Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Green Tea Candy and Young Love

This weekend I drove out to Nippon Daido, an ethnic grocery store that specializes in Japanese food and drink. I was on a quest for the Haagen-Dazs Green Tea & Kuromitsu crispy sandwich, which I tried during my layover in Narita. If you have the chance to pick them up, I highly recommend these little blocks of chocolaty-crunchy-creamy joy. My quest failed however since I was in the store I went ahead and made some other purchases, among them a bag of green tea flavored hard candies.

I first tried these candies during my junior year in high school (1990-1991) and ever since then, having one of these candies brings me back. Particularly they remind me of Miho, a foreign exchange student from Yokohama, Japan. She was only in town for fourteen days, however because of the nature of the project we were involved in we spent quite a bit of time together. I eventually worked up the guts to ask her out on a date. My friends Peter and Matthea went along to turn it into a double and as I think about this now, it very well may have been the first date I ever went on. (In high school I was, in Matt’s words, a big dumb weenie. Okay, I maintained my weenie-ness through college. Okay, fine, I am still a big dumb weenie when it comes to matters of the fairer sex.) Aside from a bit of embarrassment when I picked her up, the date went really well (not in that way you perverts.) We had fajitas for dinner and then spent some time walking around one of the parks in town. We talked, well as much as people who do not really speak a common language can (her English was passable, however mine is terrible), and then headed home. I did not even try to kiss her goodnight. (I really was a big dumb weenie.)

After she left the States we corresponded for a while and then things sort of tapered off, as they seem to do whenever I am involved in correspondence. God I am terrible at keeping up with people. (Right Kyle?) Last night I dug around in my box of papers and found four letters she sent me. Okay, it was two letters, a post card, and a Happy New Year card. So I popped one of the candies in my mouth and settled down to read. First up was this post card, dated February 26, 1991:

I will not share the entire contents with you but she did sign it with this cute little doodle:

As I sucked on the candy I wondered what she might be up to today. Although her last letter, dated May 24th, 1994, was only two pages long, it was full of news. Miho was about to finish school and start looking for a job. She was concerned about the job search since the Japanese economy had been slow. I wonder what she ended up doing. She also talked about her special boy friend, and I am sure she does not mean special in a short bus kind of way, so I wonder what ever happened with that. Is she married? Does she have kids? I wonder how the years have changed her.

Here is the one picture I have of her from her time in Texas.

Oh yeah, and if anyone knows where I can get the tasty ice cream treats that served as the impetus for this post please let me know.


Here is the Merry Christmas and Happy New Year card she sent me in 1992. The cards in Japan are MUCH cooler than ours.

Oh yeah, when I was flying from Inchon to Narita we flew over Mt. Fuji. It was very cool.

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