How can I be an unemployed, illiterate housewife in a foreign country and STILL be so tired and busy? I know this is something both women and their husbands have asked themselves at one time or another in their lives. As an “ex-pat wife” here in Tokyo, I feel like I have to fight the current stereotype. Although, you know what they say about stereotypes, they’re true. Are there obnoxious, entitled, clique-ish ex-pat wives running around talking about packages (I’m not talking about the physical one but the financial one) around Tokyo? Yes. Are there Others who are grateful for charmed lives, cooking home-cooked meals, tending to children, freezing in apartments typing out brilliant blogs with fingerless gloves hoping for a book or movie deal? Yes. I know I’m spoiled. Sometimes I try to hide it, and sometimes I let my labels show.
I like fresh flowers in my home, but I like fake outside. I like to be in bed by 8:00pm. I like to have pretty manicured hands, but my Catholic self is still making payments for the last manicure. Given the fact that almost all the women here have artwork on their fingertips, I feel like my unadorned phalanges are symbols of a “grounded, earthy person”. This has been on my mind too: how is it, I can send text messages all day, but the idea of punching 10 or 11 numbers on a keypad to make a call exhaust me? or does anyone else feel taxed at the mere prospect of having an actual phone conversation? I can’t wait for the day Apple comes out with the next level of communication when we can just send mental balloons to one another. They can call it the iThought.
Don’t ask me why, but I have also been wondering if wanting to drink sake in the middle of the day necessarily means I might be an alcoholic. Can’t people just enjoy the taste of sake so much that they crave it and want a drink at 11:00am? Like some of my friends have said, it’s Happy Hour somewhere in the world, but then again, these were my alcoholic friends. But seriously, is it so wrong to have a drink in the middle of the afternoon? Oh the shame!
On a totally different topic: INDIA
Cliff and I have been invited to a wedding in India. I have been to 2 “Indian” weddings in the States. I can’t help but assume that just the location dilutes the authenticity out of the event. One of the weddings happened to be for my Icelandic friend Gunnar who happened to be marrying an Indian woman, so that one didn’t even have an Indian Groom and half the guests were WHITE. India has always been on my list of places to visit. I have had this dream of striking a pose near the Bodhi tree. And just recently, Adonica and I have decided to move on from vegan Japanese cooking to Indian cooking. Just this past Thursday, Adonica, Nghi and I went to Asakusa to shop at an Indian wholesale market and get our pantry staples.
The outing was serendipitously initiated by the St. Mary’s Parents Association who had organized an outing to Asakusa. One of the parents actually owns the Indian store we visited. We took a group photo in front of the Kirin Brewery Headquarter:
Nghi thought that sculpture looked like a yam, but to me, it looked like a golden turd. I don’t know who, but maybe someone informed us that it is the symbol of beer foam. Figure that one out.
Back to India Preparations:
January 23rd: Appointment with Tokyo Medical Clinic for India Trip
This involved 4 inoculations and prescriptions for anti-diarrheals and antibiotics. I figure it isn’t about if, but when.
Not sure what this will cost, but will let you know. When I went to the pharmacist, it was kind of funny, because he said in Japan a hand-written prescription was extremely rare. Most of the clinics will fax or email prescriptions for patients. It was kind of fun trying to decipher the doctor’s handwriting.
Will try to spend more time on my India trip preparations as I get more information. Seeing Hema this week for my 2nd cooking lesson. I believe Alexandra and Nicki are joining Adonica and me for Southern Indian cuisine.
Cliff returned from Europe yesterday and we are all here until the 13th when Cliff and I will leave for India. Joji, her daughter and Nghi will be looking after Chase while we are gone.
Until next time…