January 26, 2013
My dear students,
A couple of nights ago, I woke up while it was still dark, looked at the clock, did a little calculating, and realized that you were in art class. It was a strange feeling, knowing that I could picture your day, but knowing that you probably can't even begin to picture mine. I suppose it's time that I fill you in.
I haven't fallen into any routines yet, as I still have not reached Laos. I've been getting to know Tokyo, which, as it is the largest metropolitan area of the world, takes some time. I did my typical routine, hitting as many major sites in one day as possible, and I managed to buy souvenirs at the base of a temple, stroll through shopping malls devoted entirely to electronics, listen to vendors shout out for me to buy their seafood, and maneuver through the complex maze of trains and subways.
Japan has vending machines with both cold and hot drinks, and I obviously found the coffee drinks to buy and sip while standing in the crowded trains. I've practiced the art of smiling and nodding along when I have absolutely no clue what people are saying to me, and I've almost learned how to tell how expensive something is when its price is listed in Japanese yen. (If you're wondering, there are about 90 yen in one dollar. Try adding that to a chart in Number Corner.)
My chopstick-wielding skills are still improving, and I managed to eat even a salad with them today. I also admitted to thinking a dish was delicious before finding out that the crunching was not only the lettuce, but squid tentacles. Ignorance surely is bliss, and I may or may not look more closely at my food from now on. Maybe I don't always want to know what's in it.
No matter what each day brings, I wake up excited for the possibilities. When the day ends, I go to bed exhausted but happy, and apparently full of squids. Isn't that really what life is all about?