Warm Canned Corn Soup: A Memoir

Fiana Rizki Trianti


Indonesia, 2018. I lived in Yokohama for about 3 or 4 months long, if I’m not wrong, I stayed from winter to spring season. My father working abroad in Yokohama for 3 years so I have to stayed there quite long. At that time, I was 5 years old. But don’t get me wrong I still remember the coldness in Yokohama and also still remember how tragic it was in Yokohama. Both my parents were not quite happy about their marriage life and my mom left me on Japan with my father. So the story goes from here.

Japan, 2003. For the exact place was in the airport. As soon as I arrived at Japan, I still remember exactly what my mom said to me.

“You have to live here, with your father. Don’t come back” She said.

My mom seemed pretty rushed back there, like she had to catch another plane. I just cried, I kept asking why I have to stay here, but she yelled at me said that she didn’t want to take care of me, she had enough of me. Back there I didn’t know what that words means, so I just cried more loudly. Soon my dad arrived at the airport, he yelled at my mom. I didn’t hear that much because my dad pulled my mom away from me. They both came back while I still sniffed my nose. Then my dad carried me and brought my luggage without saying goodbye to my mom.

“Let’s go to your new home. Look! In here you can play a snow or you can go to the amusement park. It will be fun in here.” Said my dad while drove his car.

“Chu… chu… let’s go!” I said with happy smile.

I saw many beautiful things along the road. Yokohama in winter is lovely, fulfilled with snow and beautiful winter’s ornaments. Then I fell asleep while watched beautiful things outside. I woke up from sleep when my dad carried me, we arrived at my new home. It was a big building with so many floors, I can’t see the top of the building from the ground, maybe because I was such a little girl back then. I entered the building that said to be my new home. We took an elevator and arrived at the floor that I don’t know what floor it was, but I saw many doors. My dad approached one door and clicked the number in front of the door. I entered the room and saw a kitchen, a living room, a balcony, like an ordinary kind of house.

“That is your room, I prepared many toys and stuffs you like inside, come inside you must be can’t wait to see your new bedroom” My dad said.

I saw many toys that I didn’t really like, I quite understand because my dad and I weren’t close enough. He rarely visited me since my mom and dad separated. So he didn’t know me really well.

One month passed, I got used to live in Yokohama. My dad always worked all day and night. He was so busy with his work. So we didn’t playing around that much. since I couldn’t eat much Japanese food that my nanny cooked, every single day I always bought warm canned corn soup in the vending machine in front of my apartement building. I still remember the taste of it. It was taste sweet but salty at the same time, like this thing always accompanied me whenever I felt cold. Beside the vending machine there was a chairs that people used to sit when they were waiting for people or maybe just for sit while drinking. As I sat there while drank my warm canned corn soup I watched a beautiful sunset on winter. I was sure, it was a beautiful sunset. But it was not as beautiful as I thought it would be. The fact that my mom left me, tormented me. I thought that maybe my mom left me because she is busy or any kind of positive thoughts. I saw many people came acrossed the building and my mind still wandered around. Like is there any 5 years old girl who thought about sort of things like this? Am I the only one? Then I stopped this dark thoughts and came back to my home. I felt lonely here, I didn’t really have a friend here. Once my dad introduced me to his co-worker daughter named Yoko. My dad’s co-worker married a Japanese woman, so their daughter half Indonesian half Japanese. But as far as I remembered, I didn’t really close with her either.

Two months passed, finally my dad brought me to the amusement park in Yokohama. I still remembered when I rode a carousel and my dad watched me while waved at me. We strolled around the amusement park and met my dad’s co-worker. I didn’t really remember them but I guessed there are about 4 or 5 people and they all men. That was the first and last time my dad brought me traveled around Yokohama, except if we went to eat dinner or lunch.

Later when I ran to buy a warm canned corn soup I saw many flowers started to blooming. It was lovely, I saw a tree with pink colored flowers in front of the buildings, I asked my dad what kind of tree was that and he said that was a sakura tree. It looked beautiful, I keep stared at the tree while drank a warm canned corn soup. Like I just had a new friend after this warm canned corn soup, a sakura tree. My nanny said that it almost the end of winter and spring started to come. I didn’t know what that means, and my nanny explained that spring is when flowers started blooming and Yokohama looked the best in spring. On one evening, I heard yelled inside my dad’s bedroom. It was my mom who called him and told my dad that she wanted to go to Yokohama. I heard my dad told that she wasn’t supposed to come back. Then he hung up the phone when he saw me in front of the door.

“What are you doing here, sweetheart?” My dad said.

“Nothing” I replied.

He picked me up and took me to my bedroom. I felt sad hearing both of my parents yelled to each other. Then I sneaked out of my bedroom and went to the vending machine to bought my favorite warm canned corn soup. It always brought peace to me whenever I feel sad, I felt warm. I thought that if my mom came here and bring me back to Indonesia, I couldn’t, I was too scared of her. I can’t go back and live with her. While in here I felt lonely, I never got to know more about my dad. He always busy with his work. I didn’t know how, but my mom ended up went back to Yokohama to picked me and brought me back to Indonesia. I still remember I cried for hours because I wanted to be here, in Yokohama. But my mom yelled at me and said that I have to be quite because everyone watched us. My dad was standing pretty far from us, I tried to ran to my dad but my mom held me back and carried me to go to airplane. My dad slowly faded from my sights. I cried and wailed until I entered the plane.

“Stop crying and be quite! We are on the plane.” My mom said.

I still couldn’t stop crying until I fell asleep and I already arrived at Indonesia when I woke up. I felt sad about leaving my dad, leaving Yokohama, the sakura tree, and especially leaving my warm canned corn soup.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s