Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Over here!

served with wasabi @ 07:53 |

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thirty somethings mundane and grand that have added up to one lovely, charmed life.

1. Traveled to 13(ish) countries.
2. Seen my byline in print.
3. Fallen in love.
4. Had my heart broken.
5. Threw caution to the wind and fell in love again. And again.
6. Climbed a mountain.
7. Went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
8. Seen a perfect sunset and perfect sunrise.
9. Watched a baseball game at Wrigley Field.
10. Said goodbye to someone I loved more than anything in the world.
11. Cooked a full Thanksgiving meal from scratch (to rave reviews).
12. Watched a stage performance at the Sydney Opera House.
13. Visited the Acropolis in Greece.
14. Wished on a shooting star.
15. Suspended my disbelief long enough to feel like a kid again.
16. Fallen victim to a fit of giggles in a silent church.
17. Walked on the Great Wall of China.
18. Caught a wave in Waikiki.
19. Met a movie star.
20. Kissed a rock singer.
21. Learned how to order beer in six foreign languages.
22. Helped a stranger.
23. Danced the night away in the rain.
24. Camped in the mountains with nary another soul in shouting distance (except for my tent companion).
25. Gambled in Vegas, worn strands of colorful beads in New Orleans, ridden a cable car in San Francisco, spied the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, stood under the arch in St. Louis, explored the Rocky Mountains, stood at the Freedom Trail in Boston.
26. Voted. Campaigned for a presidential election. Cried when my candidate lost. Protested George W. Bush's second inauguration in Washington, D.C. Accidentally flipped President Clinton the bird.
27. Had addresses on three different continents.
28. Realized how truly lucky I am for the loving family I've been born with and the fabulous friends I've met along the way.
29. Discovered life and wisdom in books.
30. Learned not to squander ripe opportunities and to always count my blessings. For life is good.

I can't wait for the next decade of exploring this crazy, exciting world we live in to see what else it has in store. Happy (belated) 30th birthday to me.

served with wasabi @ 11:55 |

Thursday, August 06, 2009

served with wasabi @ 22:40 |

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Supposedly a broken heart takes half the length of the relationship to fully heal. I had been awaiting that benchmark with an unspoken eagerness, thinking that six months after my year-long relationship with Yuu-chan went sour I might finally breath a sigh of relief and clutch a scrap of closure to my chest and thank my lucky stars that our relationship was over and I had been able to move on.

But honest to god, I'm not. I'm not happy without him, even if I wouldn't be happy with him, and it has been nothing but a constant struggle to find reasons why, flaws and all, I should be delighted that he's not curling up beside me in bed on Sunday nights. I cringe when my friends call me by his pet name for me. I recoil when I stumble upon a photo of him. I wilt at the thought that he has cut me so completely out of his life.

I have never fallen so recklessly in love, and I have never paid so high a price for it, I am beginning to realize. I am completely undone by it. And after six months of examining and focusing on myself, after running a marathon, learning to play the drums, traveling the world, delighting in life, I'm still not able to put it all behind me.

Dating has been a riot, if you can imagine. I've cut out a stream of reoccurring exes. I've more or less lost contact with the Greek archeologist, bared my soul to the boy in Thailand and flicked back the sentimental but inadequate returns, fell in serious like with a professional boxer/actor/waiter I work with and dated a continuous series of other men, but I have to admit that not even the most perfect resume will get someone beyond a second date with me.

My emotional baggage is well over the weight limit. After six months, I feel like a big, steaming pile of crazy, hurt and distrust. On this day of Tanabata, a celebration of star-crossed lovers in Japan, I'm not seeking any Shakespearean romance, but to know that the possibilities of falling in love again with someone who turns out to be totally different from Yuu-chan would be a dream come true.

served with wasabi @ 01:06 |

Monday, May 11, 2009

I've been on good vacations before. Great ones, even. Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, walking on the Great Wall and playing with adorable orphan babies, prancing past the velvet ropes in Vegas, singing from balconies in Puerto Vallarta, walking barefoot down Bourbon Street, taking a road trip through England and Wales...I could go on and on and on, and now that I've started I sort of want to relive those fabulous memories in full, but that's beside the point. Without a doubt, the passport stamps that I so recently accumulated represent some of the best experiences of my life.

