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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Echoes of Niigata


  1. FADE IN


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. LIVING ROOM - 15:00


  4. Sitting on a sofa, PETER is watching a Japanese animated film.


  5. PETER (V.O.): My wife and I have already returned from Niigata for a fortnight...

  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our younger daughter has also settled down there.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our motoring to and from Niigata via different roads was a fantastic one.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We thought about watching the Niigata Fireworks Festival 2024 in early August, but over 90% of hotel accommodations aren't available.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me now document our April trip somewhat.


  14. Act 2


  15. FLASHBACK


  16. EXT. STREETS OF KASUKABE - 20:45 (April 1, 2024)


  17. Led by their younger DAUGHTER, Peter, and his WIFE are walking towards a restaurant.


  18. PETER (V.O.): Our daughter speaks Japanese like Japanese.


  19. Looking around, Peter sees signs of Crayon Shinchan everywhere.


  20. PETER: I like Crayon Shinchan.


  21. WIFE: The author was brought up in the prefecture.


  22. PETER (V.O.): Our daughter draws well too. Having studied animation arts in UK, she wants to learn sculpting in Japan.


  23. Pausing.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Upon arrival at Narita Airport earlier, she got her resident card as a student.


  25. Pausing.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then at the Times car hire, we got a spacious Sienta for our baggage and drove here all the way from Narita.


  27. Pausing.


  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having checked in a linked room at the Super hotel, we got a meal coupon that can be used in nearby restaurants.


  29. MONTAGE OF THE FAMILY'S ACTIVITIES IN NIIGATA (April 2 -8, 2024)


  30. A. Hotel Nikko. We see their Sienta leaving in the morning and returning late at night.


  31. B. Restaurants and convenience stores. The family has brunches and dinners, and buys drinks, snacks and ice creams, in different ones.


  32. C. Banks, furniture stores and malls. The family attempts to do bank transfers and buys furniture, accessories and other necessities.


  33. D. Daughter's apartment. The family makes an effort to fix the washing machine, the fridge, the microwave oven etc.


  34. RETURN TO PRESENT


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There're hidden hurdles eg our daughter has to register in Niigata again before she can apply for a Japanese phone number.


  36. Pausing.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When the electrical appliances were delivered, the staff ignored the installation order.


  38. Pausing.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To wait for a rearrangement would mean losing several days to get settle down.


  40. Smiling.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We therefore worked together to fix them, although none of us had the experience.


  42. Pausing.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Only on April 8, 2024 would Niigata Sakura blossom. But my wife and I had to leave, and our daughter had to begin her study.


  44. Pausing.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On the way to the Kinugawa onsen resort, we saw some. And we believed Kinugawa should be our main attraction.


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, there was a rainstorm, and we could only watch some from inside our car.


  48. Taking a deep breath.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We didn't mind, as we thought we had already accomplished our mission in Niigata.


  50. Smiling.


  51. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Since we didn't have much baggage to bring home, my wife bought three big bags of dog food!


  52. Act 3


  53. INT. LIVING ROOM - 23:00


  54. Peter inserts an AI drawing entitled "Echoes of Niigata" to a draft.


  55. PETER (V.O): They’re about family, exploration and the enduring power of travel experiences.

  56. Pausing.


  57. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): Memories and impressions we created to, in and from in Niigata are resonating with us.


  58. Reflecting.


  59. PETER (V.O) (Cont'd): The unexpected Niigata feel will have a lasting impact on our lives.


  60. FADE OUT


  61. THE END


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