Phfuuuuhhh(g)(!!!)

Well, tonight, we had some adventure.

And I’m still totally pissed about it.

Another hashtag “because ****ing Japan” under my belt tonight (which is kind of a big deal, considering I hardly ever wear belts, and am not wearing one tonight either). 😛

Anyway, I knew the whole time, and I still know now, that it was something I will enjoy and about which I will laugh (and probably much) in the future.

However, I am not ready for that.

And, really, I think that is because my emotions were, in a sense, denied, negated.

I was angry about something that happened.

I expressed this sentiment.

And the person with me kept trying to convince me not to be mad, and ended up doing so in a way that made me feel like my emotional response was invalid or wrong… and that, therefore, something was wrong with me.

Not cool, ね?

So, anyway, I think I need to get clear for myself that my emotions are valid: it is 100% okay and perfect that I was angry at what this other person did and the BS the taxi company pulled.

It is valid for me to be frustrated at my level of Japanese not being enough to sort out the situation on my own (in a hurry, anyway).

It is valid for me to be pissed that I didn’t just do it all the way I had wanted to do it all, but had instead done it a way to satisfy another.

It is valid for me to be pissed that I didn’t do a better job checking specifically the various train times.

It is valid for me to be stressed at the physical strain of running in the cold and wind and rain, in my rain boots that only mostly kept the water out (my heels ended up moist by the end, but it was somewhat expected).

It is also valid for me to be pissed at the person with me having constantly to talk…. (Ugh – shut up, already… I need to get through my own thoughts and feelings, please, without outside input [especially from the source of part of the strain, when that source isn’t changing its tune on the matter]… and to try to convince me not to be upset.

All my feelings are valid.

They are my own experience, and my experience is valid and true.

Thank you for this validation of and acceptance of my experience, Hannah.

Now that I have acknowledged it fully and accepted it, I can move forward in releasing it.

Phew…

Man, tonight kind of really sucked.

Thank you, God, for helping me through it, and thank you for helping me see the lessons in it, as well as for helping me improve myself from them, that I might do what I am here to do with you and the World and myself.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2019

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

Atlas Shrugged (and so do I)

Have you ever read it, Atlas Shrugged?  I am listening to the audiobook while driving, and I am finding it oddly wonderful.  Occasionally, I want to jot down sentence after sentence from it, and then just give up the idea, realizing that I might as well just tell people to read the whole book, because there are only five million quotes worth sharing from it.  Obviously, that is exaggerated.  However, I gave up bothering to write down anything from it, because before I can even pause the book to write down what I’d just heard, I’ve already heard something else, something additional, that I now also want to write down.  And that goes on for quite a while, such that I would be pausing the book far too much to be able to stay in the book.  So, I don’t copy any of them down, and I don’t even bother working on remembering them either, there are so many of them.  I just listen and absorb and enjoy and wonder.  I have no idea what this book is about.  I had ideas related to something from the era of Fahrenheit 451 and the other Orwell future-is-a-terrible-place sorts of novels, but I don’t know where I got the idea – I genuinely knew nothing but the title of the book before I began reading it just last week.

But I like it so far.  It has me ever on my toes, and the reader is wonderful with making everything seem important and worth hearing.  I feel like I’m in a spy novel of some sort, but, instead of its being about a murder of some sort, it is about life as a whole, and we are spying on life as a concept, and examining each little piece and evaluating it as though it were unique and brand new to us.  All this with a love of a railroad company taking the driver’s seat, and being good at whatever work one does in the passenger seat.

Post-a-day 2018

Moms and being young at heart

My mom came home late tonight, and walked into my room with a surprise for me.  Bop It Extreme (R) with newly replaced batteries.  I asked if she was teasing me, because it was actually just going to make some absurd sound after sitting for over a decade, but she declared that she had found it today and had put in new batteries specifically because she recalled that I had liked the game.

I showed her how I always held it, told her about the sounds for scoring, and convinced her to play the group version with me, passing it back and forth together.  We were both laughing like little kids.  It was fabulous.

Afterward, we began discussing family activities for our family open house the Saturday before Christmas, while we have family all in town.  The main topic of this discussion was cooked decorating.  As my mom listed off the number of dog houses, campers, trains, houses, sweaters, and ninjas she had, we couldn’t contain our growing smiles.  She ended with, “and a partridge in a pear tree,” and we both laughed while she figured out what she actually had not yet listed (there is no partridge and no pear tree).  I said that it sounded more like a “The dog, in the camper, with the nunchucks,” kind of scenario.  She argued that the dog goes in the doghouse, though, but then declared that that is why the dog is in the doghouse – because he was the one in the camper with the nunchucks…

Can you tell we are young at heart?  I sure love it.  😀

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Post-a-day 2017

Good morning… fancy an earthquake?