A whirlwind trip to Moscow, Istanbul, Athens and the Greek islands has left me breathless and renewed and deeply saddened at all once. Except for my solo night in Russia, I was with Kim and Marisa, two of my very favorite women in the entire world. I was looking for inspiration or meaning or answers, and I discovered a brand-new feeling that, not to get all melodramatic, I think will change my life. Not just in the company and advice of my girls, but in the air, the people, a fleeting romance and the most gorgeous landscapes I have ever laid eyes on. It felt like the awakening of my soul.

Moscow was freezing cold, with patches of snow still on the ground, and stark, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Well, a little less cold, actually, since I didn't even have a pair of socks in my luggage. I spent much of my 12 hours walking around without a map, which somehow got me smack dab in front of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Red Square. It was amazing. The architecure of the portions of the city that I traversed were surprisingly stunning. I ate a sparse dinner of some type of lentils with herbs, bacon and yogurt, bought some Gucci perfume from an adorable Russian gay boy at a fancy department store that I cut through to get a little warmth, and was surprised to find myself often mistaken for a local, until I opened my mouth and sent people fleeing in the opposite direction. I also worked out the web of an antique-seeming subway system all by myself after riding around in circles for a while and trying to match up my English-lettered map to the Russian-lettered signs. Oh, and of course I sampled the vodka.

My Russian experience fits into a tidy little paragraph, but the remainder of the trip isn't so simple. I fell in love with Istanbul on the drive from the airport, cruising along the coast with the sparkling sea just off to my right, ancient castle ruins and beautiful buildings on my left and rainbow streaks of tulips absolutely everywhere. The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, the small bazaar, the colorful building facades, the call to prayer surrounded us and I couldn't get enough.

On our first night, Kim and I found a little hookah bar with big cushiony seats outdoors and that place became our haven. We ordered up icy Efes beer and the most tasty food, including pistachio and honey baklava that rocked my world, and melon-flavored sheesha tabacco, then whiled away the hours chattering away about everything, nothing, you name it. The bar owner had a highly verbalized thing for me and my eyes, which turned out to be greatly appreciated when we had to change our accomodations and he offered us a room in his hotel for 10 euros a night. We also went clubbing with the locals, got our fortunes read by white rabbits and consumed our weight in kebabs, hummus, tatziki, pita, baklava and fresh-squeezed orange juice. While I was waiting for the girls to arrive, I got to quiz the locals about the culture over apple tea with a (harmless) stranger and a delicious lunch with his friend, whose uncle owns a kebab restaurant.

And the last thing Marisa, Kim and I did on our final morning together before saying goodbye, after a long and unexpected tour of countless airports, a 12-hour layover in Athens and one more night at our cozy little Istanbul hotel, was to experience a Turkish bath. It was an experience indeed. We stripped down to our birthday suits and then walked into a beautiful, dome-ceiling, steaming hot room with a huge marble slab in the middle to lay on "to start the sweating process." Eventually, a large, topless woman motioned for us one by one to come to the edge, then proceeded to dump buckets of icy water on us, work up a suds that could cover the entire city, scrub every spot of travel grime and dead skin cell off our bodies and shampoo our hair, all the while singing Turkish lullabies. Afterward, we dipped into a hot bath for a brief interlude. It was the single most relaxing thing I've ever done, worth every lira.

Then there's Greece. A month later and I still am rendered speechless. Athens was sunny and gorgeous and absolutely teeming with history. We found a sweet little B&B run by an old grandfather-type and a few snarky aging beauties, then ambled around the city by foot. We walked through the old neighborhoods, where all the locals seemed to be outdoors enjoying a leisurely Orthodox Easter lunch. We looped around the base of the Acropolis without climbing up to take a closer peek just yet, and stopped for the most delicious lunch at a little sidewalk cafe. Greek salad, bread with olive oil, stuffed olive leaves, fried calamari, grilled bass and a little white wine was dining perfection, even with the nasty pigeons lurking nearby.

