The pleasurable nose blow

Think of the last time you blew your nose?  Was it one of those quiet, sneaky-type nose blows, as though you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re blowing your nose?  Or was it one of those really satisfying ones, where it isn’t exactly loud, but it is full?

I almost exclusively do the latter, and it always feels amazing.  As I blew my nose for the third time after eating this Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with some deliciously and painfully nice jalapeños sliced in it, I began considering the feeling after blowing my nose.  Do you know the one I mean?  In an almost sort of daze, I take my first breath through my freshly freed nose, and possibly share the intake of breath with my mouth, and then almost sigh the air out of me, releasing some unknown tension, somewhere in my body.  I usually end up mostly breathing out of my mouth afterward, and just allow my nose to rest – this light come from the feeling of blowing my nose when it is really stuffed up and runny, and blowing it seems only to clear out one set of mucus and snot in order to make space for the immediate arrival of another.  In those cases, the feeling and experience are almost the same.  It is a hazy happiness of release and deep breathing (usually through the mouth) that feels almost magical.  I almost even have an urge to cyclist my eyes at times, and to indulge momentarily in the after effects of the nose-blowing.

If you have no idea what I am referencing here, give it a try some time.  Blow your nose really satisfyingly hard (the emphasis of really being on satisfyingly, not hard), and take the time to pay attention to the experience immediately following.  If you still don’t get it, then oh, well… I’ll enjoy the experience enough for us both.

And then some…

Post-a-day 2017

Undies

I wore the wrong underwear today.

I don’t mean that I wore the wrong style for my pants (though that kind of happened, too), or that they were too tight for what I was doing, or that they were the wrong style or anything like that.  I mean that I wore Thursday underwear, the wrong day of the week.

Today has been Wednesday.  I saw the Thursday underwear on Monday night, along with the Monday underwear – in case you haven’t gathered, these are days-of-the-week underwear – in my bag of bras and underwear from my suitcase.  Seeing as how Monday was almost finished, I didn’t want to put on Monday underwear.  I wanted Tuesday underwear.  (And I almost thought I had found it, too.). However, it was not easily visible near the top of the bag.  And Inwasnt going to wear Thursday underwear on Tuesday.  So my next best option was to wait for Wednesday night’s shower, so I could put on the Thursday underwear to wear Thursday.

That was the plan.

I looked down at my underwear today, and what did I see?  Thursday underwear.  And, for most of the day, I was totally comfortable with that.  Only until, of course, the moment that I realized that, as I have already mentioned, today has been Wednesday.  Not Thursday, but Wednesday.

Are you kidding me?  I even declined the underwear for Tuesday, because that wasn’t the right day.  Ugh.  !!!!  Haha

So, throughout the day, it wouldn’t surprise me if girls got glances of the beautiful “#tbt” printed all around my waistband.  Not would it surprise me if they not only wondered at the obvious fact that I have and wear days-of-the-week underwear, but that I was wearing the wrong day today.  I know I would wonder at it, if I saw it!

Tomorrow is just pink with some orange and some polka dots on the borders.  No concerns about days and dates on these!

Post-a-day 2017

Am I insane yet?

Have you ever felt as though you were going insane?  I have been in the US for four days now.  I feel like I am losing it.  I have conversations, and I struggle to maintain focus.  People tell me things, and I have only a vague memory of what wa said to me, without actually being able to remember anything concrete from the communication.  A coworker told me her name today, and I consciously felt as though I had completely lost her name.  However, when I threw out what felt to be a random guess at her name, the guess was correct.

Whether I am actually losing it, or I am merely living in a different state of consciousness relating to memory, I am not certain.  I am almost certain that it is all mainly due to the fact that my brain has not adjusted to the 14-hour difference in life here yet, nor to the constant English all around me, the combination of which puts me into a real state of confusion as my brain attempts to pay full attention to every bit of English it hears.

It really just makes me feel like I might simply be going crazy.  I know that I’m not.  It just feels like insanity settling into my head.

