Sunday, May 09, 2010


the streets are foolish with azaleas, thousands of them. spindly green bushes i've never even noticed have all at once detonated into flirty pink and white blooms. i thought they were odorless, but they emit the faintest of fragrances; it's more a color than a smell. thin pink washes from the overdyed petals into the air, making invisible pink clouds that dissolve in the breeze.

today i felt like even riding my bike would be moving too fast. it was 80 degrees (!) and i had some errands, so i set out in flip flops. japan hasn't hit humidity defcon 1 yet, so it still feels nice to bake in the sun. i love seeing what's blooming every few weeks in the tiny gardens in front of people's houses and shops. today it smelled liked easter: new grass and spring flowers, though it looked like summer already. i saw jasmine and a tiny orange poppy the size of my fingertip, purple bell-shaped flowers, daisies.

with sun soaking my skin and nowhere to be, color and green finally filling in the grey lines of streets, i felt like everything was wonderful, even chain link fences, even the silky, frayed flags advertising hybrid cars and beef rice lunches, even leonardo dicaprio's face advertising a pile of hot bridgestone tires.


  1. AnonymousMay 17, 2010

    HOW GEORGEOUS! I can see how beauty replaces fragrance where azaleas are concerned! We tried 2wice to grow them; they are difficult here in the summer heat. I googled Planet 3rd; that is seoul cool! And i love your choice of words in your writings-thanks for sharing the real life happenings and making them remarkable! love, auntie norma

  2. I love the azaleas. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the explosion of the hydrangeas!