Afterward, we took a tiny little locomotive around the rest of the city, stopped for gelato and then hit up a colorful bar stocked with the local drink, ouzo, which tastes like black licorice, a flavor I truly detest but managed to swallow down on a frequent basis while abroad. At this bar, I found myself unexpectedly in a conversation with two Greek brothers, a painter and an archeologist, perched on teh stools beside me. The more I talked to the archeologist, Alex, the more I was smitten. Beautiful brown eyes, olive skin, toned arms. [insert Greek god comment here.]

Alex and Stephanos took us later to a local bar frequented by artists and actors, a dark establishment with one long table and a dj space that quickly became one of our favorite spots of all time. Kim, Marisa and I won over the gays by singing along to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the top of our lungs while others made faces. Alex and I eventually parked ourselves in a corner and had a lengthy conversation about...who even knows. Or cares. I made him whisper Greek nothings in my ear, and told him the only Greek phrase I had learned prior to coming, which means "Kiss me," and he did. We also slow danced for a while and then in the wee hours we all walked to our parting point and said a saddened little goodbye.

The next morning, we booked an afternoon ferry to the islands, grabbed a yummy soulvaki and made our way up to the Acropolis. It was incredible. Awing. I still get tingles just thinking about setting foot in a place packed with so much history. I could have stayed up there for days doing my share of contemplating and soul searching, but, well, we had a ship to catch.

That night, we landed on Mykonos island (for the full effect, please listen to this song while you continue reading):

Mykonos was amazing. We stayed at a cheap, practically deserted beach resort and explored the town day and night. The twisting streets were apparently set up like a labyrinth to perplex invading pirates, and let me just tell you that they must have been highly effective. We were lost all the time. And when we asked for directions, the locals never varied their reply to "Just go straight." Which we did, until we arrived a deadend and then received the same directive again.

Ah, but Mykonos. It was a tiny little paradise of white-washed buildings with red and blue accents. We lunched by the sea, shopped (and in one case accidentally shoplifted!) our little hearts out and explored the nightlife to full effect. The island is supposed to be a gay mecca, but it was the off-season and we saw nary a friend of Dorothy. But we danced and made merry and stumbled home for a few winks before being whisked off in the morning to Santorini, or Thera to the locals.

A couple hours into the looooooong ferry journey, we stopped off at a tiny island called Paros. It was also beautiful and quaint, and Kim and Marisa swore it was home to the best tomato they had ever tasted. I was off exploring and they didn't save me a bite. Meanies. The remainder of the boat ride was choppy, with swell spray rising over the top of the seven-story cruise ship and many riders, Marisa included, looking toxically ill.

And then we were in what was decidedly the world's most breathtaking, picture-perfect spot: Santorini. I am in love with Santorini, with its jagged cliffs and gorgeous waters and brilliant views from every single vintage point. Little halos of grape vines cover the entire island, belonging to any of the 13 local wineries. We stayed at a simple but incredibly chic hotel run by two more Greek grandpapas, who gave us rides into the main town, Fira, free chocolate cake and also gave us a hug instead of a bill when we confessed to swiping a bottle of wine and a corkscrew in the middle of the night when aggravated nerves needed to be calmed after one hectic episode.

We visited a winery and walked to the beach one day, and twice picked up by accident new pet dogs that followed us everywhere we went, one of which kept almost getting run over chasing cars and made our hearts stop beating every time a vehicle approached (and produced one exasperated driver after another). We ate the most gorgeous spreads, more Greek salads and calamari and tzatziki and fish, and washed it all down with locally made wine and Mythos beer. And we stumbled upon the very best breakfast venue ever (sorry, Victory's Banner), a cozy restaurant called Mama's House. As soon as we walked through the door, a tiny old lady opened her arms to me and said, "Come here and give Mama a hug! Where are you from, darling? Chicago? Shit, mafia!" She pushed me aside to embrace the others. Mama made us feel right at home, cursing like a sailor the entire time and calling us "sex bombs" and telling us not to get into trouble. The food was as good as the hospitality. I had a feta, spinach and tomato omelete with hash browns, toast with homemade jam, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee. Yummers. We went in the next morning for a second helping of Mama's food and affections, and a third time I was passing by and she called me in to scold me for wearing "short pants" in the chilly evening. "Promise Mama you'll go put on long pants! You'll catch a cold. Shit! Go put on long pants, my darling."

