After all these years, the eatery is still here. Still blasting the 80s music (The Cure) through black speakers hidden between paper mache statues of astroboy and octopi. Gone are the walls full of pen graffiti, but the dad’s root beer candle stick holders remain.
They still serve okonomiyaki: the main (only) reason why I dropped by. I had been looking forward to it for awhile. When it finally came though, it was different – almost lifeless.
It was round, single layer, light on meat, no cabbage, too crunchy, with the okonomiyaki sauce (cold, no less) and mayo (also cold) served on the side instead of in between multiple layers of yummy dough and beef.
I have a feeling now that the only place I can get a good dish of okonomiyaki is in Osaka.
Went to the UBC campus again today taking a few psc exams to leave some options open. Each time I step onto that campus, I am reminded of the pain and hardship of those lonely, confusing years. The failures, the loss, the sorrow. I don’t like it. And I need to get that past me before I start my new program.
Perhaps the okonomiyaki recipie they changed had gradually changed over the years along with the tastes and prefernces of those that enjoyed it. Perhaps it changed to make it cheaper. I hear that it still remains one of their most popular items, even if only for nostalgia.
And like the old dish that I had formerly treasured, my life had changed too. I have been blessed beyond measure primarily through kindness and patience and love of my much, much better half. The four pairs of bright eyes and grins that greet me each morning bring me resolve and hope and peace to my heart. But the most significant thing in my life is the knowledge that Heavenly Father has sustained me through it all and gave everything back that I had lost back then and so much, much more. It fills me with gratitude.
That is what my life, my memory is. That is what I should remind myself whenever I step onto that campus. I must make my time at UBC a happy one, not only for me, but for my wife and my children. We, as a family need to experience this phase of our lives together. They deserve at least that much. I can, and I will give it my all. And invite them to come with me for the journey.