This morning, I woke up around five in an extreme panic.  My bed was shaking, and my subconscience was sure that the building soon would be tumbling down – this was a massive earthquake, and it was lasting… already almost a minute before I could get my bearings and turn on a light.

And then, as I discovered where exactly I was, – in the USA, and specifically Texas – it took me another moment to discover what was happening.  I knew that it was not an earthquake.  It was not the gymnasium over my head, either, as it was in a place where I briefly worked immediately after arriving to the US.  So, what was it?  ‘What is going on?!’ my insides demanded to know.

And then I heard it: a wind-filled noise, accompanied by a soft chugging sound of deep iron.  It was a train.  While the sounds of trains have never much bothered me, even when I lived beside tracks in the past, I’m not sure that I ever noticed a shaking tied to the passing of one.  Nonetheless, I experienced it in full force this morning.

After I realized that it was simply a passing train, – though, I was still surprised at how much it shook the house and its contents – and not an earthquake, I mentally noted that I didn’t even have to start panicking.  A few seconds after this noting, my body finally began to respond to the threat of the earthquake.  It had been as though I were in a fight or flight mode, and so hadn’t had the various responses tied to the fear in the perceived situation.  Once I was safe, they all kicked into action, and I began shaking all by my self.  I was physically panicking now.  My breathing tighted to a near non-existence, and my heart raced.  My skin prickled all over, and I had to force myself to swallow and then take slow, deep breaths.

I wonder if it will happen again this morning…

Post-a-day 2017

Books for Previews

I read books in the movie theatre.  It’s true.  I really do.  Not during the film, of course, but beforehand, and sometimes even during previews.

It all started when a friend of my dad’s gave me a book called Staying Alive in Year Five.  I think it might be an Australian book.  Whatever its origin, I loved reading the book.  I remember being so excited to see what happened next that I took it with me everywhere, so I could read whenever I had the chance.

This, naturally, included the movie theatre.  We always get to the film early in order to get good seats, and then the movie itself never starts at the specified time, anyway.  So, I sat down in my seat by my family members, and I opened up my book and read.  I was excited for the film, but I was also disappointed at having to stop reading, when it got to the beginning of the film.

Nowadays, I still read before a movie, if I’m there at all, of course.  There hasn’t been much to spark my interest lately, so I haven’t often been at the cinema.  And Japan was different, simply because I wanted to learn as much Japanese and Japanese culture as I could, so I watched all the previews and everything rather avidly.  Aside from those specific circumstances, I read.  I almost always have a book with me.  Living in Japan meant that I ended up always having my Kindle, since hard copies of books in not Japanese weren’t so easy to come by.  I would read at work, on the train, and at home.  While walking around (once I bought earphones I could wear again [Thanks, Korea!]), I listened to audiobooks.  Occasionally, I listened to music, but typically not.  I just love books.

Post-a-day 2017

Getting to the airport

So, I still hate living in Japan, and it reminded me of this fact on my way to the airport this morning.  However, I also still truly love parts of this place and culture.  My trip to the airport reminded me of this fact, too.

As I struggled with three rolling bags and a guitar (I know, I know – stupid.  But it was unavoidable.), the terrible signage and lack of findable elevators was driving me insane, along with the constant rumble strips for hard-of-seeing individuals (I don’t blame anyone for that – it merely added to my struggle, is all, with the suitcase wheels constantly getting stuck in them.).  

So, rather than just being able to take an elevator to the right level, and walk flat to my airport train, and then take a second elevator down, I took what felt like an insane route, due to poor signage.  Struggling to exit the final tiny escalator (width-wise tiny), and get my stuff out of the way for the people behind me, I was totally I surprised to find myself outside with rain.  Yes, the whole station connects in a covered and underground area.  But this was the only path I could take, based on signs (which I know is false information, because I’ve been to the same area before, just from a different direction).  I finally gave up attempting to pull both big bags at once (one had the smaller rolling bag on top of it, and was somewhat impossible to manage off smooth, flat terrain), and just left one sitting near the escalator.  I trudged through the rain with the two bags, and wasn’t even sure how far I would go before turning back for the other bag.  I was unconcerned about leaving my bag, though, because 1) this is Japan, 2) it’s freakin’ heavy and hard to move, and 3) some station staff were standing right near it, and they saw me leave it there in my struggle.

