Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Little Red Tin

I was in the bedroom this morning looking at a small red tin that I have had for a very long time. It is an oblong with rounded corners, about 10cm long by 7cm, and about 2cm deep. On the front is the word "Milky" and a cartoon picture of a little girl. On the back is a listing of the contents - at least I assume it is, as it is all in Japanese. I bought that tin, full of very nice lollies, when I visited Japan in January 1983 with my father and stepmother. I have used it ever since to carry my jewellery, nail scissors and anything else small that I had to carry when travelling. The tin has been to Japan (of course), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Nepal, USA and New Zealand, along with a lot of travelling in the car here at home. The inside is a little tarnished nowadays, but I couldn't bear to part with it.

I look at that tin and remember that trip to Japan, not because of the lollies but because it is my admission ticket to those memories. My father getting tipsy on sake, meeting my penfriend, being nipped on the butt by a hungry deer in Nara, seeing the temple commemorating the three wise monkeys - see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, catching a glimpse of Mt Fuji, riding the bullet train, having a New Year's meal with friends of my father and playing 'name that object' in English and Japanese and laughing at each others accents, heated train seats in the cold of winter, watching the ladies in the department store wrapping up our purchases with such care and precision, Kyoto, visiting the Hiroshima memorial and seeing the building that was below the epicentre of the bomb. So many memories, and it just takes a glimpse of that little red tin. Posted by Picasa

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