Sunday, December 9, 2007

Travel is so broadening.

Today let us ponder things Mexican and things Japanese. Or not. Let me explain.

My oldest son had to fly to Louisiana this weekend to play his saxophone (I'm not kidding), and since my daughter-in-law's schedule included attending a luncheon on Saturday at her church for all the ladies involved in weekly Bible studies, she called us on Friday and asked if we could come over and stay with Matthew and Ansley for part of the day Saturday. Matthew called us Saturday morning and asked that we bring along our set of Mexican Train Dominoes. It turned out that except for the hour when the four of us went out to Chik-Fil-A for lunch, we played Mexican Train dominoes pretty much the entire time their mother was gone. I have no idea why this particular form of the game of dominoes is called Mexican Train, but I am willing to entertain all theories. One thing I know: it isn't the method by which most of our friends from south of the border arrive in our fair country.

Today was Noah's tenth birthday, and he had asked that the party be held at a Japanese restaurant. So eight little boys and six adults oohed and ahhed at the antics of the chef just as so many before us have done. When I asked the hostess what the name of the restaurant, Hanami, meant, she struggled to find the words in English and finally said, "when the seasons change and the flowers fall." I thought she was talking about autumn, even though she had definitely said flowers, not leaves. When I got back home, I signed onto Ye Olde Trusty Computer and asked for more information. Turns out hanami means "viewing the cherry blossoms" and is either a revered cultural event or a drunken orgy, depending on whom you ask. The nearest thing to it I can think of here in the good old U. S. of A. would have to be a combination of (a) "going to see the autumn leaves" if it happened in the spring [Note. Here in Atlanta, we do have a spring equivalent we call "looking at dogwoods and azaleas"] and (b) Mardi Gras, which is also either a revered cultural event (the day before Lent begins) or a drunken orgy, depending on whom you ask.

The title of the post says it all. Travel is so broadening, even when it's only to Acworth and Canton.

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