When I go for a walk, I see autumn colors as far as my eye can see. When you think of autumn, what comes to mind? For me, it’s rows of ginkgo trees. I used to think the all-yellow scenery was wonderful, but once I got used to it, I couldn’t stand the smell of the gingko trees although they were pretty. Yet, for me it’s autumnal in every way.
In November, I’d like to share with you about how to spend autumn. I’d like to share this month’s issue entitled “Akarin’s Autumn” in reference to the “____ Autumn,” which is the autumn of eating, exercising, and reading.
Since there is no autumn like autumn in Taiwan, I don’t have enough space to write what I’d ordinarily do in the autumn, so I’d like to share my autumn experiences in both Taiwan and Japan.
To begin with, Taiwan doesn’t have four specific seasons, let alone autumn. It’s like summer year-round, and sometimes autumn. Therefore, it’s unlikely to enjoy the natural change of seasons. However, there are many monthly events, and depending on the season, we may enjoy seasonal customs just like in Japan.
For example, back in September, “Mid-Autumn Festival,” was a special time to enjoy the full moon in Taiwan, just as the full moon in Japan is called the same in Japan.
At this time of the year, relatives gather at the family home for a series of holidays, and since it’s a major event, public transportation and even store hours are sometimes affected.
What’s particularly interesting is that during the Mid-Autumn Festival, everyone enjoys BBQ’s.
“Why?” You may ask, the reason is that the Taiwanese people have fallen for the marketing of a major food company.
The ads for BBQ sauce are so mouthwatering that they became the talk of the town, and people began to enjoy BBQ’s everywhere during at this season, not just during the consecutive holidays.
If you go to Taiwan during this time of year, you may be invited to a BBQ, even in front of a local store or some local place.
Now, on the other hand, the autumn I experienced in Japan has a completely different atmosphere.
First of all, the colors of the streets that I pass through had the area was subdued, as if the area had changed completely, and there is a cool breeze during the daytime. Particularly, the smell of baked sweet potatoes, chestnuts, and other foods that are truly “autumnal food,” including new Starbucks products and convenience store sweets, make me feel the season. Also, this year, perhaps because I’ve become adapted to Japan, my appetite for these things has increase so rapidly that I finally understand why it’s called “autumn,” the season of growing appetite. Thanks to this, I’ve gained a lot of weight quickly.
Anyway, wherever I am, I’m enjoying my days to the fullest. What kind of autumn are you enjoying?
Is it because I am getting old? Lately, it has become quite frequent for me to think, “Oh, I’m so tired! I don’t have the physical strength that I had when I was in my teens or twenties. And if I neglect my daily training, I can’t deny that my muscular strength is deteriorating rapidly. Still, I have noticed that my “energy level” does not depend solely on my body.)
On the way back to home from the JCFN Japan office in Ochanomizu, there is a stairway with less than 200 meters to go. I climbed up the stairs with a steady pace, thinking, “I am almost home. The moment I reached the top of the stairs, I was relieved to see the sunset from the recently developed park field. It was not from the sense of accomplishment of having climbed the stairs, but from the uplift that comes with seeing something “beautiful” and thinking “Wow!” when I see something “beautiful.” It was a moment when I realized that it was something that encouraged and cheered me up when I should have been tired.
I am happy to see such a gift from God’s creation.
As a supplement, when I get home, I see my “beautiful” wife and I am, once again, relieved to see her. (Sorry to ramble…)