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By: Scott Smith

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Monday, 23-Aug-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

200408190225
 
use the force...
View all 5 photos...
OK!

So Edo is now at home, along with Junko and a carload of crap. I never knew that someone so small could take up so much space (as you may or may not know, space is at something of a premium in Japan)....

below you will find more pictures of Edo, showing hiim in various cute poses. I will try to keep the the prattling on about my son to a minimum (the main reason being that i don't want to bore you all).

I'm thinking about moving to a bigger flat as soon as possible - we've only got a 2ldk her, which was big enough for two, but is now seeming very pokey for three people. I was thinking about this the other night when it really struck me how much less people are prepared to eccept by way of living space in Japan - not just size, but noise levels, building materials (i lived in a wooden house for 18 months when i got here - it was noisy, had very little privacy in that you could hear your neighbour's tv or stereo very clearly, and shook whenever it got a bit windy). in my current flat, these aren't issues since the walls are 8" ferro-concrete, but there are other problems - it's cold in winter, hot in summer and frankly horrible to look at from the outside.

these themes continue in the urban and rural environments - i can't remember the last time i saw a forest or a mountain that didn't have a telegraph pole/power cable/unnecessary concrete butress on it. it's a real shame because japan should be a beautiful country due to its volcanic origins and varied climate, but it seems that there isn't anywhere near my flat that isn't paved over.

anyway, i will continue my rant later, i have to attend to my son...


Thursday, 12-Aug-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
well...

ooooh!!
daddy's boy - no seriously!!!
ok, so Edo was born today by caesarian section. Holy fucking shit!!!!

"Edo" means "wonderful star" in japanese (or at least the Kanji does) and that is exactly what he is.

it is interesting how the gap between what i felt and now do dissolved when i held my son in my arms. I suddenly do not feel too young to be a father (i am 27) and i suddenly don't give a shit about whether anyone else thinks that...

ok, so this has been an intense few months with lots of job changes and ballooning wives and savings and all kinds of shit, but having seen Edo sneeze (bizarre, I know, but sooooooo cute) i know that it'll be worth it and that i will do it again.

i have become a baby bore.

oh well....


Wednesday, 21-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Today 27 degrees celsius, not a cloud in the sky. AND i was home by 4:30 (as usual). Quite why anybody would want to spend THEIR WHOLE LIVES in one country escapes me....

Just wait until rainy season (don't say monsoon or you'll start a national panic) and then you'lbe able to read me bitching about how damn humid it gets in summer.

If you're interested, average summer humidity is around 97-100%. be warned.

September's GREAT though....

can't be arsed to post any pictures.

feeling: LAZY and i've got 5 hours of lessons to prepare for tomorrow.

bye


Tuesday, 6-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

 
As opposed to Fast Bread, which is notoriously difficult to catch...

I refer to my first post about English being "cool"...

Claire - we have actually met (although I'm buggered if i can remember whether this is the right way to spell your name - the curse of hitting your twenties - absolutely no short term memory...) although it was around 13 years ago. I remember you went to great pains to tell everyone that you would be able to swim when you got to five (years). did you meet your goal?

Who is it posting stuff about optional Celtic supporting-ness? What is this insanity? My only hope is that he doesn't grow up liking baseball (huge in Japan but of course different from the american game - rather like Italian football being different from a good old bit of scottish physical viol...sorry football). Which brings me to religion...

I love the japanese attitude to religion. The only buddhist nation where 90% of the people eat meat and would still call themselves "buddhist".

I once asked a student of mine to explain this massive discrepancy between theory and practice. He told me "We're Shinto (the indigenous Japanese religion until about the 7th Century A.D.) when we're alive and then we become Buddhist when we die." - a little relaxed, don't you think? Japan, where you CAN have your cake and eat it! Basically, the death rituals in Japan are buddhist but that appears to be about it...

As for national religious festivals, these are a joy. They can be a little bit tacky though, with markets outside the temples and shrines selling cheap toys, posters and frisbees but once you get inside it's cooool - you wash your hands (sometimes you wash your mouth out too) and ring a bell to attract the attention of the shrine God. sometimes you make a small contribution to the shrine and then you make your wish. after that, it's time for the real reason to go to a summer religious festival - having a picnic, drinking sake and having a laugh with your friends/family. Brilliant. Then again, buddhism's status as a religion (rigorously defined) is questionable. some would call it a philosophy.

Right now it's getting seriously like spring - it's warm, it's not too windy etc... and the sakura are blooming. This is another excuse for having a picnic and drinking with your friends/family. Brilliant.
It's called "hanami" - flower viewing. It used to be the thing to do - watching the blossoms in quiet contmeplation of one's place in the world, the zen of watching a petal fall to the ground etc... Now it's much more like the pub on a saturday night. I'll try to get a picture of a cherry blossom with our digital camera so you get a decent resolution (the shame of it, my phone only has a 1 megapixel camera!) - the basic idea behind hanami is facing the ephemerality (is this a word?) and the transiency of life. So they may all have fallen before i can get my lazy arse to a park. A little bit like the lorry owned by Fukka Construction that i saw the other day - gone before i could get my camera out.

Maggie and John - it would be great to see you over the summer - I'm maybe an hour from Hiroshima by Shinkansen, so it might be possible to meet. if you can give me some details as to dates & times etc, we can work from there. As for a pressie, it'll be high summer when you're here, so can you bring me some anti-perspirant? you can't get it here if you're a bloke, and i refuse to wear BAM "floral shower" spray...



Anyway, got to go, it's getting early and i only slept four hours last night...







Sunday, 4-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

200404041634
Well, I got married on friday. It was surprisingly easy - it only took about 20 minutes at the registry office. It went nearly without hitch until some jobsworth decided that the registered copy of my birth certificate (which isn't even a legal requirement to get married in Japan anyway) had to be translated into japanese. She refused to serve us after we challenged her on it and ended up with a really helpful guy who knew what he was talking about... we still had to translate the bloody certificate though...

Anyway, here's a photo of the rings we bought:


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