Caren Ware's Blog

February 29, 2012

Something is falling in Tokyo…snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 6:56 am

A girlfriend and I took to the outskirts of Tokyo for a few days recovery from running.  We were welcomed by a single Japanese women living in Yokohama.  She had raised her daughter in Hawaii, but returned to care for her mom as she passed away from cancer. Misako was our English translation to every day Japanese life.  She shared of the hardships to be different in a society that valued conformity. She took her daughter to a school in the states because she was so painfully picked on in Japanese schools. I am not sure what the social casts are here, but I sensed there must be some,yet not blatantly visible to me like the Indians in Mexico or the Aborigines in Australia.  Thank you, Misako, for being so candid with us.  Thank you for taking us up escalators, across train stations, on packed subways ,and to the top of the Landmark Tower.  Its view there was a never ending horizon of never ending buildings. Mt Fuji was somewhere out there shrouded in brown smog that only matched Los Angeles.

Still, I cannot get over how clean the subways are.  The people are clean.  The streets are clean. The buildings are clean.  We visited their Chinatown and it was cute, orderly, and lined with orderly restaurants.  We stopped to examine bulletin boards advertising restaurants that you pay to eat with a cat in your lap or pet rabbits.  Both types of pets are not allowed. This is no place for bunnies to hop and cats to wander.  So, if you want a cat experience, you go to a restaurant and rent one for your lap. And, get this.  People PAY to get to walk someone else’s dog.  I giggled at the thought of someone paying me to walk the personality of my unleash-able, hyperactive Labrador, Sandy.

The train stations have built in pathways for blind people to follow their way through all the transits and trains.  It was quite the maze with seeing eyes!

It is snowing.  Good thing this rarity did not happen on marathon day.  People are whispering of a potential earthquake because it is February 29…leap year. I think I would like to skip the earthquake experience in this ocean of buildings. Our host thrills in any souvenir movie knickknack and is buying bottles of Pepsi because they have Star Wars figurines attached.  Sponge Bob, Snoopy, and Puss n Boots seem to be highly important to her.

For me, it’s about the food.  Our host delights in taking us to her favorite restaurant…an American menu of hamburgers and apple pie!  Later, we ask for a lesson in Sushi. Tomorrow, I head through this maze on a solo journey to find the airport and head back to the USA.  I plan to enjoy sitting in a seat in my own car, never again complaining about the traffic in Los Angeles, and value the times I have and get to spend roaming the ranges in Wyoming.  I rode in a mini bus here in Yokohoma made for 10, but carried at least 50 people squished into a means to get home from the subway where they had been squished for an hour getting this far from their work and shopping places. I don’t think I would ever get used to be in a building or in subway most my life.  Thank you for letting me just run down your streets.  Wait.  Yes.  The house is shaking.  We are experiencing a trimmer. Was that a larger shaker somehwere else on this very efficient and functioning island?  Just a mild 5.8er.

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