Megami no Ramendesu. Or something to that effect. I watched The Ramen Girl earlier this evening and this is what the lead character named her ramen. “Goddess Ramen” is what the movie subtitled it as.
The movie was very warm, if that makes sense. It felt like a special little niche movie for people like me who aspire to experience the Japanese way of life but in all reality have no idea what that even means. It was a safe movie for me to watch, and it made it easy for me to dream of moving to Japan and finding myself in a little noodle house, all the while meeting the love of my life who is real and true to me. Aaaaand in reality, I was sinking into my sofa and eating pizza with my pants off.
Nonetheless, there is something about Asian culture and Asian people that is always perceived by me as so… genuine. For some reason I truly feel like Japan would be the land of the rising sun, and moving there would bring me endless joy and bountiful friendships. It’s so silly, I know! I don’t know the language or any customs, and I DO know that I am a picky western eater, so in reality I would probably find myself more lost and lonely there than I ever was here…
I have two regulars who come into my work first thing in the morning that have a son who owns a bar just a few doors down. They make such an enchanting couple! They are Chinese-Canadian, and the wife was the first customer whose name I ever remembered. There was something about her I found to be so alluring. Her face is so elegant and she always seems so refined. So dignified. It also helped that her name is so unique!
But anyways, I ran into her at her son’s bar about a week ago. Not long after, her husband came in and joined us. We talked for what seemed like hours, but I really didn’t keep track of time. At one point the husband said he thought of a good job for me–teaching ESL in another country. They told me how beautiful Japan is and how much people there would instantly take a liking to me. They made me marvel the idea of living abroad even more than ever, and they said they would talk to their daughter-in-law, a Japanese native, about the details surrounding such an experience.
I was so thrilled! But so nervous… I’ve never been good at being spontaneous. My mind instantly begged to wonder about what I would do with my cats, where I would leave all of my furniture and belongings? What would I eat there? Where would someone of my height shop for clothes? How would I communicate? And if my cats could be flown there, what do I feed them? It’s so overwhelming thinking about how much my life would change! Am I perhaps more content just to sit here in my solitude, watching movies and playing games; immersing myself as a third person in what I can only imagine to be a happier way of life?
In the end of The Ramen Girl, the lead character fails to have her Goddess Ramen blessed by the Master Chef, but has still found herself worthy of becoming her teacher’s successor. She returns to America and opens up her own ramen house. Though her Goddess Ramen was not perfect, and her teacher’s hopes for her and his noodle house had fallen through, she had finally found something that was her own. And I guess the point I’m trying to come across here is that–whether I find it in Japan or in Canada or anywhere inbetween–I just really want to find my Goddess Ramen!