I could tell the station staff guys were a bit concerned about my bag, so, when I found a spot covered from the rain, just around the corner, I propped my two bags against the wall, and started heading back for the other bag.  Of course, there were no signs for the train line I wanted, but that was no surprise – this is Japan.

As I came around the corner, however, one of the old men station workers was heading my way with my bag.  I thanked him in Japanese, and started to go to take the bag from him, but he asked in adorable English (meaning I understood, but it was not really correct at all) if I were taking the Narita Express.  I said that I was, and he just nodded, kept walking, and pointed up the escalator to the left.  I quickly grabbed my other bags and followed.

The big bags barely fit on the even smaller escalator we were using, but we managed.  At the top, I expected he might return my bag to me, but he again kept walking ahead of me, showing me the way to a train whose signs I still couldn’t find.

Remember that this is Japan (as if you could forget), so, of course, we came to a staircase now.  No alternate route.  None.  But we took an escalator to where we were, so it makes perfect sense for only stairs to follow.  But then, the upside of Japan came again, and a young-ish guy helped us carry the bags up the stairs, once he saw the station worker attempting to pick up one of my bags, as I carried another up with the guitar.  I heard the station worker comment to the guy that I was alone and carrying all three suitcases, and I smiled – people really can be super sweet here.  I in no way deny that.

So we continued on, and found our ticket barrier for the train.  I still had to buy a ticket, so he asked the window worker, and she sent me to the machines.  Unfortunately, the 7:13 train that was about to leave didn’t have any tickets available on the machine.  The next was at 8:00-ish, which started to put me into a panic.  I quickly asked about the 7:13 train, and my old man asked the window people for me.  Yet another station worker came from the window, and started tapping at the machine screen for me a few moments later.  Eventually, despite various issues, I got a ticket for the 7:13.  At least, it would let me on the 7:13.

Again, I heard the conversation happening about my being hitori desu! and mitsu desu ne.  The worker who helped me get my ticket then took over for the old man from the other section of the station, and took one of my big bags for me.  I thanked the old man profusely, and marveled one last time at his light blue eyes.  He wished me luck and courage.

I got stuck in the ticket barrier.  Yes, literally, because the one bag was too wide, and so the lady let me go back and bring my bag through the side area.  However, that meant that my ticket was eaten by the machine, since I didn’t make it all the way through the barrier.  And I only had so many minutes before the train.

The lady rushed over and opened up the ticket barrier, pulled out my ticket from a bin, and handed it to me, wishing me luck and courage, as well.  I thanked her greatly, and started rushing after the worker who’d taken my other bag.

We had just barely five minutes, and I could  tell we had far to go, simply by the fact that he was checking his watch and hurrying along so quickly.  The long corridor that greeted us as we rounded a corner made me a bit more nervous.  We rushed down the walkway, though, and he eventually declared that it would be okay.  He led me to an elevator (phew!), and we went down to the track.  The whole time, he had been talking with me, chatting about my stay and whatnot, and then telling me about where I could sit on the train.  Some good final practice for my Japanese, I suppose.  It was really nice to have someone to chat with me casually, though, especially with the physical stress and mental workout that had been going on so far today (and that still awaited).

He helped me on the train, showed me the secret seats in the wall, and wished me safety and good health.  After a few minutes on the train, the ticket checker guy who’d seen us get on came out of his little room and smiled at me as he walked past.  A few moments later, he came back and summoned me silently with the Japanese wave.  I followed, and he offered me a real seat in the cabin.  I thanked him, and collapsed into the seat.

Now, a bit of snacking and a bathroom break later, I am almost to the airport.  I don’t know how much my bags weigh.  One is for sure okay, the other concerns me a bit.  I’ve never measured 70lbs before, so I don’t know how that feels.  I’m a rather good judge for 50lbs, though, and my second checked bag is right close to 50.  My carry-on is way heavy.  But it might still be okay.  We shall see…

I still have to cancel my phone contract at the store, too.  And get through security with my Fuji-San hiking stick.  And make it on the plane, of course.  So, let’s hope for the best here, eh?

Fingers crossed!
P.S.  Oh.  And, as a side note, I happen to be sick right now, too.  It all started with the whole smoking at dinner the other night. My throat started burning then, and hasn’t stopped since.  :/

Post-a-day 2017