A day well spent

It’s kind of ironically delightful at times, when things get all twisted out of the ordinary way.

My aunt and I, both of whom dislike shopping, found ourselves out shopping together for quite a while this afternoon, during my visit that was designed for us to hang out and relax together.

And yet, we enjoyed ourselves today, despite the fact that we got home exhausted in the early evening… it was nice doing something like shopping with a co-conspirator of the non-shopping sort. 😛

Besides, when we got home so tired and so hungry as we were, I commented that I didn’t really feel like making any food, and that I really just wanted some biscuits and gravy…, and my aunt definitely agreed, so my uncle made us a super duper breakfast for dinner. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

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It’s all relative

It only takes a trip to somewhere worse to appreciate coming home to a place one was initially glad to leave.

I’ve been doing that a lot recently, but switching between going to somewhere worse and to somewhere better, constantly flipping my perspective back and forth (and, ultimately, leaving me moving in no real direction at all most of the time).

Post-a-day 2018

Cleaning out = unexpected exhaustion

I’m kind of exhausted.  And kind of feel like crying and curling up in a ball.
There have been a LOT of memories going through this stuff.  And, with that, has naturally come Loads of emotions.  Lots of them quite strong, too.
I guess that’s a big part of why I kept the stuff.

And as of this morning, I find myself not wanting to take on cleaning out and going through anything else right now.  Like I need a vacation from it.

Especially since so much of my stuff is disorganized amongst the various boxes, the task feels more exhausting.  Because, rather then opening up a box and re-living fifth grade, I open up a single box and am going through parts of fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and possibly even a memory or three from before and after those years.  And going through the memories of those years isn’t just ‘going through memories’.  It’s also re-experiencing the emotions and thoughts and thought patterns of it all.  So, in cleaning through one box, I am living several years – and from the very formative years – of my life in a matter of an hour or few.  Talk about exhausting… that is exhausting.

And I want a break from it for a little while, so my mind and my nerve endings can relax again and not be so constantly overwhelmed.

Post-a-day 2018

Pastries

It wasn’t until I had lived in France for a few months that I found out about the secret bags of pastries.

You see, normally, I would have one to three pastries a week.  That was all that I could afford reasonably, really.  And fresh pastries in France are kind of the bomb dot com.  Period.  Sometimes, during the morning break in class, my classmates and I would walk to the bakery the next street over, and all have a pastry and coffee together.  It was fun and always delicious.  And, compared to the US, the prices were fabulous.  However, there was still a limit – we couldn’t really do it every day on our college student budgets.

But, my life was somewhat transformed when one of the girls in my program told me how she always got her pastries.  D- found a way to try them all on a budget.  She said, ‘Yeah, you just look for these bags up on top of the counter, in a basket, and they’re filled with whatever didn’t sell yesterday.  So, it’s different every day.’

After several days, if not even a couple weeks, of psyching myself up, I finally went to the bakery she’d mentioned, to find these secret bags.  And there they were, crammed full of various pastries, and they were only a few euros.  I think it was that very first time that, even though I totally knew what the bag up on top of the pastry case was, I asked casually to the pastry chef what it was.  He explained it all to me, and how they didn’t want to waste anything, so they bagged it up and sold it cheap the next morning.  I semi-feigned surprise at what he told me, but I was also genuinely surprised that D- had been right and it really wasreal thing.  For the price of one or two fresh pastries, I could get a whole bag of ones made only yesterday, and of all different types.  No, if you grow up on fresh French pastries, they aren’t nearly too delicious.  However, we didn’t grow up on fresh French pastries – we delighted in even the day-old pastries like it was some of the best stuff we’d ever eaten.  (And it totally was.)

Plus, if someone had given me a bag of pastries anyway, I probably wouldn’t have eaten them all at once.  It would have taken me most of the day to get through them comfortably, and I’d probably even save something for breakfast the next day.  So, for a huge fraction of the price, we got to do just that.

Usually, I’d share a bag with others, so we all got to try the different pastries.  But I got my own a few times, for sure.

