Dr John Hawkins
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Christmas in Japan
Siberian Gold Dust
- Yesterday, in the Japanese equivalent of a DIY store (that's a hardware store for any Americans reading), Chie informed me she wanted to set up a LAN in my flat. Naturally, I immediately asked her if she wanted to marry me.
- Christmas in Japan
- For the first time ever I'm spending Christmas in another country. It has been a bit weird so far - I hadn't expected to see so many decorations and santa costumes, and hear so much cheesey Christmas music in what is essentially a non christian country. Amusingly, the other day I heard the Band Aid song - "Do they know it's Christmas time at all" seemed oddly appropriate. I get the impression someone in the west just told them Christmas was good for business, and so they've picked up the commercial side but not much else... Interestingly, new year celebrations begin around now too, so here apparently Christmas officially finishes quite abruptly at closing time on Christmas day. Today I woke up and spent a bit of time exchanging presents with Chie's family. There was wrapping paper all over the floor, so this bit did feel quite like Christmas. As for the rest of the day, in an attempt to feel more like Christmas, me and Chie are off now, norihodai (unlimited travel) tickets in hand, to see if we can find somewhere where it is snowing... Anyway, wherever you are, and whoever you are with, peace on earth, goodwill to all men, and Merry Christmas!
- Siberian Gold Dust
- Well, the flight wasn't too bad in the end, and I'm in Japan now. I watched three films on the flight - Scooby Doo which I didn't really like, Men In Black 2 which was just about watchable, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I found surprisingly entertaining. In between I read Round Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawks, which is very good (not quite finished it yet). This is the book David had lent me, but I had forgotten to take with me. So in the end I bought it at the airport. It probably saved me from about 5 hours of boredom, so it was well worth it. In addition I spent some time watching the full moon and a starry sky lighting up Siberia - it was dark, but still a really nice view most of the way. Every now and again there was a little patch of what looked like gold dust. Like most people I don't normally think of streetlights as anything particularly beautiful, but from the air, especially in Siberia where the clusters are so isolated, they look pretty spectacular.
- Well, I'll be off to Japan in a few hours. It'll be my third trip. I'm really looking forward to it, apart from the flying bit. Thirteen hours on a plane by myself is by no means my idea of fun. Plus I left that book David lent me at the office, so I don't really have anything to read, or do, or listen to. Oh well. I'm anticipating I'll be exceptionally grumpy this time tomorrow.... Still, I guess it is quite an amazing thing, that in such a relatively short time, I can be half way around the world. So I really shouldn't grumble...
- I don't know what it is, but I feel really weird today. Like I've become unseated from reality. I had quite a good day at work, got lots of problems sorted out. Towards going home time I was gasping for a beer... Thankfully it seemed a couple of my colleagues were in a similar position and I wandered down to my favourite pub with a couple of the guys from the office. All fairly normal. Towards the end of the time in the pub though, I felt like I was slipping out of existence or something, it was very bizarre. On the way home I chatted for about half an hour in the off license, where I bought an expensive single malt I really didn't need, to a woman from Poland, about how difficult English was. Eventually one of the barmaids from the pub I'd been at turned up randomly, and I felt this bizarre sense of guilt - or something - that prompted me to flee and go home. I have no idea what it was all about, I just feel plain weird today. How odd.