Happy Birthday… to me!

By Rei Tanotsuka, 30 April 2020

So on April 25th 2020, I spent another year:

Hitting the gym at least 3 times a week but splurged on one more year’s worth of yummies!

Shedding some tears but laughed a whole lot more.

Arguing with trolls, but complimented my real life gang.

Losing some contacts, but met a few new souls, all culminating with the end of one candle, only to ignite the flames of a new one…. Happy Birthday, I am blessed to receive another year!

My samurai husband treated me in the year of coronavirus, to a resort sojourn worthy of a Queen… his royal pain the ass (me), was finally crowned with a presidential suite overlooking the gorgeous Wakayama Sea with a rotenburo (outdoor hotspring bath, but we had one in the room), and exquisite meals prepared by artisan chefs in a hotel featuring European and Melakan architecture.

The following are professional shots of the hotel pulled from Google :

This is hotel Kawakyu!
The lobby
The presidential suite we stayed in
The rotenburo!

We were supposed to go to my father’s home in Melaka, Malaysia this year but covid-19 gave us a different itinerary, so for my birthday, my husband organised a 4 day getaway in a luxury resort initially, to which we extended to 7 days, and now we are contemplating another week as I type.

What is LOVE?

It’s hard to reckon with myself that I have spent almost 20 years with this bogan samurai, because it doesn’t seem this long frankly, except when I catch a glimpse of my ass in the mirror and see the corresponding timeline through gravity.

This Queen of the Rotenburo hairy tale, began with a hyperactive Australian Asian girl with a dingaling young Japanese guy, both dirt poor, sillier than putty, with a desire to see each other grow old, hopefully, together.

I remember one of the earlier birthday’s when Samurai had the equivalent of $5, and bought me Mr, Mrs and baby Incredible for one of my birthdays because I liked the Incredibles, and he could secure the incomplete family for $3.15! Bargain.

I was over the moon with that gift because he knew how much I loved the Incredibles, and monetary cost bears little resemblance to value….. He had no money to refuel his scooter ride back home, so after he gave me the Incredibles, incredibly I had to give him $10 to go home! Lol. It was even funnier because he refused and acted all manly by saying he’ll cope. I said if he tanks halfway, I ain’t going to fetch him if he doesn’t take the $10 on offer, he sheepishly took it.

Choose anything…. You pay!

Samurai then went through an “intention” phase, stopping by at the shops I used to love, telling me to pick anything I wanted, lulling me into a false sense of getting a treat, only to surreptitiously stand back when we reached the cash register. After the second time, I had to tell him to stop “intending to get” me gifts because I couldn’t afford them.

The funny times in our life is the lace surrounding the quilt that was made from scratch, taking years to develop into a warmth that goes beyond what a cover can give. Samurai is to me, what blanket is to Linus. I feature in the same role for Samurai too.

A while ago when Samurai was going through challenges in his business, he said he needed me just to be around and when he was on a business trip, he just wanted to listen to my voice… but he was adamant he didn’t need my advice. He then told me, I was his God.

Initially, I was simultaneously offended and pleased. Offended because he basically told me to stfu, pleased because he thought I was divine!

Then I thought about it some more, he meant solace. I brought him solace.

Most of us are usually tough and mighty when hurled upon the crest of a King Kong wave, but falter a little in our esteem when we hit a rough patch, this is when we turn to a higher power and “converse” in a monologue with ourselves…. that’s what Samurai saw me as, a part of himself. This was when I realised that true, deep love can not be made manifest, for human actions are too crude.

Love is accepting something as part of the self, and it takes a long time, sometimes a lifetime to understand the love you should have for yourself, let alone feel the extension of loving another like the self.

My mum called the other day and we were talking about this trip, naturally being mum, she asked how much it cost. I approximated the price but she already guessed around the range  herself, then she said it’s great that Samurai has corresponded his generosity with his circumstance. She told me to enjoy life, and I will.

Irrespective of what the future holds, I can’t control the vicissitudes or glories of life and I don’t want to…. I just know that before Rei, there was no Rei, after Rei there will be no Rei… in eternal darkness, I was given the brevity of light, I was given life and I was given emotions…. to simply feel enough to understand anger, indignation, humour and love is the exaltation of life.

As I enter another year I look forward to the gym, the food, the giggles, the catty retorts, the goodbyes, the hellos and most importantly the developing of a new chapter in Bogan Samurai and his Queen of the Rotenburo!