Friday, July 31, 2009

Japanese Lessons

The Japanese language seems to have a lot of words which are double phonics:

ie: nana: seven
chichi: daddy
mimi: ear
momo: thigh
kuku: multiplication tables
jiji: events of the day
Perhaps when I get to Japan, I'll try to write a haiku using as many of these words as possible.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Round Earth

I have been contemplating the round earth. Never before have I flown as far as I will be flying to get to Tokyo. Prague was some 4,000 miles, Honolulu was 4,973. I will be flying 6760 miles to get to Tokyo.

The maps of my life have influenced my thinking here. I am used to maps that show North America on the left and Europe on the right--granted a particular and parochial view. I get how you fly from one side of the flat map to the other.

So rarely have I seen maps showing Asia on the left and North America on the right. I will fly off my mental map on the left side, and then reappear on the right side.

Or, if I imagine a globe, I will be flying all the way around and over to the other side of the world.

There is no way to imagine a straight line. The plane must follow the curve of the world. Unless I am to fly into space, I will round the earth to end up where gravity's pull is almost 180 degrees from its pull where I stand today.

It is a big world. It is a small world. It is a round world.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chop Sticks

Andrew has been worried that he is going to be very thin after two years in Japan. Its not that he doesn't like the food. He can be pretty adventuresome about eating when he sets his mind to it.

Andrew is worried about the chopsticks!

Tonight we went to a Sushi restaurant in preparation. Andrew ordered eel, octopus and squid (see what I mean about adventuresome). After a few minutes of wrestling with the seaweed salad, a waitress came over with one of those plastic things that they use to turn chop sticks into tweezer-type things. We refused, telling her that we were practicing to move to Japan.

So away she went, all business, but not a minute later the owner showed up and gave Andrew some personal instructions in chopsticks, and then told him he had to practice on the smallest little pieces of seaweed salad.

I think he'll do just fine.


Tako means both kite and octopus. Yoyogi is the name of the park (koen) that we will be living next to in Tokyo. We'll see if we ever fly a kite!