Before I leave for China, I thought I should tie up some loose ends:
April 17th I picked up our visas for China. Of course I got into line as early as possible and managed to score the 2nd spot. Once I went in, I went to one of the windows on the first floor. I handed her the receipt and she handed me another ticket that I had to take to a machine and pay the visa fee (15,000 yen/US Citizen):
Sorry for the blurry quality. I had to take the picture on the sly because all these police-y looking men already warned me once “no pictures”.
Then, the machine gave me a ticket which I had to return to the window and show the lady. At this point, I was handed our visas. You can’t truly understand how process oriented Japan is until you live here.
The other thing I was going to blog about was a Moss Bonsai class I took at Tokyo American Club (TAC).
We took raw materials:
And turned them into this!
They turned out so nicely, I thought, “Instead of designer handbags, I’ll just give these as gifts for my girlfriends!”
I look at that picture and think, “That was a girl with a mom.” See how happy she was.
Sunday, Cliff, Chase, and I went to Shibuya. Shibuya is known as the “young people” area, so Chase and I fit right in. It was soooo hot and crowded I literally felt nauseous:
I promised them I would meet them after baseball for lunch, so I picked out a place known for its udon and we checked it out. I still haven’t gotten used to the crowds. It is so hard to be outside and constantly jostled around and waiting for slow people in front of you.
Today is the Emperor’s Birthday and the first day of Golden Week so Cliff had the day off, but Chase did not. We have an unspoken understanding when Chase is in school but Cliff is home, that we have lunch date. This morning I went to ashtanga yoga at Under The Light and planned to meet Cliff at a new Italian restaurant near our place. I still feel shaky and I don’t know if it is the grief or jet lag, but I just know yoga will help me so I am forcing myself to go. By the time I got to shivasana, I closed my eyes and I just started crying. This is like the 3rd or 4th time I’ve cried during or after yoga. There is something about all the stretching, twisting, breathing, and pain that just releases a person. One of my teachers at Balance Yoga in Atlanta theorized that because we carry so much of our stress and anxiety in our muscles and joints, yoga pulls all that out and helps us rid ourselves of their physical manifestations. I believe it. While I practiced today, I just felt like my mom was with me.
I left early, just because I was sniffling and I didn’t want to interrupt everyone’s shivasana. On my way to the restaurant, I saw an elderly couple where the wife was being pushed in a wheelchair by her husband (so much like my parents) and that just took me over the edge. I got on my bike and was bawling out loud through the streets of Tokyo. I’m sure people thought I was crazy.
When I got to the restaurant Cliff was already sitting. I told him to order me a glass of white wine as I ran to the restroom. I think the waitress felt sorry for me, because she kept filling our glasses. It definitely made me feel better. I also wondered, “Am I that woman? The woman who has wine with lunch? Where Happy Hour starts at 12:00?” Am I going to have my “special” thermos in the truck when I am waiting in the carpool line? I don’t know. One day at a time, right? I do think I am going to have to start knitting again:
Until next time…