Sunday, July 29, 2007

Got Kinda Tired of Packing and Unpacking...

Town to town, up and down the dial
Baby you and me were never meant to be
Just maybe think of me
Once in a while
I'm at WKRP in Cincinnatiiiiiii...

I spent a good portion of my afternoon packing my possessions for my impending crosstown move. I'll be closer to work, but I won't be in a nice suburban neighborhood full of small restaurants and tree-lined streets. And it's amazing how much worthless crap you can accumulate in just over a year.

Baby, I'm a gypsy or a rolling stone. The longest I've lived in any one place in the past 17 years was the 5 and a half years I spent in that dumpy little apartment in Athens right before I moved to Japan. But I moved between Albany and Athens several times in the last decade, and I've even lived in two different cities and three different apartments since I came to Japan. This will be apartment number four.

Just to make me even more pre-nostalgic for Sanaru-dai, last night there was some sort of mini-festival in the park across the street, behind the community center. When I left my apartment last night to meet friends for dinner and drinks, I saw a mom and two children all wearing yukata, and recorded Japanese music filled the air. Kids in regular, modern attire were hiking up the sidewalk towards the park, and from the bus stop I could see they were also giving the swingsets a real workout.

What is it about kids and their universal behaviors? If you put a swingset in a park, kids will eventually show up and start swinging vigorously, perhaps trying to accomplish the fabled 360 around-the-world maneuver. While parents- who prefer standing still- talk, games of chase often break out. And regular walking just isn't good enough. It's more fun to hop, or Frankenstein walk, or do crazy, unself-conscious dances. Or, if you're really stuck for an idea, spin in place until you fall down and feel like vomiting.

Kids are reliable. Most people are, I suppose. Human behavior is pretty funny stuff. We had a huge coffeetable book called Manwatching by Desmond Morris when I was growing up. I liked it because it had a couple of pictures of naked boobies in it, but I learned a little something from it too.

I think.

At the very least, it gave me a life-long fascination with human social behavior. I'm not good at its practice, but I'm a keen observer of the thing we do when we're in public.

Athens was a great place for studying mating rituals. And Japan is an excellent place for people-watching. But I have nothing to share. Maybe I'll start taking notes so I can enlighten both myself and my reader here.

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