Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Big Bazaar Day Two

Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin
Still working the bird motif, but this time, a more muted outfit.

Big Bazaar First Day

Originally uploaded by bakagaijiin
Isn't this a great kimono? I hadn't a chance to wear it yet, so here it is!


I haven't mentioned that we'll be stateside from the 8th to the 27th. As part of prepping for the trip, I've been cleaning like a lunatic, since we have the faboo Reginald taking care of our house (and cat) for the month. One thing I've been meaning to do is take the kitchen rugs to the laundromat and use the industrial washer to clean them.

So today I did it. There's a brand-new 'mat by my favorite 100 yen shop. It's called "Blue Skies", of all things. So I walked in with an armful of rugs and a confused look on my face because I couldn't tell the washers from the dryers. Luckily, the 'mat is also directly attached to a dry-cleaners, and the clerk was very helpful. She pointed me in the right direction, to a pretty serious-looking washing machine. It cost 500 yen (about 4.85) for a thirty-minute wash, soap included-and automatically dispensed. But wait, it gets even better. This particular washing machine had a ca-razy looking keypad on its front.

Luckily, at this point in my stay in Japan, I can follow along, otherwise I never would have understood it when the clerk told me to punch in my mobile phone number and hit the green button twice.

Oh, hells, yeah. The fucking washing machine CALLS your mobile five minutes before the wash is done. No more hanging around the 'mat, watchin' your dirty drawers go round and round 'till they are clean. THESE DRAWERS ARE CLEAN! Well, I can't ever remember my freaking mobile phone number because it's umpteen digits long AND I didn't have my mobile with me, because I had told Chris where I was going AND I had planned on doing some shopping at the 100 yen store during the wash cycle.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, so I plugged in the number for my Japanese land line. And then I went shopping and then I went home.

I came home and asked Chris "Did the washing machine call?" and bless his analytical brain, he replied "Is that what that was? It said something about preparing and five minutes, but that's all I caught." So I told him all about the very cool calling-your-mobile washer and then we went and got the wash and some groceries for dinner.

Blue Skies also has a special machine just for washing sneakers but that's a story for another time. And I want to get Crocker in on that one, to see if the Blue Skies clerk can get Crocker's size 15's (!) to fit in there.


Monday, November 05, 2007

And So It Begins...

Well, this isn't a travel day, but it's the start of our home leave. I'm at the house, finishing up prepwork for the trip. Chris is doing a short day at work. We leave tomorrow for Narita and on Tuesday we fly out, making our way towards the East Coast.

I'm a bit concerned about how well I will hold up-I'm a terrible traveller. I'm also concerned about what it will be like to be back after three years of being away. I need to quit worrying about that, what's the point?

I'm very excited about seeing my family and friends, particularly my former coworkers at APL. Sounds like a few people are going to come out to lunch with me. I really do miss them now that I think about it, not dwelling on my friends and family back home has been a coping mechanism, albeit a dysfunctional one.

Chris' parents say Columbia has been built up a lot in the last three years. Not suprising, Rouse died shortly before we left and a lot of the restrictions on building in Columbia were lifted, pretty much ruining what I liked about it. Eh, you can't go home ever again AND I find myself referring to Japan as "home" which strikes me as pretty funny.

Let me get ready to leave "home" and go "home."