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Saturday, November 21, 2015

life ...

Life moves pretty fast. 
 If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, 
you could miss it. 
... Ferris Bueller

Apartment life in Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
for an expat fresh out of college
is exact, concise, and simple.

A bathroom designed such that you can reach the distance between the shower to the door. 
An entry way that allows for shoe storage, trash/recycle receptacles, a washer, 
leading past a kitchenette into the main living space.
A room just large enough for a microwave stand with storage, TV, coffee table/dinning table, bed/couch, chair, and storage closet.
Sufficient, exact, concise.

So much of what I observed of the Japanese culture was centered around efficiency and practicality.
Exact. Concise.
Students - other than pre-schoolers - wore uniforms regardless of where they attended school.  Men, by and large, wore black suits, white shirts, black ties.  Women wore practical shoes (with exception of the fashion district) accessorized perhaps with a designer purse, but rarely with any flashy jewelry.

Convenience stores were exactly that - convenient. 

with little price differentiation between them and the larger grocer.
And every other doorway seemed to flow into a restaurant/pub/diner.
Several times I wondered out loud if anyone ate dinner at home.

Several days of my visit were work days for Allyson, so I would joined her morning walk to school, picking up breakfast and snack for later in the day.
I would return past the elementary school in time to hear the children sing a morning song, careful not to pause too long and attract attention to myself.
I would keep with the flow of foot traffic of people making their way to the market or work and occasionally step aside to get a picture.

One morning a nice gentleman noticed me looking at the shrine located around the corner from Allyson's apartment.  He assured me it was okay to go in and look around and offered to take my picture. Truth be told, the last thing in the world I wanted was to have my picture taken, but there was no way I was going to decline such a kind gesture.  Somehow despite my complete ignorance of Japanese and his limited fluency in English - between the two of us, we managed this picture.

 Each evening as I sit in the entry to Allyson's building waiting for her return so we could embark on our evening adventure, I would simultaneously play Bejeweled on my cellphone (my feeble attempt to 'blend in' because EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE is into their cellphone), at the same time survey the people returning from their day. I looked forward to seeing one lady in particular, dressed in her traditional kimono with socks and wooden sandals, very determined in her journey, not the slightest self conscious about standing out. On several occasions I observed younger girls in their kimonos, obviously wanting to stand out; but this lady, and several other 'older' ladies, wore this beautiful garment not to attract attention but to keep tradition alive 
especially in this fast paced world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

just pictures ...

I have concluded that the best way to share my visit to Japan 
is to take a break from the usual weekly link-ups.

I have further concluded that it will be even better 
with more pictures and fewer words.

Senso-ji Temple

The juxtapose of tranquility and chaos co-existing beautifully.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

song*ography | writings on the wall ...

How do I live? How do I breathe? 
When you're not here I'm suffocating 
I want to feel love, run through my blood 
Tell me is this where I give it all up? 

For you I have to risk it all 
Cause the writing's on the wall

I did not, in fact, witness any writing on the walls in the form of graffiti while in Japan. I am sure it exists - or maybe not, but I did see some cute art on the wall in the dog park enroute to Allyson's school.

Writing's On The Wall | Sam Smith

~ We saw the new James Bond movie, Spectre, this past weekend.  
Enjoyable if you are a diehard fan, perhaps less satisfying if you are not.
I found the character to be even more disconnected from the story than usual, perhaps a bit self-fulling based on Daniel Craig's negative attitude in his post-movie premiere circuit interviews. 
I personally had not heard of Daniel Craig before him taking the role of James Bond; I suspect I am not alone in that regard.  That said, in the fickle world of acting, before he flips his nose at this paying gig, Mr. Craig might want to remember that the lame James Bond made it possible for him to wear Omega watches, Tom Ford suits, and drive around in Aston Martins. 
(plus make out with countless women - effortlessly)

Linking up with


Monday, November 9, 2015

Good.Random.Fun | taking a moment to notice ...

the GOOD ...

Good doggie.  

the RANDOM ...

why yes, that IS Tommy Lee Jones. And yes, he does appear to be crying. 
 And the trifecta of random 
- the Japanese are utterly fascinated with him, 
consequently he is widely used in advertising. 

 the FUN ...

not a kid! 

That' all I'm going to say about that because anything more would just suck the fun out of this. 


 [click below to check-out other going on over at Random-osity] 


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

black.white.wednesday | as far as the eye can see ...

and in every direction 

I asked Allyson if it would be possible to get out and get some night shots while I was there.

Her response "oh yea" 
- and then some.


Linking up with

My Memory Art

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

song*ography | breakaway ...

Want to feel the warm breeze 
Sleep under a palm tree 
Feel the rush of the ocean 
Get on board a fast train 
Travel on a jet plane 
And breakaway 

Breakaway | Kelly Clarkson


Linking up with


Monday, November 2, 2015

Good.Random.Fun | incredible ...

running a little late today but just had to share this 
(and considering Allyson has been under the weather, hopefully this will bring a smile to her face)

 Good. Random. Fun. all wrapped up in one

Lemon Tea - good;
the choice of Disney characters - random;
the realization that you're not the only one in need of the gym
or more, hearing your daughter's giggles from the other room - fun, 
(especially at the end of a busy day).
{seriously - wasn't there a better picture of Mr. Incredible to entice you to buy this product?}


 [click below to check-out other going on over at Random-osity]