Friday, January 18, 2008

Bleary. Words for wear and tear

Barf and sickness has plagued the household this week. I manage to escape it, always, but I feel a bit funny.

Here are some photos.Takoyaki.
Octopus balls. with cabbage, flour, egg, spices.
I want to buy that machine and do the American thing: make "pancake puffs" with a bit of chocolate, maybe a strawberry inside. Now doesn't that sound scrummy?


Big shrine, over the holidays. Lots of tourists, many gaijin (foreigners) there. I am actually at the shrine, looking out at the entrance.

Is this the biggest aloe vera plant you ever saw? They have flowers? Why does blogger make my type blue and underlined?

Ok, is this not the tiniest car ever?

This is a random school paper, one of many hung up in the hallway of the boys school. I believe this was written by a Kindergardener or 1st grade. Cute.

Good night all!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Japanese goodness

I have decided that I want to start posting photos even if I don't blog about anything. Sometimes I don't have much to say, but still have an awful lot of pictures to share.
I will pick a few pix out of my large photo file and try to post every couple days or so.

I did have a great weekend though. A successful trip to the salon, (even though I was late and had to phone the salon twice while trying to find it in the rain--) the stylist, a tall, lanky, cigarette puffing, 100% androgynous Serbian finally met me on one of the crazy corners, somewhere lost inside the maze of the neighborhood.

I am usually quick to figure out (if there is any question) in roughly 5-10 seconds or so what gender someone is. After living in a few big cities, you come across a few.
1 and 1/2 hours into this appointment, and I am totally stumped. Not a clue. Not a trace. Either way. What the heck.

Didn't know til I left and she handed me her card. It was a feminine name, at least, but these days, who knows, really?

Then. Then! One of my best friends, Alix, sends me a package, out of the blue.

Books on art.
Books on food.

I was so happy, I really did get tears in my eyes.

Up to my eyeballs in MSG and loving it.

And a book by one of my favorite people who makes me laugh my butt off, chef-turned-author-turned travel channel star Anthony Bourdain. A die-hard New Yorker that says something hilarious on every darn page of his books.
Thank-you Alix!

So here are just 3 random shots.
Tried to post more, but was unable to for some reason.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Directions please

Making a trip to the hair salon.  To get an idea of how confusing it is once you leave the house and set out into unchartered territory, click here for a page of explanation, wonderfully done by the salon.  Honestly I doubt I'd even make the attempt without it.   With a billion streets in this country without names, it's no wonder I see a lot of confused people stumbling around with their head in a map!

Still plan to leave the house 24 hours in advance.  With food, water, toothbrush.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hello 2008.

And Happy New Year.

 A pretty low-key holiday for us  this year.

We followed Japanese tradition and visited some beautiful temples,  one of which was right in our neighborhood that I hadn't yet gotten around to going to. 
New Years (shogatsu) is very much a family holiday and the most important one in Japan. Just about everything shuts down for 2-3 days, altho a 7-11 was open that had some questionable looking tofu-type-fried balls at the check out. 
Entrances to homes and gates are decorated in pine and bamboo for good omen.  
 On New Year's eve, lots of fancy and strange food is served, along with soba, (buckwheat noodles) --they are long, and symbolize a long life to be had.
 Ira sure was slurping them down,  hoping to squeeze a few more years in.
Hoards of people visit the shrines and temples to pray for health safety, etc, all the good stuff.
                                                                                                 Making a new friend

 Tying wishes

Today was the first day back to school.  Great to get back into a routine.
Starting to think more and more about moving back to the USA, as we have entered the final stretch here, with just 5 months to go.  Kind of an odd thing, because life here is becoming more and more familiar and we are making more friends and as time goes on feel more settled into our way of life. (not that it is easy!  the traffic is killing me.)  

But 2 years is really not long enough for a country like this.  3 year absolute minimum I'd say.  It takes that long.  At least.

But we'll be home soon, and the cheese arguments will finally subside. 

That will be so nice.