Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

Just feel like dumping some of the pick a mix variety of junk food crowding my head and wasn't sure where to put it since I don't exactly keep a journal. So y'all kind of are my journal for right now. Thanks/sorry.
  • Yesterday marked 4 months since the huge earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan. People are still suffering in shelters that once had no heat in the snow and now have no AC in the hot and humid sauna known as summer in Japan. This makes me sad. As far away from it all as I was, I was reminded today of how much the experience of even just being where I am has imprinted itself on the core of my being. It's one of those things that I think will always be there. For those directly impacted, times are still very, very tough. Yet, we where I am and most places where they are not continue to carry on like all's right in the world. Life is just like that.
  • My original kitten that came back from Japan with me in 1998 after my first time doing this is in poor health. He's old. Lots of stuff is going on at once - infected ear, upper respiratory system and eye are preventing him from eating properly and requiring my dear Tom to feed him with a syringe and do a hydration thing under his skin along with various pills and other things that make cats angry. Thankfully we have good friends willing to take over his care for the weekend because...
  • Tom is going to Chicago this Friday to meet my family. We've been together nearly a decade. So, yah, it's time for them to all meet. I think they will all love each other, and I'm thrilled for them.
  • I will be there, too! I sent my luggage ahead today. See, I don't drive here, but lugging a suitcase around on trains and up and down stairs to/from train platforms pretty much is not fun. For 2000 yen (US$25 at these fantastic exchange rates for a girl paid in yennies!), this company will make sure my luggage is waiting for me when I arrive at the airport. I will arrive there on Friday. Japan time. Which is still Thursday America time. I arrive in Chicago at the same time I leave Osaka. No. Really. Literally. 2:35PM. Friday. It's like that time never happens. This weirds me out no matter how many times I experience it. So, yah, Chicago, family, Tom, pizza, Chicago dogs, downtown, meeting with an old friend from junior high and generally just enjoying ourselves is what's on the agenda for the weekend. 
  • Tom is bringing a brand spanking new Nikon D5100 dSLR camera with him to Chicago. It's mine. I bought it online and had it shipped to him. 
  • No, cameras are not actually cheaper in Japan. At all.
  • Side note tangent thingy: Tofu and luggage delivery service are the only cheaper things I've found so far. Oh, and sushi, but not that crazy spider dragon ninja roll bullshit that passes for sushi back home. Seriously, wtf is that stuff, 'cuz Japan pisses itself laughing when I show them pictures and tell the we call it "sushi." Don't get me wrong. It's sometimes really good (though overpriced). It's just different from real deal soosh. Is all. I ain't judgin'; I'm just sayin'. Is all.
  • Back to camera stuff. Also, cameras bought here (at least the here where I am, Okayama, not Tokyo) also might or might not have manuals in English. I don't know jack shit about big girl cameras and am already askerd, so I need all the help I can get, but I can't wait to learn and play with it. I think I have outgrown my point and shoot. I'm ready for more. I might never be able to afford to do this in the future, so while the yen is crazy strong and my apartment is subsidized, now seems the right time. OMG, y'all! OMG! Like, the lens comes off, and I can put the other one I bought on there! Whatever that all means. Exciting times ahead.
  • After the weekend in Chicago, we will go back to Tulsa where I'll be for what remains of the couple of weeks of my vacation/trip to the homeland. I will get to hug my orange kitten mentioned above and also love on my other two meow babies. And Tom. And my friends. I just want to hug everyone. We are headed down to Dallas to see a couple of my other friends from junior high, even. Awesomeness. As much as I do love my wonderful friends here and can't imagine my Japan time without them, I do love coming home and seeing people I've known for more than 6 - 24 months. It feels like Home. 
  • Of course, there is a lot of good food down south, too. I think about it constantly. Japan has a lot of really great Japanese food, which is handy because I do love legitimate Japanese food (see ninja toyota samurai honda hibachi karate roll's cousin above). Oddly, you can get some very decent Indian food here, too. Chinese, too. Definitely not decent Mexican (again, maybe in Tokyo, but it's not the same, and it ain't cheap). Positively no chicken fried steak. Or Arby's. Or Braum's burgers. Or simply salami sandwiches made at home for lunch on Wonder bread with Miracle Whip (or Hellman's/Best Foods for those in that camp) and trashy daytime soaps/talk shows in the background to deny watching. I could go on, but it will only pain me to do so. I intend to eat my way through the trip and come back to Japan fat enough for people to notice. Funny thing is that when they notice, it's common for people to pipe up and flat out say "oooh, 太った (futotta), you got fat, ne!" I just smile and take it as a compliment and an acknowledgement of my job well-done while I pity them for missing out on entire categories of cheesy, fried or otherwise made unhealthy foods.
  • Japan is looking really green. The weather is stupid hot and humid with little to no air-conditioning, and I hate feeling disgusting and wet all day, but Japan really is beautiful this time of year. It still will be when I get back. And I'll have my camera. Hopefully I'll post some pics. If I recover from the enchilada coma I have planned. When I get back here, it also will probably feel like Home. It always does.
  • Having two places to call Home is complexly and bittersweetly delicious.
So, yah. There.