Ice Cream Expo
In early October, I bumped into a young woman named Akemi at the Kobe Jazz Street (jazz festival). Since then, I've been seeing her every weekend, often for two or three days. Besides being my girlfriend, she's also my best friend here in Japan. So, I guess it's time she get her own space on this site. Just a few words about Akemi.
Akemi was born in Iga, a small town in Mie prefecture (state) north of Osaka. She was raised in Osaka where she lives now. She went to Kansei Gakuin University in Osaka where she studied economics. It's pretty neat if you consider that ≈90% of the economics majors there are male. She currently works for a ceramics company in Osaka that makes sinks, tiles, bathtubs, toilets, and that sort of thing. Like me, she likes jazz. She plays flute in an all-flute bossa nova quartet, just for the fun of it. She also takes flute lessons, focusing on bossa nova. She travels every chance she gets. She lives quite a frugal life, presumeably so she can afford to travel more. She has been through Europe, the United States (California and Texas), Russia, and southeast Asia (Vietnam, China, and Korea). We're planning a trip to Malaysia starting 12/27/2004. Akemi has a modern state of mind, too. For example, she lives alone even though she is unmarried. (In Japan, single women almost always live with their families.) And, she plans to keep working even if she gets married. Although she has a driver's license, she doesn't own or drive a car. Instead, she rides her bike or takes the train/subway wherever she wants to go. As I've been the grateful recipient of a number of her meals, I can say affirmatively that she is an admirable cook. When she's not cooking, she likes to eat Korean food, Chinese food, or Japanese (especially Sukiyaki).
Akemi is a particularly easy-going person. If we walk through a busy shopping area and pass a row of obnoxious announcers screaming their lungs out about the wonderful noodles they have to sell, I get rather agitated. Akemi barely notices and just tells me to tune it out. She has an insatiable appetite for sitting next to a stream and watching the world go by, or sitting and drinking tea and nibbling on some fruit or something, all while listening to some soft bossa nova music or some mellow jazz. Besides being nice to be around, Akemi is also unusually intelligent. Although we speak Japanese most of the time, she can speak English well. And, she has an impressive Japanese vocabulary of words that only the academic-type Japanese people would know. In college, she actually enjoyed her calculus courses. In addition to having a fine mind, she's in good shape physically. She rides her bike around town and goes hiking typically a couple times a year.
There are quite a few pictures of Akemi in the journal section of my site. Here are a couple of my favorites.
|At Meriken Park in Kobe.|
|On the train on our way to Iga on 12/5/2004.|
|Riding a bicycle in a nice park near her house in Osaka.|