Later that day, after lounging on the patio of our hotel drinking a glass of wine, our hotel grandpapa urged us to catch a taxi up to a small town called Oia to watch the famous sunset. I rallied the energyless troops and we made our way there and could not have been gladder. It was, once again, beyond words. It was the exact image that people conjure when they think of Greece. The cluster of pale-colored buildings with domed roofs and winding staircases overlooking the sparkling ocean. Of course, my camera battery picked that exact moment to die yet again (I snapped two whole pictures of Russia), so I didn't capture much of the beauty on film but that gave me more time to soak it up in my memory and I won't complain one bit. Any gleaming superlative you can think of would be an inadequate description of this place and you truly have to see it with your own eyes to understand.

At Mama's we met a burly American soul singer who lives in Austria but comes to the island to play his music at a local bar. He didn't have a show that night, but told us to meet him for drinks at another well-known bar, where we mingled and danced. Marisa met a man there and I suppose I did, too, although my mind was still very much on Alex, who would unfortunately be arriving in Santorini for work excavating an ancient city just after we left and was sending me very sweet, regretful e-mails to the effect of our star-crossed meeting.

In the end, we had to stay on the island an extra day and fork over an obscene amount of cash to fly back to Athens and then over to Istanbul instead of taking a ferry straight to Turkey. But we weren't complaining. Marisa's man, a tour guide by trade, took us on a personal journey of the island's best hidden spots, which made us fall in love with the island even more. After yet another perfect lunch by the sea, we made our way back and later he took us to the most adorable Greek restaurant for our final dinner. We stuffed ourselves silly, I said goodbye to my Santorini boy, Constantinos, who was there having drinks with his father, and called it a night. We went to the airport at sunrise and I still marveled at the island. It was enchanting, alluring, wonderful. A piece of me is still there, I swear.

Getting on an airplane and leaving those places behind marked the first time I ever felt a tinge of remorse over going back to Tokyo and it's a sensation that I have yet to shake entirely. For the first couple weeks, I feel lost and lonely and lacksidasical. Now, I am more content but still a tiny bit empty. I'm still in touch with Alex and get giddy and nostalgiac with every correspondence. His last message said he might very well come visit Tokyo in the autumn, and while that might not happen, I can't help but blush at the prospect. If I can't go back to Greece just yet, I hopefully can at least bring Greece to me.

Photographic evidence of utopia here:

Paradise Found 1
Paradise Found 2
Paradise Found 3

served with wasabi @ 21:57 |

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On a whim last fall, my friend Yutaka and I decided to take our occasional jogs to the extreme and enter the Tokyo Marathon. It was not a fully hatched idea, merely a casual conversation that went something like, "I miss going for runs together." "Me too." "Hey, we should enter the marathon next year." "Yeah, OK." We put in our applications that night.

The lottery to enter was pretty hefty. It's only the marathon's third year in running but it's getting more popular every time and, because the organizers want there to be a distinctive international vibe, the spots for Nihonjin are few. Yutaka didn't make the cut, sadly, and I was on my own.

The closest I'd come to a marathon was waking up before dawn with my sister and friend to hand out water to the runners in the Chicago Marathon for two years, an incredibly moving experience that has always stayed in my mind. My training regime over the last two months consisted of sporadic jogs that eventually led me and my sneakers on fantastic tours all around the city, past parks and temples and breathtaking buildings that I never knew existed.

And then suddenly the day of the marathon was here. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., gathered my necessities and ate as much bread, oats and dried fruit as I possibly could before meeting a coworker who was running at the train station. We giggled and fretted our way to race, wished each other luck and then parted ways to find our starting groups.

