A Nostalgic Episode of Extreme Poverty in 1978, Part I
As I have written before, the dormitory of the very first company I joined was located in Totsuka-ku, Yokohama.
Our room number was 303.
There were two of my colleagues who had also joined the company, and the three of us had to live together.
The three of us are from Fukushima and Iwate prefectures in the Tohoku group. And Oita Prefecture in faraway Kyushu.
Now, we are starting our first shared life together as a country trio.
When I think back to those days, what impresses me the most is that the salary was very low.
As I recall, the take-home pay was about 63,000 yen, minus the installment of bedding purchased from the company at the time of entering the dormitory.
After deducting the installment payment for the bedding that I had purchased from the company when I entered the dormitory, I was left with only 15,000 yen.
I had to live on this for a month.
This meant that the most important thing to worry about was the food situation.
Since I had paid the dormitory fee, I could have breakfast and dinner at the dorm cafeteria on weekdays, but I had to pay for lunch on weekdays and meals on weekends.
However, all meals for lunch on weekdays and on weekends have to be paid for by the students themselves.
So on weekday evenings, one of the three of us will whisper, "Hey, what do you want to eat today? He says, "Hey, what are you having today?
Then, "I'll have yakisoba," "I'll have ramen," or "I don't have any money, so I'll just have to put up with it.
Of course, yakisoba and ramen are not the menu items at restaurants, but instant cup noodles.
At the end of the month, we used to slurp up these cup noodles with what little coins we had.
What a pathetic group of three poor people we were.
Well, even so, it was a small luxury to have lunch at a nearby restaurant on the first holiday after payday.
But the other purpose was that we could meet a very pretty part-time girl working as a waitress there.
She was a petite girl with bright eyes who looked like Kumiko Aimoto, one of my idols at the time.
Mr. S, who was from Oita Prefecture, was especially fond of her.
One day. One day, Mr. S., who was so much in love with her that he couldn't resist the urge to confess his feelings to her, said he wanted to confess his feelings to her.
I, who was in charge of intelligence in the trio at the time, was begged by him and had no choice but to pretend to be him and compose a love letter to her on his behalf.
I was in charge of intelligence among the three of us at the time. (I remember it was a good job, though…).
We went to a restaurant on our day off the following week to execute our grand plan.
As we sit down as usual, she comes over to take our order as planned.
The perfect opportunity has arrived.
However, he hesitated a couple of times, but the other two irresponsible guys pushed him back in an amusing manner and he finally succeeded in handing her a love letter.
Finally, he succeeds in giving her a love letter.
…. To be continued.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)