Post-a-day 2017

Bathroom thoughts

I have developed a new concept regarding bathroom sinks lately.  I have resisted the idea for the past few months, I guess, and rather regularly.  However, I think I have somewhat resisted the idea for the past several years, off and on.  And now, obviously, I am acknowledging the idea.  The idea is this: Why do we use the same sink for washing our hands after using the toilet as we do to brush our teeth?

This could seem harmless at first glance, so I explain.  We use the bathroom, and then wash our hands.  We do this to remove the ghastly germs that come from our own wastes.  In the process, we touch the knobs of the faucet.  As we wash our hands, some of the germs likely splash around on the sink basin, and possibly even onto the edges or countertop around the basin.  Fast-forward to another, say, twenty minutes later, when it is time to brush out teeth.  We touch the same knobs on the faucet.  We rub the bristles of the toothbrush with the fingers that grabbed the faucet knob.  We bang our toothbrush on the edge of the sink, possibly even set it there.  And we put our face quite close to the sink to rinse out our mouth.

Recall that this is the same sink that might or might not be splattered with poo germs.

 

Anyway, that is a thought I aim to remove from my brain whenever I am using the bathroom sink.  It sometimes goes away, but has recently taken what seems to be a semi-permanent residence over to the side in my mind, not quite bothering me, but watching carefully, as though for an opportunity to jump in and WHAM! get me.  Fun thoughts, huh?  😛

 

Post-a-day 2017

beach day

Today, my first full day back in the USA, we went to the beach.  I had planned to spend some time by and in the pool in my mom’s backyard, so as to acclimate myself to this time zone, using the sunlight on my skin as the main helper.  But, when I went downstairs to find food to heal my headache, my mom suggested the beach.  Obviously, the answer was yes.

My cousin, who lives in Galveston, walked down to meet us at the beach with her pup.  I had a wonderful time just hanging out with her and my mom and the dog.  We walked, we swam, we boogie boarded, we tossed a stick for the dog, and we, above all, chatted.  We didn’t talk about much, which is something that I noticed much earlier on today, but we did talk.  It were as though we were all really close, and we saw one another all the time, that we didn’t have much anything important to discuss.  It was like we were just hanging out for our regular hangout time… which  we don’t actually have, but hopefully you get the point.

We had a wonderful lunch afterward, and then my mom and I headed home to grab the rest of my stuff, and to head out to check my new bicycle’s height, before going to my friend’s house (where I’ll be staying for about six weeks).  My friend and her husband were super stellar when we arrived this afternoon, and they have been just wonderful so far since then.  I think I’m gonna like it here.

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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

Getting ready to time-travel

And so one thing ends, and, with anxiety, something new begins.  Tonight, I complete my life here in Japan, and dream one last dream before I move forward to my next step.  I felt like I was in “What About Bob?” today, taking my mother’s guidance to do whatever needs to be done next – aka baby steps.  I took my baby steps all day long today, and finally got it all finished.  I even accomplished a few things I expected not to be able to do.

One of those things being seeing the guitarist I’d seen a couple weeks ago at the nearby train station, who had greeted me in English one night as I was moving my stuff to my friend’s place.  He greeted me and asked how I was doing tonight, as I was walking in Shibuya, and ended up accompanying me, with my comfortable acquiescence, to the phone shop to disconnect my phone (It was closed.), and then buying me a Japan-only Yuzu frappucino from Starbucks, and sitting with me as I finally watched the Shibuya Crossing from the Starbucks window (It wasn’t actually very impressive, but I think I never really expected it to be, anyway.), at which point, we finally discovered that we had, in fact, seen one another those two or three weeks back.  He was a nice guy, Ryo.

I ended my evening with my last gaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi), on which I spent ¥680 (just over $6 US), and which I didn’t even finish eating.  I’ll miss such affordable sushi, but I’ll survive quite well back in Houston, I do believe.  Green smoothies and colorful veggie-based juices are calling me.

And now, at long last, I shall sleep.  Rest, anyway.  We’ll see if it really is sleep tomorrow morning, when my alarm wakes me just before 5am.  I hope I wake rested well.

Anyway, this is it, I guess.  Tomorrow morning, I say goodbye to Japan, and then I time-travel (departing 11:10am on Saturday, 12 August, and arriving 9:30am on Saturday, 12 August).

Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2017