Nihonjin Smash a-Gain?!

It must be the weekend of Nihonjin Smashes…

First, we had the food on the train yesterday.

Today, we suddenly had a woman ON HER PHONE on the train today… and not quietly, either.

I was several feet away from her, a few yards/meters, and I could hear her rather easily… and I don’t have the greatest of hearing abilities, by the way.

It was nuts.

And she wasn’t young either…, so she totally knew better (aside from the fact that all over the train there are signs saying to put phones on “manaa mode”, manaa being the onomatopoeia for vibration, and not to be on calls on them while on the train.

(And then they remind everyone, “…please off your seat…,” to someone in need, on the next part of the repeated announcements.)

And she can read those signed… I only barely and I’m part can, and I’m not Japanese…, so she could totally read those announcements, and easily so.

Nonetheless, she took a phone call, it was silly, and I could hardly believe it but for yesterday’s eye-opening act.

Post-a-day 2019

I had the best day with you today

Some of the best days are the ones where you not only don’t pull out your phone, but you don’t even realize that you aren’t pulling it out… you come across it in your bag, say, near the end of the night, and you think, Oh, hello, phone… Haven’t seen you all day!, and then you continue on just as before, without doing anything but leaving the phone where it already has been hanging out all day.

Yep… some of the best days are like that… like today… 🙂

Though, just as Pooh and Piglet always share, I suppose that every day is not only like today, but it is today… “My favorite,” he always says… 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Crazy messages galore

Just to add on to what I shared last night, I share this bit of text message conversation between that same cousin and me today, following a photo she sent me via her mother’s phone.

……………..

Cousin:  Phone has decided to stop working. Using mom’s for the moment. What do these look like?
Hannah:  Almost like champagne glasses
Cousin:  Quite bosomy. I had to get them for you
Tis admittedly a more generous bust than most.
I thought you might appreciate a cup size closer to your own. Most glasses are an A at best.
Hannah:  Haha… Totally… I accept that idea. Personal champagne glasses.

…………….

Just another day in the life.  😀

Post-a-day 2018

Signal-free

I opened my laptop to use it today, and found it with the battery at zero power.  I considered briefly grabbing the charger, and then chose against it – I didn’t need to use the computer that badly.  And so, I closed the computer and put it back into its case to put it away.  As I slid it back onto its spot on the desk, I was suddenly reminded of Ed Sheeran, and felt a little bit like he is.

You see, I recently saw a Carpool Karaoke of  James Corden’s with Ed Sheeran.  In it, Ed Sheeran informs James Corden that he is still in the phase of not using a phone – the way to reach him is by e-mail, which he checks every so often on a computer.  Ed Sheeran actually said that he had a phone for about two weeks, I believe it was, but then the battery died, and he didn’t ever charge it again.  There were so many demands tied into having a cell phone, he decided to live life without it.  (It seems that Sir Elton John has no cell phone either, and it doesn’t matter much, because he can always use the phone of a nearby security person or the likes.)  While I listened to him talking about not having a phone, how it is just like living was for our parents before we were born (and even when we were still little), I was nodding along happily, feeling the thought of, ‘That is probably Really nice.’  It had me even consider if I could manage such a thing.  (I then remembered how I actually did that for about a month and a half just a few years ago, simply due to phone replacement issues.  It really was rather easy on my end, and I enjoyed it.  My mom totally hated it, though, despite the fact that we didn’t even live together.). I respected and even envied him a bit, but I was filled with a happy contentment of how that kind of lifestyle could be so blissful, in a sense.

