Just to give you a little history, there was a time in my life when I was one of those crazy workout chicks who demonized lunch and chose to eat protein bar on a VERY regular basis. Then, I decided life was too short to live my life like a hamster eating meal supplements. As soon as I started doing lunch with girlfriends I must say the quality of my life took a wonderful turn for the better. Luckily our lunches were pretty regular and I am a true believer that rituals are integral to creating deep and meaningful bonds to the people in your life.
My POD for today is a picture we took today at hopefully the first of many lunches:
Our first lunch was at a French restaurant called Milieu. They served a delicious set menu. The Japanese have many restaurants where especially for lunch a set menu can be very affordable and fulfilling. Today we could choose between a main course of 1)Sardines with Pasta or 2) Chicken with roast vegetable. With your main course you get a delicious salad, bread, a small cup of carrot soup, a little serving of Tiramisu, and after meal drink. 1200 yen total =$15.66 and don’t forget NO TIPPING. It was delicious and we decided that whoever could make Thursday lunch would be there. As I get to know these women, I cannot help but reminisce about my friends from cities past and of course most recently Atlanta. As outspoken and opinionated as I sense everyone is, I also know we are still at that “getting-to-know” one another stage. I can’t even tell you how often I remember sitting over meals with my girlfriends and discussing without censorship: men, surgery, gossip, personal hygiene and a plethora of other embarrassing topics only to find ourselves screaming or face-cramping. I have decided that it is futile to find replacements and what I need to do is enjoy the process and appreciate each moment and relationship as it develops. I think I have a good start. Tomorrow, Nghi and Angela and I will go on a Kimono and Obi shopping tour. Should be interesting.
Yesterday I had my first houseguest. Her name is Okhui and she is a lovely lady I met during my last trip here to take Chase to school interviews. She is in the process of leaving Japan (Her exodus is Dec 30th). So she is trying to get organized and sell whatever she can to avoid lugging it around the world and having a sayoonara sale where people need to invade her home. I really enjoy her because she is the sort of person I want to emulate. You ever meet people and just say “she/he’s so classy” and find yourself just admiring them? She happens to be Korean too and has offered to drive me to Koreatown next week.
1) I needed to buy Cliff some shampoo the other day because I realized the only shampoo in the shower was mine which meant he was using my precious formulas and when it comes to my personal beauty products, well let’s just say I’m like a crack addict and I don’t like sharing. So I went to the Aveda salon up the street thinking I would get him that “Blue Malva” shampoo that is good for white hair. Well, I got to the store and tried to explain I wanted to buy shampoo for white hair and the dude at the store was just dumbfounded. I don’t think he even thought having white hair would be something anyone would want to keep. Then he thought he understood and showed me a bottle of shampoo that was white colored, and I said no. Then I finally showed him a picture of the “Silver Fox” in my phone and the lightbulb finally turned on and he informed me that there was no shampoo for white hair people. I guess that’s a downside to living in Asia. Some products just don’t have a market.
2) The Japanese sometimes get criticized for believing that they are the superior race. I’m not here to agree or disagree. I do think being here is making Cliff weirdly racist. The weird thing is he is breaking it down. For example, the other day he was talking about some partner in the Seoul office and after he got off the phone, he says “I can’t believe that guy… he wants blah blah blah… that guy is so Korean…” So I’m just looking at him thinking what the f**k? Did he just say that? I don’t know, I just told him he needed to be careful and just because he had an Asian wife, it didn’t give him license to going around calling people “his ninja”.
The last “lost in translation” moment came yesterday at Chase’s school tea. I walked in and “registered at the front table” and sat down for the program. While we were wrapping things up and I was chatting with some other moms, a lady came over with a sheet of paper and kept bowing and saying thank you in Japanese and saying “homu roomu momu”. I swear, my brain had like a mini stroke when I realized I freaking signed up to be room mom! Shit! I swear that paper didn’t have anything written on it except for the different rooms and I thought they were just trying to keep a tally of who showed up!
PS: here are some pictures of what I see when I grocery shop at Nissin. This is there to help inform shoppers who are concerned about where products are coming from relative to radiation sites.
Until next time…