My apologies to all of my dedicated readers (Mom)…it has been quite a while since I’ve given an update on my Japanese adventure. Well, just to put it out there; I’m alive, I’m well and I still love the journey I am on.
I was fortunate enough to start off the Year of the Snake with my favorite woman in the world, my Mama-san. We arrived in Tokyo on the last day of 2012 with a bundle of luggage and one unhappy Bassett Hound. We all made it to our new home safely which qualifies the journey as a success, but I can honestly say that I would never do that to him (or myself) again. Stressful is an understatement! First of all, Laura, Mom, Rufus and I all spent the night in “The City by the Bay” since we were flying out of SFO.
On the morning of our flight we miscalculated our departure time by about 40 minutes, which put us in quite a flurry from the get-go. Then we couldn’t find the damn on-ramp for the freeway we needed. We could see it and we drove under it 10 times, but we couldn’t figure out how the hell to actually get on the damn thing. Imagine three “somewhat” controlling females trying to navigate in unknown territory with one about to have a full blown panic attack….it wasn’t pretty. Finally, our collaborative efforts figured it out and we were able to exhale. Upon arrival at the airport the lovely All Nippon Airlines staff were waiting patiently for us as we bombarded our way through the front doors with all of our baggage and a rather large dog kennel in tow. Phew. Paperwork was in order and all that was left was to actually relinquish responsibility of my boo bear to people I didn’t know. That was tough. I won’t mention that my sister kept the van parked in the drop-off zone and was “this” close to being arrested as a terrorist…oops…I just did. Sorry, Laura, I threw you under the bus! Despite the stress of getting him here; the endless paperwork, cost and traumatic toll, I am so happy to have him here. I finally feel at home.
New Year’s was an interesting experience. Mom and I went to a colleague’s home for some drinks, snacks and catching up. People were looking forward to meeting Mom and they knew how excited I was to have her here. Right before midnight we walked over to the local temple where many of the neighborhood residents, including quite a few ASIJ teachers, gathered to “ring” in the New Year….literally.
A Japanese custom is to ring the bell at midnight on New Year’s to bring luck, or something like that. I’ve actually already forgotten the true significance of it. Like many other traditions, it’s really just an excuse to come together. As we stood in line, a bonfire roared on the grounds of the temple and a hot beverage of some sort was served. It’s one of the things I love so much about this journey; not always knowing exactly why you are doing what you’re doing, but enjoying the experience nonetheless.
Mom took residence here for about five weeks…and I loved it. Seriously, I’m not just saying that because she is probably my only reader…I truly enjoyed having her here. First of all, she is the easiest houseguest because she is just as happy staying in and watching a movie as getting out and seeing something new. That was great for me because as a “new” teacher, I find that I am very busy and overwhelmed pretty much all the time, so I didn’t have to feel guilty about not making sure every moment was filled with seeing something new. We still managed to do an awful lot in the time that she was here.
I miss you, Mom, and if you and Foxy want to come and stay permanently, I would welcome you with open arms! I also have a lovely backyard that Foxy would eventually learn to call home.