Written by Peter
An Open Letter to Hazuki:
Genkidesuka? Is everything well with you? How has Evergreen been going lately? Any new tourists coming in and asking others to follow them on Instagram (inside joke, but feel free to ask her about it). Any wonderful and weird and completely and unnecessarily perverted (it was that Candian guy’s fault, totally) late night conversations with some beer and tsumami? Any new good-looking Korean-American guys looking to live at Evergreen for a month while they look for a job? =)
I am writing an open letter to you today to say O-Tanjoubi Omedetou Gozaimasu! It seems like you will still be A-Ra-Sa for a good few more years. I’m happy to say that I have at least known you for one of those years during your thirties, but I’m sure we will be knowing and sharing at least a good, few more years in making some fun memories over too much pasta and a bottle of wine.
I would first like to say I wish you the best in your life with your husband and son. It’s always admirable to see a woman working hard to live out her own dreams while caring for and supporting the dreams of her family. I know that you try to do your best, and I hope that you will find the strength and patience and joy to continue to zenryokude, be a great wife and mother, while you also continue to pursue and fulfill your desires as well.
I would also like to say thank you very, very much. I always tell people that Hiroshima feels like my hometown in Japan, and a big part of that is because of the generosity and kindness that you showed to me during a very difficult time in my life last year. Thank you for offering to help and allowing me to stay as long as I did at Evergreen while I went through quite a few ups and downs with my job search. You went over and beyond the call of duty as the owner of a hostel and became a very good friend. So for that, thank you. It means a lot to have someone support you in place that you’ve never been before. And Suho thanks you as well! He and I both wouldn’t be here without you.
Another thing I’d like to say is that I think you are a very cool person. You have many great qualities as a person, and I think that is also a big reason why Evergreen is such a great place to visit and stay at.
First, I think that you are very understanding. I had heard sometimes that Japanese people can be conservative, or too traditional, or even closed-minded. But you’re none of those things! I think that you’re one of the most open and curious people I know, and it’s great to be able to talk to you and share with you about many different topics, and you’re there to listen and learn and share your own thoughts without judgment. A truly wonderful quality, and the reason why I think you enjoy meeting so many new people from so many different places, every single day.
I also think that you are always excited for fun and adventure. From the talks that we have had, I know that you have a lot of interesting experiences already, but it’s great to know that you haven’t given up on trying to experience more out of life everyday. The fact that you still drive around on your motorcycle, even as a mother and wife, definitely says that you’re ready for more. Every time I see pictures of you traveling to another country with your son shows me that you haven’t given up tasting all the different flavors that life still has to offer. Another great quality to have, and I hope that you will be able to go everywhere that you want, to eat everything that you’re hungry, and to drink every last drop of life that the world places on its dining table.
There are tons of other things, but I shall close with saying thanks for the memories. Although there may have been a minor hiccup here or there with our relationship, it has always come back to one of gratitude, respect and fun. I have great memories of eating nabe at Evergreen, or eating barbecue at Central Park, or eating….um…lots of eating! And lots of drinking! But not enough! We must continue to make memories and share good times with good food. Life has only just begun, and until you and I have breathed our last, let’s make the most out of all that we have. As Bruce Lee once said, “To hell with circumstances. I create opportunity.”
Happiest of birthdays, Hazuki! Sending you and Evergreen all the best!
Your Oppa (not oppai),