11 February 2013 § Leave a comment
I wrote a haiku last week.
In English, it might be something like…
25 December 2011 § Leave a comment
If I was in Japan right now, I doubt it would feel properly like Christmas for me. I need the chocolate fondue, the visit to an old friend’s house, the nephews, the baking, the family. I don’t think KFC, Christmas cake, and snowless Osaka cold would cut it for me. Mind, it hasn’t snowed here yet while I’ve been home – but I’m hopeful! It was rather mild when I got in on Wednesday night, but it’s gotten progressively colder. The forecast for Christmas day is calling for flurries, albeit mixed with some rain.
Despite struggling with jet lag and a cold, Christmas Eve at home was lovely. The day started with a batch of cookies and an apple pie. A visit to the next door neighbors’. Two naps. Lasagna dinner. I’m just happy to be with my family.
It’s 2:34 AM. It’s Christmas day. To family, friends, and strangers reading, a very happy Christmas. =
11 February 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve now been here a week. In a few days, it will be the longest I’ve ever been gone from home. The last time I was gone more than a week was once back when I was 12 or 13.
I’m not used to walking so much, and I’ve hardly walked anywhere while I’ve been here. With St. Catharines transit being what it is and having had a car so available all the time, I’m used to driving everywhere, even around the corner to the store. I went to a couple’s apartment this afternoon to prepare for our demonstrations tomorrow and I didn’t get back to my neighborhood until around 11. The station I arrived at is a main station in Osaka, and so has something like 20 different exits. I’m still getting used to it. Anyway, ended up getting out at one of the more inconvenient exits and had to walk an extra while to get to my apartment. It was hardly anything, really, but I’m just not used to it. I hate even admitting to how little I walk anywhere, but it’s something I’ve become more aware of now that I’m here without car. At least I wore proper shoes for walking today, for the first time in probably half a year.
For the time being, I’m doing surprisingly well. I expected to feel more immediately homesick. I expected to feel lonely. I mean, I miss people and home and all that, but I’m alright right now. And I was alright earlier today. And yesterday. And the day before that. I’ve been distracted, which I’m so thankful for because I have an awful tendency to over-think everything and I haven’t had a chance to think about “back home” at length. Sometimes when I am walking around, I wonder at how I’m okay with all of this. How I’m okay with being so far, with not understanding the language, with not seeing certain people on a regular basis, with being away from my family for so long, with not coming home to my dear, loyal cat every night. I’m sure there’s some obvious explanation for it, but it still surprises me.
As many of you might know, it snowed in Osaka this morning. I had a fun time figuring out my little washing machine on my balcony. It worked. I have some freshly clean clothes. They are still wet, seeing as there’s little airflow in my apartment, and I don’t have a very functional apparatus on which to hang them outside. When I looked outside and found snow, I was a little put off. I’ve been enjoying this non-snowy weather. I mean, I know I’ll miss it eventually. But there’s no way I miss it enough now to write a catchy song about it. I forgot that snow is not a common thing for a lot of people. One of the girls in my group after seeing the snow, apparently, immediately knocked on the apartment door of one of the others in our group (who lives across the hall from her), and told him excitedly about it. She is from New Zealand, he is from southern California. They were happy to see snow.
From english.kyodonews.jp today:
Snow covers Osaka
People walk in the snow on a street in Osaka on Feb. 11, 2011. Snow covered the major western Japanese city for the first time since 2008. (Kyodo)