Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not in Hokkaido anymore

This morning, my new coworker and I went to the station and met a Westgate employee who took us around for city registration and banking things.

We had to make a transfer at Motoyama Station. When we got off our subway, we found ourselves in a huge crowd of people. The people filled up the platform, and we didn’t really move. I was kind of confused. What, are we waiting for a speech or something? Every once in a while, we would creep forward a little. Based on where we were standing in the crowd, the elevator was our way up to the 3rd floor. When we finally got in the elevator, I thought we were free from the crowd. But when we got off the elevator, this is what we saw:



I don’t think it will be like this everyday. Nagoya Station flooded today, and I think that’s what caused the backup at Motoyama Station.

It was an interesting start to commuting in Nagoya!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


When you return home, you say tadaima when you come in. I’m in my new tiny apartment in Nagoya, and it’s just about time for me to go to bed. Here’s a quick peek at my house!

Here’s what you see when you come in the door. The kitchen, bathroom, and laundry are all here.


And here’s the main living area. More details and pictures to come!


Thoughts at the beginning of the long flight

11:54 LA time: Boy was I surprised when I followed the other international travelers to a bus. 

Must be some speedy bus! 
Here we are, stopping for a plane to pass. 
We drove way, way out to a row of baby terminals. We all got off the bus, went into the baby terminal, and got on the plane. 

It's so much fun to hear Japanese again!

To tell you the truth, our plane from Dallas to LA was nicer than this plane. It was actually a great flight! Should be interesting to see how this one goes!

Up in the sky

It's a bird! It's a plane!
No, it's moi!
OK, I'm in a plane, if you want to get technical. But I can use the internet. How cool is that?

I am easily amused. 

But, I can't add many pictures, because I'm kind of stuck in one place. 
Hi, friends. 

Well, if anyone wants to chat in the near future, I'll be here! Heeheehee

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Greetings from Dallas

Leaving was a little rough this morning. Not only was it hard to say goodbye, but so many things seemed to go wrong. My backpack got soaked. I couldn't find my boarding passes. My suitcase zipper broke at the airport, and it wasn't even the suitcase with the broken off wheel. 

But, we finally made it. Check out the beautiful Dallas sky. 

Now, I'm eating an incredibly overpriced breakfast of a latte and Greek yogurt parfait. 

And that is what I want to talk to you about. What is the deal with Greek yogurt? It seems to have come to prominence while I was in Japan. I've tried it a few times, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm dipping my spoon into sour cream. 

It wasn't very sweet, which left me feeling  like I was eating sour cream. I choked some down (did I mention that it gets kind of stuck in your mouth like peanut butter?

Quickly, I gave up and decided to sweeten it. 
Adding sugar to a yogurt parfait seems wrong!

Even stirring it is hard work. 

It's taken me some time, but I think I've finally decided that fad or no fad, I'm not really a Greek yogurt fan. 
It's definitely not the worst thing ever (and would taste better if it were cheaper). I just don't understand the fuss. 
How about a side of ham to go with that yogurt?

Good night, Mississippi

In case you are just joining us, there are four new posts (besides this) and one from Monday. Just feeling a touch nostalgic as departure looms. 


So, I know I should be sleeping, but I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. These seven weeks at home have been so refreshing. Here’s a little look back at the past seven weeks.



Let’s travel.


And enjoy airplane food.


Family! Can’t stop for a clear shot! Must go! This is one of my favorite views.


Birthday celebrations, locating (but not buying) octopus, and visiting Mom’s classes. Delicious, fun, and salty.


Baseball game! How American! Clouds that look like UFOs!


Southern food at Lake Tiak-O’Khata made me think about the culinary traditions of the South. Also, I ate a ton of macaroni and cheese. I’ve been deprived for 5 years.


Miles of cheese. Bliss.


Peach gave me wings!


Sometimes hamburgers and homemade fries. Sometimes okonomiyaki.


Holmes Country State Park – where my hiking boots disintegrated.


Travels on the Trace.


This post isn’t even exhaustive or detailed! It’s just a sampling of some of the things that have been happening during these seven weeks.


The Well at Pinelake, where we got coffee several times and watched the service before ours out of the corners of our eyes.

I really enjoyed going there. The coffee was great, and it was fun to visit with different family members. But there is something so surreal about seeing the service you are about to attend on a TV before you go in.






Today…one more picnic, one more ride, and one more alligator viewing.


How can I love being here and there? This time with my family has been good for my soul. I’m ready for whatever comes next now, and I’m almost ready for that flight.

But I’m going to miss these folks!


September Swimming

One advantage in Mississippi, as opposed to Hokkaido, is swimming on September 20th and 21stIMG_7692. Not all people think it is a great idea, but the people are going for it anyway. Can you see the concern in those eyes?

The water is on the chilly side, and we all know the best way to enter cold water. Just dive right in and get it over with.

The people can’t dive, as the water is too shallow. Also, the people aren’t good at diving! The people can’t cannonball, as the people are still dealing with Achilles tendinitis, and landing would not be fun.

So, the people decide that the best form of entering quickly will be by using the good old Nestea Plunge.

photo (13)

All in all, the people had no regrets about choosing this manner of entry. It really did get the shock of the cold over with much more quickly than a normal slow entry.

Plus, it was pretty fun! This is not really an accepted way of entry at the gym pool. When else do you get to try a Nestea Plunge in September.

Afterwards, I did get pretty cold! Thankfully, I swiped one of Dad’s jackets and I just use that when I get cold.



The father of the people also gets in on the fun!


A good time was had by all!

On September 21st, 3 of us got in. Dad Nestea Plunged first, followed by Bro, followed by me. Mom was able to take some videos of the occasion.

Since I can’t easily add videos to this blog, here’s a picture of the four of us headed out on a bike ride. Riding together in beautiful weather is so delightful!