But I just wanted to say how surprised I was to see that I mention the nation of Japan in practically EVERY post I've made in the last few weeks. I think it's two things:
1) Summer, which intoxicates me in a high-on-life-and-beer-garden way, and
2) That I am in a second Honeymoon phase with Japan, or else never really escaped the original one.
(That second one, few honkies I know could agree with. I could name the ones I think understand, but the list would be frightfully short.)
Around the two-year mark a few months ago, I noticed myself questioning daily whether the best thing to do is stay a while, where I've made these great friends I haven't spent enough time with yet, or move to the mystical mediterranean or the carefree carribean. Most people I know work greuling hours here and take occasional long weekends in SE Asia. I've met three flight attendents who love their jobs.
Maybe it's that constant questioning that heightens my appreciation of the here/now. I get so excited about little amenities, and I'm not talking about the food. (Truth be known, I realized yesterday how picky I am about Japanese food. I had never thought that I was.)
No, it's a mess of other things: your most basic, compact rental car has a real-time, digital, talking GPS map. Renting random crappy CDs and coming across good bands. That big gnarly piece of wood in a Japanese room. Karaoke java on mobile phones. Everyone you know having an MD player. Paying $4 for a pair of jeans and $5 for a pair of stockings on the same day. The kids. The fashion trends and seasonal up-ends. Public baths. And as for the food, how about family restaurants and izakayas? Curry, sushi, and Chinese food on the same menu. A little Thai, Korean, pizza, gratin.
No thank you to: raw squid, raw octopus, natto, おろした山芋, raw shrimp, squid on a stick, and giving your landlord a $1000 "gift" for the privilege of living someplace.
Raise your hand if you relate. Especially if you're reading my journal and have never posted.
And shout out if you're tired of reading about Japan in my blog, and would rather hear about something else.