At 6:30pm sharp I pulled my car out of my parking space and parked it 0.01km away, in front of Kasai-san’s house. She told me that she wanted to take me to a Chinese Restaurant where they serve delicious fried noodles. She’s not able to go as often these days due to her back and it being a little far for her to walk or bike to. The meal was indeed great, but even better than that was the conversation we had. We talked about how life was like in Murakami when she was younger.
She remembered how Murakami used to get so much snow in the winters. It would pile up to the second story of their house, and she and her brothers and sisters would leave from the second floor windows!! She was 12 years old during the time of WWII. She had 7 siblings, and when I told her that was how many siblings MY grandma had, she told me that that’s the way it was back then. Families were encouraged to have many kids in order to help the future war efforts. Families were allotted a certain number of tickets for food, clothing, soap, and all other daily materials. Her parents were worried about being able to supply their children with enough food, so illegally bought rice at inflated prices from local farmers. She laughed at how she could remember her mother practicing how to use a stick to protect her family from an intruding American soldier, but that’s what all mothers did at the time.
After dinner, she invited me over for beer and snacks again and we continued to talk about life, people, and her very first airplane ride.