So anyway, if you go to France for vacation or whatever, ask the bakeries in the morning if they have bags of yesterday’s leftovers.  I think there’s even a specific term for it, but my brain is not producing it right now, if there is one… I totally used it, whatever it was, though, word or phrase or whatever… I loved trying out all the different pastries.  However, despite trying so many different pastries, I still almost exclusively get a chocolatine (pain au chocolat everywhere but the southwest), a croissant, and/or a baguette (though those guys aren’t pastries, they are still one of my favorite foods ever).  But whatever.  I got to test out all the stuff and see that I enjoyed it all, as well as discover that I really just love the simple stuff best.  (It’s like a cliché about life or something, but it’s just how I feel about French pastries.)

Post-a-day 2018

 

Okinawa, but actually Baseboards

Okay, today was, put simply, an amazing day for me.  I stood up for myself against myself and social pressures and blah-di-blah-blah, I wandered about, I found amazing things, and I never even made it to my intended destination.  And it was fabulous.

However, I’ll not write about all of that tonight.  I’m on my phone, and I find it cumbersome and somewhat annoying to write a lot on my phone, so I’ll wait until Monday or Tuesday, when I have my computer to use.  Don’t worry, though, I took lots of pictures to remind me of what all I did today (a bit different for me, huh?), so those will help me write it all up rather accurately later on!  

Instead, tonight I will write about baseboards.

As I was showering just now, here in the Air BnB, I started wondering about how they manage cleaning of the place between visitors.  Naturally, I cut off that line of thinking almost instantly (because, of you know anything about me and cleanliness, you know I have super-mental-OCD when it comes to bathroom-related cleanliness).  However, it reminded me of dirty I have found places to be in Japan.

Now, when I say that I find places here dirty, it doesn’t mean that Japan is generally gross all over the place – the average person likely wouldn’t notice a thing, except on the odd occasion.  I mean things like door handles, hand towels, and all sorts of other little everyday things.  Things like baseboards, for example.

I never thought much about baseboards (aside from ‘kicking the baseboard’ at the end of an outside turn in two-step (the partner dance, not the song that says it over and over again)) until I was visiting my high school boyfriend’s house one day.  They were finishing with cleaning day at their house when I arrived, and his mom was assigning the final chores to him and his siblings.

“Do you want to vacuum, or do the baseboards?” she asked him.

I think he picked the vacuuming, but I’m not sure.  I asked what she’d meant by “the baseboards”, and someone explained that it was running a wet paper towel or rag along all of the baseboards in the house, in order to get and keep them clean.  I got to watch one of his siblings (perhaps it was his middle sister) then do just that, going along quickly on her knees, cleaning the baseboards.

After that, I began to wonder how my family’s baseboards stayed clean, seeing as I had never noticed anyone cleaning them in any way, and certainly not in the way my boyfriend’s family did it.  I think I never asked anyone about this, but merely wondered privately what magic was at work.

Unfortunately, though, this opened me up to a whole new world of cleaning and cleanliness.  As if I hadn’t already had enough criteria for what determined a place’s (and its residents’) cleanliness, I now had this new one called “baseboards”.  Everywhere I went, of baseboards were in view, I was suddenly aware of how clean they were.

Nowadays, it has calmed down a bit, as it is no longer a new concept for me.  However, I still notice them (and judge places and people by their cleanliness, of course).  In Japan, they have often been unclean, sometimes even layered up with dirt and dust bunnies.  (Actually, there is an extreme amount of dust bunnies at my schools – I don’t understand how they all develop, not why so many of them have to end up right by my desk, of all places.)  And, every time I find these baseboards, two thoughts occur for me.  Okay, well three. 

1) Gross.

2) I want to leave now.

3) They need to get in board with John’s mom on this one. 

(John is the old high school boyfriend, in case you didn’t gather that.)

And, since so many have proven unclean here, I’ve actually taken to avoiding looking at them.  I hardly have I think about it anymore, I just realized – I simply don’t look at them.  Thus I am able to maintain one small piece of this sanity a good handful of people in the world believe that I truly do have. 😛

So,… go check out cleaning your baseboards, kay?  Or not.  Just don’t invite me over, if you haven’t checked them and can guarantee their cleanliness. 😛
Post-a-day 2017