And now, tonight, I felt just that tiny bit of connection to Ed Sheeran, as I found my computer battery dead, and chose not to charge it again, knowing that I would have used it for way long, if I had plugged in the charger and used the computer.  I know that this was just one time, one day, but it reminded me of what could be possible for me in the (possibly near) future.  It was really nice.  A little bit silly, too, but that just makes it even better. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

It’s for you…

Talking with a friend tonight, he mentioned that he is not one for keeping up with others via the telephone.  He said that he felt a worry of it growing awkward at some point, and I’m guessing he meant due to the lack of things to discuss.  I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who’s a very phone-y person, however, I do consider myself good at keeping in touch with people long-distance, when they are interested in remaining in touch.  Out of curiosity, I checked my phone log for the past eight days (I got tired of clicking on each one, so I stopped after eight days.).  I had two conversations of about half an hour (one with this particular friend), one conversation of about 45 minutes, one conversation of about an hour, and two conversations of about an hour and a half.  That’s just in the past eight days.  There were a few conversations between ten and 15 minutes, but most of them were under five minutes in the total phone log for the eight days.  I’ve never thought much about this, but I suddenly wonder if this is not quite normal.

To be fair, one of the people – she had two of the very long conversations – is a friend from college who now lives in Georgia, and another is my brother who lives in Japan.  So, they’re both long-distance folks in my life.  But it wasn’t like we were ‘catching up’ on things.  She and I were just chatting about whatever, keeping on another company while we accomplished other things, and my brother and I were talking mostly about this book I’m reading, and then a little about taxes and insurance, before returning to the book.  We hardly even mentioned anything relating to ‘catching up’ on what’s going on in life for each of us.  I guess we just don’t have difficulty discussing things fluidly, and so we never reach a point of dryness in the conversation.  Or, as in the case of the friend in Georgia, if we aren’t talking for a bit, it’s because we’re focusing on something else, and so we want the pause in the conversation.  It is in no way an awkward silence, but, rather, a welcomed, desired moment for focus to be elsewhere.  Our goal is to hang out together, and so we do just that… miles and miles apart.  (I looked it up.  It’s about 700 miles by plane, 800 by car.)  My best friend and I would Skype like that, just hanging out together as though we were in the same room as one another, even though we were in different countries.  (We don’t right now, because she’s had to hunker down to finish her PhD, and so we couldn’t have our hanging out distract her from the much-needed focus.)

Maybe I’m just super accustomed to long-distance relationships, beginning with my parents’ having divorced and lived across town from one another from the time I was five.

On the other end, I have one of my best friends living in DC.  We learned from the first time I studied abroad that she is not a great long-distance friend.  Even when I would reach out, she wasn’t great at getting back to me on things or at getting herself on the phone in the first place.  Even today, she’ll stay on the phone for a while if she gets the chance, but the chances don’t come often.  And so, we talk little on the phone, but hang out like mad whenever she’s in town (or I surprise her in DC by just showing up to her office one day).  And, when we did live in the same city, we hung out constantly.  We saw one another probably every couple days, and at least once a week.  She’s a spectacular in-person friend.  And I think that balances out the long-distance aspect, because, even though so much has changed and we have changed so much since we were last together, it is always fabulous when we hang out, and it is always still the wonderful bond of friendship, of “us”, when we are together.  (Cheesy, I know, but it’s totally true.)

Anyway, just some thoughts.  Kind of makes you wonder what kind of phone person you are, huh?  (Or maybe not at all, but whatevs.)  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Disturb away :)

I do not currently recall the topic about which I had wanted to write today, so I will write about something I do recall from today.

No one can reach a friend of mine by phone call.  At least, no one could until today.  You see, after months of calling him on my way between locations in my day, or occasionally on my way home, just to check in whenever something had brought him to mind (which happened a lot for a while, because I worked somewhere that he had only somewhat recently left working), and never reaching him, I decided that he couldn’t always be so busy.  He couldn’t have his phone off that often.  It just wasn’t real.  don’t even have my phone signal off that often, and I’m kind of weird compared to the average for my age group.  (Slash compared to anyone under 80.)

And so I developed a theory.  When he himself admitted that I was not the first to say that I always got his voicemail, my theory evolved from the idea that something was wrong with his phone.  I learned some details of the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my own phone, and my theory was almost solidified.  Whenever I called him, I called him twice in a row, and the phone would ring the second time, and he almost always answered on the second call.  Or, at least, he would return the phone call, if he didn’t answer.  And that is how I agreed upon my theory that his phone was on “Do Not Disturb” indefinitely.

