Monday, October 17, 2011

Recent Happenings and My Dream Day

So, the other day I wanted to wear this T shirt, but it was dirty, so I rinsed it out in the bath tub and hung it up in front of a fan in the bathroom.  There's this little knob that you switch back and forth for bath and shower, and when I went back in the bathroom to rinse a juice soaked towel (courtesy of Knox), the knob was turned to shower and I soaked my almost-dry shirt.  And myself.  Dang it.  I couldn't wear the shirt that night.  And guess what?  I did it again the next day.  I wore the damn shirt anyway, damp. 

I catch tid bits of radiation news in Japan from time to time.  I keep being reminded of the presence of radiation and the uncertainty of where it really is and in what quantities.  It's definitely in the back of my mind for Knox's sake.  I was thinking about it, and I will have to decide in January or February if I am staying in Japan any longer, so the last time we were at the pediatrician's office, I asked about testing Knox to be certain that he hasn't been affected.  If Knox's thyroid levels were at all awry, I'd have to peace out pronto.  The doctor said that the radiation in Oita is at normal levels and that there is nothing to worry about.  Maybe it's a flaw, but assurances like that are rarely good enough for me.  I asked if any children in Oita had been tested, and he said no.  I was really surprised that NO ONE had been tested.  That meant that I had no hard evidence to go off of, but lots of news stories noting cover-ups and inaccuracies.  So, I got Knox a thyroid test.  The poor little guy had to get a nasty poke in his hand, and he had to do it twice cause the nursed botched the first go.  But now, a few weeks later, his test has come back normal, and I have been freed of those worries.  And when the time comes to re contract, I can make a decision one way or another with a clear conscience.

I saw some live music on the beach the other night.  The strongest impression I left with is that people in this part of Japan don't know how to party.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt; It WAS a Sunday.  Anyway, any live music is usually better than no live music, and it was still a really good time.  The lights were pretty.  This white guy was the last act.  OMG.  He got up there speaking some English and lots of Japanese and rapped in a sweater vest.  He did the "Hey, Ho" arm.  He did his best to rock the 30 people clustered by the stage, but something about him rang very artificial to me.  The night provided good people watching, and by the end of the night I had visited at least 3 konbinis, so all was well. 

I saw these advertisements in Beppu for some event where they set the mountain on fire.  I have seen the beer ads featuring the flaming mountain, but I just thought it was an advertising thing.  Whenever this great pyrotechnic event happens next, I want to see it.  Beppu people!!  Keep us informed!

Knox and I had a great day Monday.  I had the day off, so we went to his favorite play area at Youme Town, a mall in Beppu.  In Japanese, Yume means "dream."  "Yu" is pronounced in both English and Japanese like the English "you," but "me" is pronounced like the month of May.  So, when you look at the name of the mall, you see "you" and "me," which indicates togetherness, but you pronounce it like the Japanese word "dream."  Monday morning, we started at Starbucks where Peter and I had our regulars - iced soy chai, and Knox had a juice.  Then Peter went off to do some stuff and I took Knox on an adventure to get to Youme Town!  We went under the street!  Knox kept saying, "Mommy, we are going under!"  There are murals painted along the corridor under the street, and Knox recognized the Sunflower Ferry, the big boat that I rode to Osaka, in a painting.  I taught him Pegasus, as there was a painting of angels and winged horses.  We skipped over the witch.  I'm sure he saw it, but neither of us mentioned it.  Then we walked through a little park and played a game where if he walked on this certain plant, I would take him down with tickles.  He loved it.  I love his face when he intentionally steps on the right spot so I will tickle him.  Finally, we got there.  Mommy got very sidetracked on the way to the play area, as we had to pass through many floors of potential shopping on the way.  I contemplated ruffled socks for a few minutes.  Eventually, we made it.  This part was great, cause I got to sit and chill watching some Japanese cartoon they had on while Knox ran his booty off.  Whenever I can save energy and he can get rid of energy, things are in balance.  We took a train and a bus to get home - It was a miracle:  My bus pulled up right as I walked out of the train station.  By then I was tired, and I was grateful for that.  We finished the day with dinner at Surya, the best Indian/Nepali restaurant ever, and I went to bed with Knox at 9pm.  Nice.

My dream is to wake up without an alarm clock, slither to the couch, and watch TV all day, falling asleep intermittently whenever I want to.  Then, once it starts to get dark, I want to go out for dinner; maybe Sushi Meijin or something else that's relaxing, not fast food, and requires relatively little English translation.  Then I want to get some beers and mochi-with-anko from a konbini, and lay out under a sky not polluted by light, awash with stars.  And while I'm looking at the stars, I want to have some gooood conversation.  That would be refreshing.

From Japan,

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