Tuesday, December 11, 2007


this morning was rainy, and i walked to school in all black and brushed into tiny phosphoresent blue insects flying slowly as they shared my umbrella. i thought they were fireflies, but i just looked up fireflies, and they're not. it's still finals, so i have a lot of free time. instead of rushing to eat my breakfast, i've been bringing it with me and eating it all morning long. it's cold out, so i don't want cold breakfast. ever since my lifelong love affair with cereal ended my third year in college, breakfasts have been a challenge. today my fellow teachers chuckled at how japanese my breakfast was: miso soup and onigiri. i never thought i'd get to the point where something wrapped in seaweed and rice tastes just as normal as something between bread. i mean seaweed has a flavor of the sea. that doesn't seem plain enough when you think about it, but it is. this morning's onigiri had steak and mayo inside, so it was basically a japanese-style roast beef sandwich. i've taken to eating much stranger things for breakfast too, if they're around...broccoli and macaroni and cheese, whatever. i just get so bored of toast and eggs. bagels are harder to come by than golden geese, or golden fleece, and my morning creativity ends there.

today was depressing. it's rare i have a truly depressing day in japan, but for some reason, it just was. i sat at my desk and stirred the Big Black Pot of Undecided Futures. i tried desperately to sort out something clear about staying or going next year but got nowhere. i've never been so incapable of divining what i truly want. sure, it takes time for me to get mobilized for action, but usually i at least know what i want. maddening!
downcast, i returned home for lunch. tomato soup and grilled cheese cheered me up, as did some time away from my woes in the pages of a book. as i returned to the genkan to put my shoes back on and head back to school, i realized i forgot to change shoes on my way home and walked the whole way in my school slippers! i felt better the rest of the day.

this evening it occurred to me (i'm surprised it didn't much sooner) that trying to communicate here has been like one long, complicated game of charades and pictionary put together. instead of trying to act out or draw "jackhammer" or "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," you're trying to get people to guess things like, "my lactose-intolerant friend is coming over for dinner, and i forgot to get soymilk," or "this smell reminds me of visiting my aunt in texas when i was little," or "do women or men usually take the initiative in dating situations?" it's fun: a neverending game, and everyone plays!


  1. How about those chocolate chip pancakes you used to make? (I prefer banana, but I remember the first time I had chocolate chip at your house in high school)

  2. i wish, but not enough time in the morning and no such thing as eggo waffles in my part of japan. :(