Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My long lost friend from Japan, 「松元華子」

Hanako Matsumoto

I was the MC for the student exchange gathering night. As I walk down from the centerstage, a pretty girl walked up to me and handed this...

From then onwards, receiving snail mails from her was one the best part of my high school life.

[Click on image to view letter]

We were penpals for a few months until I was rushed to Melbourne on short notice. Mom was really happy when Trinity College, Melbourne University accepted me. I lost Hanako's letters. Thus, lost her address. Her letters were kept in a special box apart from my other letters. I could find the other letters... but hers was too well "preserved". Why I use the word Preserved?

7 years later -.-"

7 years of not being able to contact Hanako = miserable. I could only look at photos of sunsets she took for me with her favourite camera. I remember her telling me,

"Camera...Papa (points from nothing then to herself)"

I think she meant daddy gave her that camera or daddy's camera. One of the two. Never did find out.

Any language is pretty hard to understand if you have not learnt it. It wasn't hard to understand their body language, though. I did not understand anything that was spoken... but I could answer them "Yes", "No" or "Thank you" without having them explain what they said to me.


Hanako stays almost an hour away from my hotel and yet her mom was so sweet to send her to my hotel just to be with me because it was my last night in Japan. Her mom sent us to a nearby beach. Either Hanako likes the beach, or she likes sunset, or she assumes I like sunset, or she knew I like sunset. I never find out. She was right, though. It was lovely. I know she's a girl...but to my very honest opinion, if I were a boy...she'll be my angel. The guys from my high school were drooling over her. I instantly became famous because of her. Just like the teen movies.

Then again, if I were to be a boy... she wouldn't walk up to me with that note in the first place. And if I walked up to her, she'd probably think I'm a perv from Malaysia.

She stayed until 12am and had to go home. Her mom picked her up from the hotel and she went home. I was to leave Japan at 7am the coming morning.

7am in the morning, she was at the lobby... in her school uniform. She did her best to explain to me that she begged her mom to send her here, skipping school... for someone she just met 2 days ago. 2 days!!! Nobody can beat that angel. I never had anyone (same gender) love me so much! I decided there and then, she won the award "Most Sincere Friend" I'll ever have.

That is why I took Japanese as a minor subject at Uni. I searched the internet for Hanako Matsumoto, but to no avail. I called my ex-boyfriend for his foster parents address in Fukuoka (because my ex's foster father was the mayor of that small town), but he couldn't find it. I sent letters to my foster mother (because she was the most traditional, richest lady in that town, I think), but she didn't reply. I think she moved. I panicked.
"What if Hanako moved?? She said she was gonna study English in the U.S! 7 years!!!"

I'm almost assured I've lost her forever. Then I came up with another plan. That is to travel to Fukuoka, do all I can to find her. But I forgot how the place looks like!!! >.<~~ During my last trip back to Malaysia...I went for Hanako's letter hunting again in my room.

I found the box of letters...

as if shining at me. I squealed. I was happy, but still worried about the fact that she might have moved. I wrote to her immediately. Canceled whatever plans I had for the night.

I waited for 3 days...I cried...

Elaine!!!!!!! I never forget you. I tried to send hotmail several times,but it always returned.and I couldn't send letters so long time. but now I am so happy to recieve your letter!Thank you so much.I miss you too You are the university student and still in Austra aren't you? your japanese so nice! I'm sorry my mail is so wired becouse I am so excited. anyway I'm telling you about myself. I have been living in Tokyo for 4 months.I'm working as a cabin attendant now. It's so tough but I like my job. I hope to see you soon. do you have any plans of travel to Japan?

Hanako Matsumoto


Darcius (unlucky) said...

HA HA thats cool :) your lucky. the only japanese girl i met who lived around fuokua *sp* i lost contact with years ago too lol :/

but i met her online in a game thingy so never really knew her at all :(

but thats still a cool story :) ;)

micco you seem to be too lucky!! i demand you share your luck T-T

LcF said...

It is good to have a good friend. It is better to have best friend in another nation. It is best to get contacted to long lost friend. Treasure the friendship you have. oh, send my regards to Hanako :)

MiccObaYb said...

Darcius: maybe I know her or met her in person! lol the world is that small. I met quite a number of people when I was there. Especially students. :) I shared my luck with you when we're in Conquer online :) or was it CO? lol.

LiewCF: It is really my honour to have Hanako as my friend. That is why you need to travel alone! Or you'll be stuck with just the people you travel with! :P Go overseas = meet overseas people. Not cling to your friends nia! :P I'm a friend in another nation. If you're thinking of coming to Australia, I'll bring you out to meet Aussie friends. :P

ivan said...


Very sweet and nice story about friendship.

jianbing said...

awwwwwwwwwwwww very schweeet indeed.

MiccObaYb said...

jianbing: hehe:) did you mean the story or her picture :P ^^~

-wahwah- said...

wow..hanako is pretty lerr.. of coz miss elaine =)too..hehe

During my secondary school years..there are always a group of the japanese girls from toyota higashi highschool came to my school.. i mean every year.. How i wish dat we r still in contact..

But it's really hard to communicate lerr..they dun really know english..Anyway, hehe..their handwritings are cute..like kiddies' handwriting..

Elaine, u can speak in japanese??

Darcius said...

hehe i dont know it was many years ago i dont even recall her hame..

i met her in that stupid chat program called habbo hotel.. hell if i know why i was playing with it.. it was after my CO days i think... *again long time ago... Darc has a slight issue with forgetfullness now days.. head+concrete=bad memory :P*

but thats cool :/ im sure shes well some where i have a nack for such things :), still i never got much luck in CO.. though i did get a DB long time ago when they cost only 2mill gold LMAO now they are pointless having...

but feel free to spam my MSN :P if its online im there ;) just spam me micco :P haha

MiccObaYb said...

wahwah: Yea...she's really pretty. And yes I can sorta speak Jap now. Well, more like I can understand them better. Can speak but rather slow. Taking a course at uni as a sub major...so a year from now I should be pretty fluent.

Darcius: Darc remembers what skills to add for his character. lol. How's work as a game master?

tenshi-jin said...

aw.. ii shousetsu

sore wa jdrama mitai desu ne , ima wa chotto namidashite =x

didn't know u studied japnese sugoi lol xD
- random exchange time

oops.. -_- commented in the wrong blog

MiccObaYb said...

tenshi-jin: はい!今私は大学で日本語をべんきょします。だけどLEVEL 2まだ。

I didn't know you speak Jap too :) I will be studying Jap as a sub major at uni. Hope I'll be better!

FengY said...

:O I want to have a penpal also then! Never wrote an informal letter in my life. Never gotten any snail mail too :O

MiccObaYb said...

FengY: You're missing out. In fact I'm coming up with a website designated for people who wants an international penpal. Will update when it's done! I'm determined :P