now than before, for starters, but they also loved their experience of everyday Japan. They loved how organized it is. My dad told me how he saw a girl on the subway watching something funny, and she was laughing, but she covered her mouth and laughed quietly so as not to disturb anyone, and he was amazed. Why wasn’t she howling with laughter so that everyone would hear her? Why is everyone driving so calmly? Why is nobody honking their horns when they drive? Why are the dogs so well behaved? Even the dogs don’t bark! I could see that it impacted them, and they’re going to think about their lives in their community in Pickering, and in Canada, differently. I’m interested in seeing how they feel after a few weeks back in Canada.
On that note, we’re flying out to Canada on May 31st, and we’ll be there for a few weeks. We’ve got some family things to attend, one of them being Martina’s new nephew! Another one being our ten year anniversary celebration. It’s going to be a wild three weeks, but it’ll also be a chance for me to see how my parents have re-acclimitized to Canada. I’ll see. I’ll let you know if anything new happens :D
I’m going to post a few family pictures because I’m sappy. LOOK AT HOW SMOL MY MUM IS.
So that’s it for this week. We filmed something completely wild two days ago. Going to work on that footage now and see how much of it is usable. Hopefully it turns out to be fun!