You know, sometimes I like to just count up my blessings. For one, I'm living in Japan, where life is easy. Ever since I first saw Pink Lady and Jeff (evidently I was the only person in America watching and loving this show) and then Shogun (or vice versa, I can't quite remember), I had as my goal at least visiting Japan in my lifetime.
In 2003, I saw my chance. Thanks to an amazing coincidence, I'd made friends with someone I had a common connection with... a guy who was living in Japan. We came to visit for 2 weeks, my friend got a job and moved here in March the next year and I followed in April.
After a rocky beginning, it turned pretty damned good. Other than my dad's death and getting my heart broken at about the same time, life's been one interesting and engaging event after another. I had some health problems earlier this year, but by summer they were clearing up and things settled into a zone of contentment.
Sure, I miss people from back home. Family and friends, of course. I really wish some of them would invest in a plane ticket and come visit sometime. But with aviation fuel prices up there in the stratosphere, I know it's a bit much to expect. Trans-Pacific travel isn't something you do on a whim, like driving crosstown for an ice cream cone.
How good is life lately? Just yesterday, I had a random encounter with a good friend of mine, our host for our first little Japan jaunt. I was eating lunch, he stopped by to escape the rain and grab a bite to eat. We ended up talking about literature. Like me, he tends to get a little animated and talk with his hands when he's engaged in a topic he knows a lot about. And he's one of those people who knows a lot about quite a lot. I forget how many college majors he had... at the same time, I think. Major mind-power.
The bad thing about running into someone like that is, there's never enough time to finish the conversation. As soon as you both get rolling, it's time to split. All too soon I had to run back to work.
Yeah, I get to ride the local trains, the shinkansen, hit Tokyo at will, hang out with some really challenging minds and learn about the ancient and modern (and also post-modern) aspects of this infinitely fascinating culture. I've even quit drinking; it's just not necessary for me anymore.
Today was a warm, cloudy day. We've had a lot of rain lately, although fall is usually supposed to be sunny. But hey, we barely had a rainy season this year so I guess it all balances out. This might be boring to anyone reading this blog (hi, Mom!), but I'm in serious need of doing some laundry. Some people in Japan have dryers, but most rely on good ol' Mother Nature. One of my favorite sights here is when the weather's mild and people hang their futon out to air.
To me, that's a quintessential Japanese scene- a pyramidal high-rise apartment building with futon hanging off almost every balcony, like pennants for a festival or a major sporting event.
Well, I hate when things are so uneventful I have nothing of real interest to post. Tomorrow I'll try to do another big photo essay to make it up to you!
Ahhh... life is good. So very good.