Tuesday, July 06, 2010

living with ghosts

my apartment building is only half full. like many residential buildings in japan, it's pretty small: 12 apartments. in the year i've lived here, i've only run into another person inside the building maybe 15 times. i hear doors open and close, locks turn, air conditioners run, but it's like people are slipping in and out, creeping around corners and up stairs, dissolving into wet shoe prints.
i don't mind; i like the quiet, and i can see by the laundry hanging outside that there's someone around, but at times it has drawbacks. i discovered one tonight when i came home from work. as the elevator door yawned open, i came face-to-face with seven hungry spiders who had built a network of webs over the elevator door and into the hall! they must've started this afternoon after i left for work, and clearly no one else had been that way since. i seriously considered taking the elevator back down and coming up the stairs instead.
in mie i became desensitized to spiders, but after a year of not seeing them, my natural disgust has returned. instead of avoiding them, i did a careful sweep of the doorway with my orange juice bottle and then scurried low and fast under the horrible ceiling.

incidentally, the first time i did run into someone was last october, two months i after i had moved in. i was wearing this:

and carrying these:

not really the first impression i was hoping for. halloween isn't celebrated in japan, so...i'm not sure what he thought of me. my costume was after japan's endlessly inventive decorative lunches called "decoben," meaning decorative bento.

thanks to everyone who has started following my blog or who has stopped by! i love to hear your comments. <3


  1. Hmmm...It is no great mystery why people might be hiding from the ginormous bunny, squid lady.

  2. AnonymousJuly 06, 2010

    hahaha! awesome costume! did you make all of it? i love the sausage octopus and apple bunny!

  3. yeah i'm so scary. clearly that outfit was meant to intimidate. :)
    yeah jenny, i made it all and had even more planned, but my cheap sewing machine broke.

  4. that's awesome and so are you!

    love the 3rd sentence and I know what you mean by natural disgust for critters returning. it's bug season here... i was happily rinsing all the shampoo off my head and face this morning and opened my eyes to a potatobugcrawdadthing with a long probascus and his inside parts all on the outside right by me heady...NASTY!!! I screamed trying to squash him against the shower curtain. Yuck... i hate spideys, too!!!!!!!!!!!!111

  5. thanks, bean. i had to look up potato bug...grody to the max. his inside parts on the outside!? that sounds serious.

  6. I don't know if you remember me, My name is Vera. I was one of your customers at the coffee shop. I had a long grey braid (all cut off now, short! short!).I have been following your post since you started it and have enjoyed it soooo much.One year I even tried to write you but no success.Hope this works.I work in dispatch w/Ann.Don't stop writing! How much longer there?

  7. hi vera!! of course i remember you. thanks for the comment...it really means a lot to have people encourage me to continue writing. i'm glad you've enjoyed it! my time here may be winding down...