Sunday, September 30, 2012


It's been almost two weeks since I got back to the U.S., and although I have more Japan stories to tell, I really wanted to tell about Miyagi next, because I went directly (directly) from meditation retreat (on the eleventh day, you still get up at 4, but after the morning stuff and some cleaning, you may go along) to the northeast region to reach the Habitat for Humanity base by 6 pm. The distance between Kyoto and Sendai is pretty big, and had me driving (30 min or so) to a train station, where it was another 45 minute local train ride into Kyoto city, and from there a 2.5 hour shinkansen ride to Tokyo where I switched Shink lines (and bought a handy-dandy tourist pass called "East Pass") and then took another two or so hours to Sendai.

But because of a stupid move on my part, I don't have the photos yet for Miyagi in my camera. I do have the photos I managed to take with my phone (and upload before surrendering that phone's use) on the first day, which are pretty intense on their own, so I'm going to probably do what I can with those while I (or, my friends) work on getting my camera back to me here in the U.S.

So that should be the next entry, maybe.

Suffice to say that I was traveling a lot, and made it back to Shiso just in time to pack up, hit sports day (and its attached drinking party), and have a pretty good last weekend in town, capping off six weeks of living at friends' houses and traveling all the time.

I suppose if I want an explanation for my almost total lack of drive to do much other than unpack, study, read, sleep, sort things, watch TV, and attend Welcome Home soirees thrown in classic style by my parents, I need look no further than the calendar. Hitting the road for six weeks will take it out of you. Seriously. I just wanna hang out. I don't even really want to be entertained, and so if compared to my usual "two weeks to see everyone in Georgia" summer trips, my repatriation looks really dull and hermitlike.

But I assure you, so far, it's pretty awesome. I have a lot to do, and even though I feel like I now have nothing but time, I also still don't see enough hours in the day to do all the things.

I don't have any answers yet, my old room is a complex assortment of stuff I brought or shipped back, stuff I left for myself, and stuff that just sort of got left behind. I've got gifts that people gave me, and gifts I got for others, along with a bunch of other stuff that ended up in here after they moved it from the other rooms that underwent new occupations or major flooring changes in the last year. It's a process, and I'm taking my sweet time.

The Repatriation Roadtrip is about to be underway, in parts. I'm going to the Northwest first, via Denver, catching a ride with the (in)famous Kyle up in a zig-zag pattern through Utah and Yellowstone to Pullman, WA, where I will borrow his car and proceed west and north to meet more folks. I'm looking forward to my travels but it's hard to believe they're already upon me.

Kyle, circa 1999.

Aaaand circa 2009.
I'll be back October 22nd for a break, then hopefully it's off to do the Eastern Loop, Roadtrip Phase II which I am putting together.. But not very quickly. Cause you know, other stuff too. Like walking dogs and clothes shopping for the first time in over a year (yes really; I received so much last summer from departing JET Caito that I saw no reason to spend the money or dedicate the packing/shipping space to clothing I clearly didn't need), and excavating the closet, and stuff.

Oh, and my parents found me a car. (If I had a camera, I'd show you) ... I think I'm going to keep it. I think it might be named the Brave Little Toaster, if I do.

I had to convince my mother that this is a thing.

Apparently this is also a thing.

Culture shock hasn't been too hard, because it's been well expected. I kind of like freaking out at the grocery store and the feeling of wearing tank tops in public (scandalous!). Other aspects of things are weird, but they aren't quite getting the best of me. The best of me is like.. sleeping, or playing SimCity, or meditating, or vacuuming the floor.

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