However, I kept forgetting to share my theory with this friend.  And so, he continued to miss calls, friends of his likely continued to grow annoyed at him/his phone, and I increased in my expectation that somehow he might just figure it out without my telling him.

And did that happen?

Well, this afternoon, when he called me immediately back (as I was in the middle of telling Siri to call him a second time, as I always did), I thought the problem had possibly been solved.  Alas, no.  He had merely been looking right at his phone, and so saw the missed call from me pop up immediately.

After his comment that he needed to take it in to the Apple Store to be checked out, I asked him if his phone was on “Do Not Disturb”.  He assured me that it was not.  “Are you sure?” I asked.  He confirmed his surety.  “100%?”  As he gave me a number around 99% (it might have been 98.5%, but I don’t recall exactly what he gave), he was convinced to check the phone, just in case.  When he asked me where to find it, I knew instantly that my 70-ish percent certainty had conquered his mere 99% certainty.

I explained to him how to check it and how the icon appeared, and he almost instantly began a sort of slew of self-deprecating, astonished declarations.  My theory was correct.

😛

I only now imagine myself riding my bicycle at the time with a gleam in my eye, just like Hércule Poirot must have had in the spectacular book I’d just finished reading today (Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie).  (She really is a rock star of writing.  Actually, that might have been what I’d wanted to share for today.  Whatever the case, go read the book – it’s wonderful.  I am ever grateful that Agatha Christie decided to keep writing those books and to keep taking a little more money each time, as her friend suggested.)

Post-a-day 2018

The world turned upside down

The internet went out for a little while tonight…, and I find it somewhat hilarious that it was sort of a huge deal for the others in the house, and I almost couldn’t have cared less.  I did, after all, live several months wihout internet at home, both in the US and in Japan, and I even spent some months without cell service or phone service of any kind either…  I kind if enjoyed the certainty of quiet that it allowed.
  Knowing that no call or text or e-mail would arrive on any device whenever I was at home, was like breathing freely in a whole new way.  And all the important people knew my situation, so they knew to show up at my door if they wanted anything immediate, or to plan enough ahead to tell me to go check something at a certain time, using the WiFi down the road.

I almost miss that.  I certainly miss the reliability of work and income I’d had at the time.  😛  But that’s not really the point here, now, is it?

Post-a-day 2018

My Dating Life

A friend of mine suggested I write about dating life in a foreign country.  However, I cannot entirely speak to the subject, because 1) I have not dated anyone here, and 2) I haven’t really dated people back home either.

However…., I do have some interesting dating and dating-ish stories I could share.  So, I’ll do that instead.  🙂

We’ll begin with my first date, as it was, indeed, an odd beginning to an odd history of dating.

 

Date #1

My high school boyfriend and I split up the summer before college, out of being reasonable.  How it happened is a story for another time, though, as it is well worth telling, but just not now.  We remain to this day friends, and so were on good terms as the summer neared its end.  One day, when we were in the same place, John (that’s his name, you see) did something adorably wonderful.  He asked me on a date.  No, I do not remember the exact words he used, however, I remember that he did use explicit words quite similar to, “Would you go out on a date with me?”

While we had been a couple, we had often laughed at the fact that we had never been on a single date.  Every time we were arranging something that would have ended up as a date, we found ourselves desperately longing to invite so-and-so to come, because he/she would just LOVE it, or something like that.  It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be alone together.  It was merely that we love our friends and we are generous.  Also, a good amount of the time, my mom would be with us for things.  She often would be planning something really neat, and I would be going with her, and one of us would think of how John might enjoy the activity, too, and then either pick him up or have him meet us somewhere to join in the activity.  A lot of people found it odd that my boyfriend and I (and often my friends, too) did so much with my mom, but it was just way fun for all of us.  That being said, most John’s and my one-on-one time was spent standing outside his house as I was about to drive home at night, and never on actually going out to do anything (i.e. dates).

