a single tiny fly has been making the same lazy circle for the last hour, and i'm content because i have nothing but time to sit here and watch it. the dishwasher is spouting steam and light is filtering in, illuminating plaster walls and wood floors. for the first time in a long time i feel chilly, deliciously chilly. i'm in berkeley, california, and japan is sweating away without me. no enormous spiders or mukade will make surprising appearances, and for that alone, i'm happy.
my first impression yesterday was how amazing the air smelled...i think they call it fresh. we drove on dingy freeways narrarated by grafitti, in a regular-sized car, to a park with grass. i was startled by all the blue eyes i saw, struggled not to order food in japanese, and was stunned by the enormous ball of goat cheese included with my salad. no one was smoking in the restaurant either.
as we drove past second hand stores and hippie shops, i had a flash of ease with my own culture because like it or not, i know it. we underestimate how comforting it is to know what to expect or where to find something. on the other hand, though, i feel dumbfounded by the sudden diversity, my own alien impulses, and...and the English everywhere.
last night i wrapped myself in a sheet straight out of the dryer and thought, "japan doesn't know what it's missing!" i slept well and dreamed about trying to poison an evil wizard from lord of the rings with undercooked garlic chicken. i think it's going to be an interesting trip.