It's a grey, rainy night in Philadelphia. A perfect evening to definitely not get out of bed. I am under covers with Rachel sleeping on my left and Riley the cat sleeping on my right. One of them is snoring. The other wakes up periodically and licks my face. I'll let you decide which one is which.
We did get up long enough to cook up some soup for dinner. Oh, yes, we are still pretending that we are in Japan. You guys, Japan was seriously a magical land of spotless public restrooms, warm towels in restaurants, and a stunning attention to detail. We miss it.
Maybe you are thinking about taking a vacation to a far-away land. If your vacation destination checklist includes having incredible food, wonderful people, beautiful landscapes, and be easy to navigate while still being very, very different from what you are used to in America or Europe, you should probably head to Japan.
Added bonus - it seemed to me that Japan is a country equally enthused abo...
One Monday night in late March, Rachel and I were stumbling through the streets of Shinjuku-2-chome looking for a warm place to rest our feet. We enjoyed warm, spring weather earlier in the day, but the air in Tokyo was steadily getting colder as dusk got darker. I shivered in my trench coat.
As a side note, pretty much every Japanese lady wears a beige trench coat more or less identical to mine. Rachel lost me quite a few times in crowds because she couldn't pick me out from the thousands of woman with beige trench coats and a black bob.
We let the streets of Shinjuku-2-chome lead us to the black and white awning of a place called Bar Goldfinger. We were intrigued by the large sign on the wall that said, "Women only," and the small flyer on the door that indicated that we arrived for FTM night. By "intrigued" I mean we looked up "Tokyo lesbian" before heading to Japan, and Bar Goldfinger, it turns out, is the only queer bar that caters to women in all of Tokyo. There are over 300 ba...
FYI – this post talks about “lady issues,” so if you happen to be my dad… maybe don’t read it!
Maybe you know that our Japan trip wasn’t just an amazing adventure for me and Rachel. We had been calling it our babymoon – the last hurrah of unfettered spending before all of our money gets funneled into my uterus. Interestingly, we spent a lot less than we thought we would which was a pleasant surprise. But now it’s full steam ahead into reproductive medicine!
These are the two candles we lit in prayer in Koyasan. I was praying for family with Rachel. Who knows what Rachel's candle was for. She's a nicer person than I am, so maybe it was something like an end to world hunger. Or it was that the next vending machine we pass would have Red Bull in it. She's a wild card, that Rachel. Anyway...
Medicine in general is overwhelming to me. Does anyone else feel this way? I am A-OK with seeing my primary care physician once a year. She’s adorable. But it starts to feel complicated to me when I ha...
Rachel and I arrived home from Japan Thursday night, and I am excited to share our adventures with you. It was a perfect trip, and Japan is a perfect place. We both were talking about ways to move to Japan before the trip was even over. While it is pretty normal for me to start making plans to move to the places I visit, it is really a testament to how great a place is if Rachel starts doing the same thing. She is drawn much less to hyperbole than I am. You can trust her judgement.
Before I talk about everything that is amazing about Japan, I wanted to talk about a pretty universal experience: weathering the post-vacation slump. Vacations, much like weddings, involve months of preparation, money, and excitement... then suddenly they are over. After you return you are left with the nagging suspicion that life is better elsewhere as well as the subconscious knowledge that no one really wants to see your photos. You are tired, you are sad, and you are that annoyi...
We've been in Japan for a week now, and we have already decided that we want to move here.
We just really want to live in a society that appreciates cats as much as we do.
But really, we have been so impressed by pretty much everything here. I mean - look at these goddamn cherry blossoms. They are a beautiful reminder that life is fleeting. What you can't see is that inches away from these delicate little pink puffs is thousands of people getting wasted together (in business suits) to celebrate the fleetingness of life. If that isn't beautiful, I don't know what is.
Rachel and i both assumed the ohanami tradition - having a party under the cherry blossoms - would look like a sweet tea party. Boy, were we wrong. And it was more amazing that we imagined. The public parks where the ohanami parties happen even put out extra trash cans and porta-potties to facilitate the heavy drinking. It is amazing.
We are in Osaka right now, which feels like the Philadelphia of Ja...
Every once in a while, there are tiny events mixed into the goings-on of the day-to-day make you stop, take a look at your life, and say, "Well, what do you know? I'm an adult." I'm not talking about paying your bills, picking up the tab when you are out to eat with your parents, or buying your cat food before she runs out of it. Those are things that you are supposed to do in order to be a responsible human being. Those moments don't feel special. Those moments don't suddenly put your adulthood into perspective as you shout out to no one, "I do what I want!" No, the moments I'm talking about are more spontaneous and, often, significantly less honorable. You know what I am talking about. Here are some examples:
1.) Drinking on a weeknight alone in your kitchen while you listen to the sweet, soft sound of Terry Gross's inquisitive voice.
2.) Deciding that yes, you are only going to eat pie for dinner, and it is going to be delicious.