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Tag Archives: Japan

One thing that has struck me in visiting rural towns in Japan is how the graveyards don’t have fences. In fact, superstitious sort that I am, it really freaked me out. However, a realization relieved me of my panic: there aren’t any bodies in there. You can’t have a rise of the undead when there are no bodies.

Now I’m aware that you could still end up with a zombie apocalypse here, of course. After all, most detailings of such an event emphasize its rise among the living, and there are certainly enough living people here. People live pretty close together as well, even in rural areas. But they also tend to be pretty interconnected because of this. The towns have daily announcements that are broadcasted by loudspeaker, and I find it hard to believe a murderer who was as yet not caught would escape those announcements. Though I will say if you got stuck on a train car with a zombie I wouldn’t like your chances.

In addition there is security everywhere in Japan. I had to show my passport just to drive into the airport, much less to fly out. It was honestly really disorienting at the time, and totally unexpected. I mean some of the people with me on that bus were almost certainly Japanese citizens taking domestic flights, and I was just trying to get on a train.

So despite the inherent vector issues, I think Japan would probably be quicker to respond to patient Z than most of us.














Because I know you’ve all been waiting for one. Scenes from the past week spent in the Tokyo area.

Well by the time this is posted it will probably be the end of my stay in Tokyo. I can’t say I will be disappointed, not that I haven’t seen some amazing things here. I will be posting pictures whenever I finally get Internet on my phone. Right now I’m using my limited store of purchased megabytes to bring you an update.

I’ve never been one for big cities as you may be aware, fair reader, but I greatly love two things about them: museums and food. I freaking love museums. And food. The latter of these loves, at least, I was prepared to let go of. Everything I’d heard talked about the food desert that is Japan as experienced by vegetarians. It’s like starving and staring at a set of plastic fruit. Really realistic plastic fruit. You know better but every time you pick a piece up you expect it to be real. Then you bite into it and promptly spit said bite into the sink.

Still, despite being prepared for my inevitable malnourishment, I was not prepared to lose my enjoyment of museums.

Perhaps that is too blanket of a statement. I still enjoy the museums somewhat. The Tokyo National Museum was great. It was also primarily artwork. I could appreciate things without know who the artist was and that was pretty cool. It’s definitely on my list of must-sees (a more comprehensive one to be posted end of trip). But yesterday Victoria and I went to the Nature and Science Museum and, while some exhibits were pretty English friendly, a great portion of them had no English whatsoever. I spent most of the time staring at taxedermied birds and kanji. Not even the name was reliably shown in English.

The exception to the rule here is the Tokyo-Edo Museum. They have made a pretty uniform attempt to show their exhibits in English as well. I still feel like I’m missing things, but it’s evident that the curators are far more interested in catering to foreigners.

I know that I am in Japan and should expect things in Japanese. Believe me, I’d normally be okay with Japanese everywhere. I just find myself frustrated, knowing that this knowledge is all around me and completely inaccessible. Whether in bookstores or in exhibits or restaurants, I miss home.

A more positive post to follow, lovelies. I have good news. (^_^)

I believe I just experienced an earthquake. It felt rather like being on a boat.

It’s currently a bit after 4 am and I’m reading a book. I woke up somewhere around 3 for some unknown reason likely related to jetlag.

Anyway, I was lying here reading when suddenly my super retro hotel room began rocking like a boat.

At first I was convinced someone somewhere was moving around and causing the floor to shake somehow, but as the shaking intensified I realized that was most certainly not the case. I can only assume that it was a shallow earthquake, the kind which often vibrates Tokyo and Narita, since I’m not dead or anything.

Anyway, I’m now going to eat a snack and nap until breakfast opens at 8. When I get wifi I will post some pictures from yesterday. Or whatever day that was.

We are seven weeks from take off, and my apartment is not even clean.

I know, I know, I said I would clean it. I said so! But I didn’t. I pondered it a lot. I successfully took out my trash this week even! But the apartment is not clean. The tub is clean now, but the apartment is not.

I decided it might help to start packing, since that’s something I need to do anyway. Accordingly, my goal for this Saturday, if I don’t end up doing another training hike, is packing up all non-necessary living room items. Wish me luck!

On Friday I made my way to the lovely streets of downtown, where my friend Diana was holding my pack at her work.  It is an Osprey women’s pack, Ariel 65, and usually runs about $270 or so.  I got it for $150, because Diana’s store was running a sale.

65 indicates that this particular pack will hold 65 liters of stuff, i.e., 65 liters of my life which I may wander about Japan with.  It’s not the biggest possible pack, but I’m not the biggest possible girl and don’t really foresee needed to live out of it quite as thoroughly as if I were on a true backpacking expedition.  Still, I must admit I’m panicking.  True honest panic.  My boyfriend-of-awesome-outdoorsy-skills promises that we will go on an overnight sometime within the next couple of weekends to help alleviate some of my distress and teach me how to pack the damn thing, which is apparently an art.  It is sitting in my hallway and I haven’t touched it.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been totally unproductive, minus my pack acquisition, for several days. My apartment may have possibly gotten less clean this week? The boyfriend is out of town tonight for a Chili Peppers concert in Greensboro, so I am hoping to use this as an opportunity to fix that by cleaning!  Soon, my apartment will be appropriate to receive visitors, and one less stressor will weigh upon me.

Oh, also, this week is the week I talk to my boss.

Fun stuff.

May I begin by stating the potentially obvious: I am not a clean person.  Take, for example, my kitchen.  Or rather, don’t take it.  You don’t want to be involved in anything to do with my kitchen.  It is gross.  I spent hours washing dishes last night, and I am not done. 

Or perhaps you might peruse my bedroom.  It’s a mess.  My boyfriend keeps going on about how I am never going to fit all of my things in anyone’s basement (which is the plan, because I don’t want to pay for storage space).  I think he is perhaps correct, so I’ve been attempting to look critically at my clothing items, currently scattered every which where, and decide what I should try to sell or give away.  It is a thankless task.

Or one could cast an eye to my living room (floor scattered with papers and other sundries, among them currently a bagpipe) or my rather tiny bathroom, currently speckled with mold because it just does that and I don’t feel like climbing up on the sink to scrub the cieling yet again.  But scrub I must.  All must be spotless, for soon my lovely and beloved, cozy and cluttered apartment will be invaded by prospective inhabitants. 

Too bad I am not naturally of the cleanly nature.