So, he asked me on a date.  The plan was to go out to dinner at this great vegetarian Indian restaurant near my house, and then to go to see a musical together downtown.  John was driving (and not I for once).  When he came to get me for dinner, it was sprinkling beautifully, and we somehow ended up going swimming (or at least playing in the backyard in the rain) instead, and my mom went and picked up food for us.  The three of us then had dinner at my house together.  At the musical, the two seats that John had purchased (with the help of his father) turned out to be across the wheelchair section from one another, leaving a gap of about a meter between our two seats.  I squat on the ground next to his seat for a bit, and then I think we eventually moved to a couple of other empty seats, so we actually could sit side-by-side.  It was a fabulously tragic date, which we both absolutely loved, because it was so terrible on paper, but so delightful in experience.

And that was date #1.

 

Date #2

A few years ago, I attended something called VIRTUS Training.  It is essentially a seminar for people who will be working at schools, for them to learn about identifying child sexual abuse.  In other words, it was a seminar on child sexual abuse.  It was at this wonderful seminar that I met my second date – or so I believe it was my second date, anyway.  He was sitting near me in the training, and I think wasn’t even in my discussion group.  However, we exchanged various faces at different things throughout the evening, and ended up in conversation afterward.  After probably a good half hour of talking outside afterward, he very beautifully expressed that he had enjoyed talking with me very much, and would I like to continue talking over dinner some time soon?  I agreed, and I gave him my number in order to arrange the dinner at another time.

For the dinner, he told me that he was “old fashioned”, and so was it alright that he pick me up for the date?  I originally agreed happily.  However, my sister told me it was a terrible idea, and got me all nervous, because I didn’t really know this guy, and what if it went horribly?  (It went wonderfully, but still, she got me nervous nonetheless.)  But my worries proved pointless, because, as I had just purchased my new car the day of our date, I had to take it for my family to see (and test drive, of course), which put me behind schedule for our date.  Since that was the case, I just met him at a restaurant midway between where I was in town and where he lived, so he didn’t have to wait so long nor have to drive all the way to my house (which was quite far for him).

I eventually ran into him again while I was still working at Starbucks, but it was quite busy at the time, and so we really didn’t get to chat (though I totally wanted to do so).  I had not saved his number, and so couldn’t call or message him again after that.  (Sometimes, you just don’t plan on getting a new phone before you’ve saved a number, ya know?)

And that is what came of date #2, when I met a guy at a child sexual abuse seminar.

 

Date #3

My third date, in my opinion, is the best of the three – yes, there have only been three – and also the most uncertain.  It is uncertain, because I simply hadn’t known that it was a date, and I’m still not certain as to whether it was a date.  You may judge for yourself as to whether it was a date or not.  😉

In France, there is a wonderful carpooling website, which helps anyone travel almost anywhere normal in France (and even to nearby destinations in neighboring countries).  I used it constantly for travel while I studied in Toulouse, and therefore used it again when I went to visit a couple summers ago.  It was in this carpooling from Barcelona to Toulouse that I met this party boy.

We didn’t talk much on the drive (I slept mostly, and he talked with the other passengers.), but we did a bit near the end, and he asked for my Facebook.  I felt no aversion to the guy, although I knew that we led very different lifestyles, his being a party boy and my being…. well, just not.  I like dancing and music and all, but not the drinking like crazy part.  He had even offered me a section of his sandwich on the ride.  because, I know you, so, of course, we’d share your sandwich.  😛  I liked the guy, despite our obvious differences.  He was just really open and friendly and honest.

And, as a bonus, quite handsome.  Think tall, dark and fancy hair, tanned skin, and quite fit.  Yes, he could carry me quite easily in his arms.  (I have no idea why that is something I notice about guys – whether they could carry me or not.  I just always notice it.)

Turned out that his apartment was literally the next street over from the AirBnB where I ended up staying.  Via texting, he asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat with him one night.  Yes, of course.  (I’d be eating alone otherwise, and he had been great company already.)  ‘Do you want to meet me somewhere, or should I pick you up on my scooter?’  Scooter, please.  (One of my dreams in life has been to ride a scooter with a cute guy in Europe, thanks to MaryKate and Ashley.)

