Thursday, October 14, 2010


no comments on my last two posts, i must be getting really boring. i admit i've had something like writer's block since i really started to face moving home. it's like my creative sap has moved inward to protect my heart, like your blood does when exposed to extreme cold. i'm still experiencing everything, i just haven't been able to express much.
tonight smells like snow, but it's only smoky and cool. it feels close and safe like snowy nights, too. in any city, some nights feel dangerous, and you hurry home with the key ready, but when everything is covered in a heavy white shadow, the peace feels inviolable.
i meander to the monthly recycling spot, listening to the crickets gurgling the air. i leave a big bag of clothes i've decided to part with. that's always a hard decision for me because clothes are so personal, they have so much history, but it's time to let go. i hold onto things too diligently, which is a burden when you move as much as i do. i've moved 27 times that i know about. hopefully i can find a place to stay one of these days.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


as my saturday evening classes wound down tonight, i found myself craving katsudon. it was a rabid craving, unwilling to be placated by anything else. i asked my students where i might be able to find katsudon, and they didn't really know, so i headed home with no clue. most restaurants in japan are pretty specialized, and i mentally clicked through the places i already knew: italian...eel...udon...buffet...ramen...chinese...omurice...sushi, nowhere that might carry katsudon. after a peek on the internet, i was happy to find a listing for a katsudon restaurant just blocks from my apartment. i had no idea when i chose this apartment, but it's in a sweet spot with prolific restaurant options. searching for places alone in my car makes me nervous because i have to pay attention to traffic and stoplights and look for the the place, but searching for somewhere on my bike doesn't stress me out at all. if i stop in the middle of the sidewalk suddenly or need to turn around, no harm done. street view maps make it even easier because you can see what the storefront looks like before you even leave your house. so as a blue dusk fell, i headed off on my bike with a mental map and arrived at the katsudon place in like two minutes!
stage two: going into an unfamiliar place alone. this can be intimidating enough in your own country, but in a foreign country it can be even more nerve wracking. from outside the place looked pretty busy for so early in the evening. that's a good sign; the food is probably good, but i wondered how full it was. in japan: you just never know. there are places that look like closets that have hidden upstairs seating, just as there are places that look huge but only seat a few. so i took a deep breath and went inside. there was plenty of room at the counter, and since i already knew what i wanted, i ordered right away. the katsudon was around $9.50, and it came with salad, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and tea. take into account there's no tipping or tax, and that's a good, hearty meal for the price. even better: it was exactly what i wanted. i ate as much as i possibly could and rolled home satisfied.

i'm still stuffed!