When I am with my friends, I feel free and easy. I can say or do almost anything I like without fear of reproach or embarrassment. This is because we understand one another very well. I do not feel shy in front of my friends. None of us feel that he is superior or inferior. We are just friends, doing things we like together, studying together, laughing together, eating together and generally having a good time together.
Friends are wonderful creatures. When I am broke they lend me money. Sometimes when I am a bit richer, they help me spend my money. After all, what are friends for? They are there to share and enjoy things. So when we are together. We really let ourselves go. In doing so the bonds of our friendship grow stronger. Having good friends is like having treasures rich beyond comparison.
Alas, I cannot behave the same way with my parents. My mother is a good and kind person, but she, like older people, cannot understand why youngsters behave the way we do. In front of her, I have to control my words and actions. There are certain things that are definitely not to be done no swearing, no laughing like a jackal, no gulping of food, no tomfoolery, and no late-night movies. To her pop songs are noisy; modern hairstyles are idiotic and fast-food is poison. There is a great amount of disagreement between us. I supposed this is what we call the generation gap’. So I am a much-subdued person in her presence. That is what she calls having good manners and upbringing. Kids should behave properly according to certain rules. Anyway, that is her opinion. I have my own.
If my mother is strict, my father is almost unapproachable. Being brought up in the old school of thought, he is against all things new. He prefers to use a beat-up old petrol-guzzler rather than exchanging it for a modern economic model. Japanese cars are definitely out.
The Second World War is still in his mind, so anything Japanese is taboo. Old wounds never heal.
When he is around, I have, to be in my ‘best’ behavior. No nonsense is tolerated. Sit up straight, no slouching, finish your food, and switch off the lights and a dozen other commands I have to put up with daily. I understand that he had to slog all his life to bring us up. Thrift and frugality is his motto. He is hard on himself and on us, sometimes unnecessarily so, but I guess he has his reasons. So I bear with him and hope that his rigidity will weaken eventually.
Teachers are a varied breed of people. Some of them are understanding, some are martinets, while most of them are a mixture of both. So I do not have one particular mode of behavior in front of all teachers. My behavior depends on which teacher I am with. There is a young teacher who would sing and play the guitar with me. So with him, I am pretty much relaxed and open. With another teacher who is on the verge of retiring, I have to behave like when I am with my father. Talking to this old man is like talking to a blank wall. You can never get through. All you can do is to listen and nod your head in concert with his outdated advice and his half-remembered stories. It is sad to see someone who talks about nothing but the “good old days”. Those were days of glory and wonder. Today is drab and dreary. I like to point out to him that he is living today, not thirty years ago, but that would be a direct challenge to his seniority and wisdom, According to him am just a young man who has eaten less rice than he has eaten salt. I concede, to such an argument.
Thus, on the whole, I must say that I am quite an actor. All of us are. We have to. Circumstances do not permit us to do as we please, we have to act in certain ways so as not to disturb the order of things, in short, we have to live and let live.
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