So, he picked me up on his scooter, and drove me to a cool restaurant in a part of town I’ve always loved.  We sat outside, and it was fabulous.  I had him order for me whatever he thought was best to have.  I’m usually more of the raw vegan diet type, but I roll with the culture these days, so I graciously accepted a delicious and innerly-pink steak.  We chatted and had a great time, and when he went in to pay, I followed a bit behind, and asked what I owed.  He, a bit surprised, said that I owed nothing, as he was paying for everything.  It was my turn to be surprised, but I did not even consider that this was a date – perhaps he’s just really nice to the foreigner girl visiting his hometown.

And so, we went and got some beers from a store, and he showed me around his huge, old-fashioned apartment, which he shared with this rich guy with a really nice car, as he put it (I don’t remember what the car was, but it was legitimately a very expensive car.).  We hung out and talked, and it was totally great.  When I finally reached home, and told him that I was home safely, he sent me a message that had me suddenly see the evening in a slightly – meaning entirely – different light.  It was in a light and friendly way, and even with a wink smiley face, so it was not meant to be nasty or inappropriate.  However, he said that ‘he would have preferred that I had stayed there.’  Oh, my…  At last I came to the sudden idea that this might actually have been a date.  I then got super excited that I was not only on my third date ever (Whoohoo!), but on a date with a gorgeous French guy, and IN French.  How cool is that?!  Way cool.  Seriously.  It was awesome.  Dreams fulfilled that I hadn’t even dreamed up yet.

And that was date #3.  I think, anyway.  😛

 

Those have been my three official-ish dates (I’m still not sure about that third one).  They were each wonderful in their own ways, and I find none of them to be too standard (slash at all standard).  I loved each and every one, and I look forward to raising the bar each time to more ridiculous scenarios surrounding my dating life.  (I need to share about my coffee dates and the likes, too.  Those have been fun, for sure, and very international.)

I’m super tired now, so I’m going to sleep.  However, I plan to continue with the coffee dating and other date-related things that weren’t actually dates.  🙂

 

Post-a-day 2017

 

 

Magic in our pockets

Tonight, I have dance class (at long last).  But that is not exactly the point… merely a piece of the mix.  I am on my way to dance class now, writing this, as I listen to the lady’s voice coming through the hidden speakers on the train, announcing clearly, “Please off your seat to those who may need it,” at which I inwardly chuckle/cringe each time.

Before I left home for class, however, I was baking cake cookies, while watching a film.  The film was “Kate & Leopold”, and it was showing on a laptop near me at my convenience.  It was well past time to leave, but the film was not quite finished.  However, I had finally finished my cake cookies, and so had no real excuse to delay my departure – the film could pause and wait just as easily as it could continue playing… Perhaps even more easily, as it required no power source from my apartment to do that.  Though, that is not the point here.

So, I paused the movie, once I saw that it had a good ten minutes remaining in it, and it therefore would not finish in the time it took me to go to the bathroom and put on my socks.  Now, I know how the movie ends.  That, too, is not the point.  The point, my dear readers is this: I didn’t have to stop watching the film, despite my then immediate departure.

How crazy a world is this one in which we now live, where I don’t have to stop watching the film that is at home, when I leave my home?

I could have easily pulled up Netflix on my phone, just as easily as I checked the time when I was slumbering down the stairs outside – which was, indeed, how Inhad even had the idea – , and immediately resumed the film where I had paused it.  Just by opening the website (or app if I’d bothered to download it), I could have simply clicked the play button and continued my film as I was heading to the train station.

It seems so simple and normal and standard, because people do this all the time.  I see people watching TV shows and movies almost every time I am on the train.  And yet, having experienced this particular situation tonight, I suddenly see how bizarre and futuristic a concept this is.  A movie can travel with me in my pocket, even if ten seconds ago, it was on a huge TV screen or a computer or wherever.  It’s like shapeshifting or magic, and we’re all carrying it around with us, as though it’s a cup of coffee or a slice of bread.  Or an apple.  Literally, I guess.  (Though I’d definitely intended that one to be a reference to its connection with the magic of physics.)
Post-a-day 2017