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Saturday, May 12

Hello? April?

What happened to April? Seriously, was the month cut short in days like that crazy February month? Because I just can’t believe that the month passed and I don’t remember much of it.

This past month was much like the months that would fly by when we lived in DC. Days were filled with work, work and then a little bit more work. It was the month of April that made me fully realize that my honeymoon with Japan is firmly over. Not that there isn’t still so much to see, do and experience… just that work has again taken the priority position in my life to experiencing. This is actually a true regret for me. I came to Japan to slow myself down. I know I talk about this a lot. But I seriously grew tired of the fast pace with which I rushed through everything, barely taking in my surroundings. I tried hard to make my time here different. April was a back slide into the person I used to be which, if I am being honest, never really went that far away from. May and June will not allow me to reverse that pattern just yet. But come hell or high water, July is going to be all about slowing down again.

April wasn’t all bad. There were some highlights. Okay, two highlights. I learned to tango with a hot Argentinian who couldn’t keep his eyes off me. Okay, it was really only a fifteen minute lesson… which occurred in front of a hundred plus Japanese women at the Ikebana International event… and he was really watching my feet… but I still got to shimmy up against a sultry stranger and it was perfectly acceptable to Kimono Hubby.

My second highlight was a dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Tokyo. To many of you, this is surely not considered a highlight as you are tossing back those mega pounds of steak and Wallaby Darned’s on a regular basis. However, should you decide on a life in Japan for any length of time you will come to realize that the Japanese do not generally serve big, juicy steaks, potatoes smothered in sour cream, cheese, and bacon, frozen frou-frou drinks nor do they dip their onions into vats of fat and call it a meal. We had been recommended by some Japanese friends to try this other steak place in the past. They raved about this place and after enough miso soup, it sounded pretty tasty and worth a shot for an American night out. When we left after our dinner that night, we had to come home and make a second meal. The steak size was so paltry, similar to thin slices of delicious sashimi. While I am a fan of sashimi, it is not the preferred method for steak. One should never leave a steakhouse hungry. Outback, oh how I love thee… I was sick for two days afterwards but damn it was worth it.

I did forget a magnificent third highlight (literally) in my original calculations! I found a hairdresser who knows what a lowlight is and was able to begin reversing the damage to my locks. For chicks... this is big. Seriously BIG! She even comes to your house to do your hair and charges a third of what I paid in DC. If she wasn't already married, I'd totally pop the question.

So here we are in May. As of today, we achieved one highlight for the month. This morning we trekked to the local Japanese mall to see Spiderman 3. It has been all the rave here for over a week. Since we have yet to go to a Japanese movie, we thought this would be an excellent choice. 1,800 yen per ticket which is roughly $15.50. Expensive but I figured worth it for the experience. The movie was scheduled to start at 12:15 but you are supposed to be in your seat by 12:05… your assigned seat. Yes, they assign you a seat when you purchase the ticket. At exactly 12:05, the previews began with four previews, all of American movies but dubbed partially into Japanese. Plus the titles were in Japanese. Looks like some good films are coming out although I have no idea what the names might be. Moving on… at exactly 12:15, the movie began. When does that happen at home? Brilliant idea, this starting on time stuff. The movie was as expected and I was enjoying it despite the backs of the chairs being a bit unsuited for someone of my dorsal length. Twenty minutes before the movie was over, something happened to the picture and a haze gathered across the screen. This is of course when all the good action is happening and Mary Jane is hanging from a cab stuck in a web clinging to two skyscrapers. Back home, someone would have adjusted the picture pretty quickly or their might have been a mutiny. Here, everyone sat quietly in their chairs and watched the last twenty minutes in its relative obscurity. I, of course not wanting to be the rude American, sat there like everyone else. Together, we quietly watched as I got hotter and hotter under the collar, with a growing headache due to squinting at the screen. When the movie ended, as I had been informed, people sat there quietly continuing to watch the credits because they do not get up and rush out of the theater like Americans do. That would be rude. As hot as I was, I sincerely didn’t give a hoot. Who can read the damn credits anyway when they are all blurred into anonymity? I practically shoved Kimono Hubby into the aisle. So much for my Japanese movie going experience. Next time, we’ll wait for the flick to come out on base and pay a measly $3 bucks and not care if the movie goes to crap when the good stuff happens.

I do have many things to be looking forward to in the coming weeks. We are less than two weeks from Thailand and I can barely stop the stupid grin on my face. Next week, I am taking a trip with Ikebana International to learn how to do Japanese indigo dying which will surely be an amusement as I can promise that some part of me will surely be turned permanent blue by the end of the day.

For the rest of today, it is back to homework and housework. Indeed, lame I may be these days. There is one thing I get to smile about for the rest of this weekend… its grillin’ weather! Which means I get to turn over my cooking responsibilities to the man of the house. Ahhh… if only every day could be a grillin’ day.


Mike S said...

I don't know how things are today, but we used to love dining at the Club at Camp Zama, great steak and there was Beef & Burgandy Buffet on Wednesdays. We'd try to be in the area whenever possible on Wednesdays. The Air Force Exchange cafeteria at Yokota had excellent filet mignon as well, but was rarer for us as we had very limited US Base priviledges in those days. It all depended on the Embassy's interpretation of the contracts:)

Anonymous said...

Karen, I missed your were gone for a while! Well, I still miss you, I cant wait to hear all about Thailand!

Kimono Karen said...

No steaks on the Yokosuka base can compare to Outback. Camp Zama tends to be a day long experience thanks to traffic. We'll have to make a plan to try it though.

Yes, I am back and hopefully will have more things to share. In talking about Thailand plans tonight, we did discuss an evening stroll into the Red Light District. You just can't go to Bangkok without it, right?!