9:10 a.m. -- The elite runners began following a brief open ceremony and an exhilarating gunshot into the air. I stood in the streets of Shinjuku along with 35,000 other marathoners awaiting our cue as helicopters swarmed overhead. The energy was insane. A handful of people stuck their heads out of the windows in the condo high-rise nearby to cheer us on.

9:22 a.m. -- I finally made it across the starting line. My friend Fumihiko, who ran a different marathon with Yutaka the week before, was there to start me off on a good note, only I couldn't spot him in the thick crowds. Bummer.

0-10K -- Easy and fabulous. The onlookers and performers off to the sides the sides were lovely. The weather was sunny but cool. I alternated between listening to the special marathon playlist on my ipod, which included the Rocky theme, Kung Fu Fighting and lots of Daft Punk, and absorbing the sounds and energy of everyone on the sidelines. Running through the colorful streets of Shinjuku and spying a few early cherry blossoms along the way was really uplifting. I ran into another coworker and fellow taiko buddy at one of the bathroom stops and we had a good chat before hitting the pavement again.

10-18K -- We plodded en masse pass the Imperial Palace and on to Shinagawa, where I work, and the jumble of runners thinned out (5,000 only ran a 10K). The course snaked around so that runners were coming back toward me on the opposite side of the street. and it was exciting to watch them, especially the ones in costume. There was one girl in a full geisha getup, one samurai, a dude in a monkey suit, a couple Dragonball Z characters and plethora of crazy wigs and hats. My left hip began to hurt, which is fairly common when I run for long distances, a pain that was alternately canceled out by a fairly new ailment in the back of my right knee. It hurt, but nothing major. Finding Yutaka and his parents in the crowd did wonders for my spirits.

18-22K -- Ouch. I'd run 20K in recent weeks with no problem at all, save for a couple minor aches and pains. They were beginning to explode on me now all at once, but I worried that I stopped running I would have trouble starting again. I text messaged my friend Katherine to bring some aspirin for me, then my heart dropped when she told me she had the goods and would be waiting at 28K. Six more kilometers, plus the time it took for the drugs to kick in. No. No. No. I contemplated popping into one of the 7-Elevens on the route, but couldn't bring myself to veer off the course. I chewed through hard candies from the sideline supporters, partook in many a-high five from college kids and gray-headed grandmothers, listened to the beats of the taiko drums and other performances that dotted the path and tried to focus merely on moving forward.

22-28K -- The skies switched back and forth between sunny and light sprinkles, both of which felt refreshing in their brief turns. Somewhere amid the ritzy shops of Ginza, I eventually succumbed to a medical center, which was staffed by super-friendly people who nonetheless frustrated me with time-consuming paperwork. Name. Address. First marathon? Dudes, I don't really have time for this. My knee had won the battle of bodily pains, and they gave me two choices for treating it: wait 30 to 40 minutes to have it taped, or give it a quick spray with something that smelled like Icy Hot. I opted for the latter, which offered relief for an entire two and a half and left me wincing with each step. A young couple on the corner held a sign that said "Smile" and I certainly tried. I wasn't feeling the typical aches and pains of a marathon, I wasn't out of breath, I had plenty of energy and desire to swoop through whole 5 and 10Ks at a time, but frustratingly could not.

28K -- Oh, 28K could not have come soon enough. I was walking more than running at this point and beginning to feel anxious about the tight time limitations, which included making it to 30K within the next 25 minutes. No biggie for the healthy, but it was questionable for me. I thought about dropping out but couldn't handle the thought of not completing the race, so I limped on, rounded a corner at Asakusa's Sensoji temple and was greeted with a huge sign that said "Go Wendi Go!" and a whole horde of friends. The Japanese people around them too had caught the enthusiasm and were all cheering my name when I approached. That was priceless. My friends, so gorgeous and stellar, passed over aspirin, a big jug of water, a cup of ice and lots of hugs and love.

29-38K -- With a fresh bounce in my step, I rocked the pavement for several wonderful, pain-diminished minutes. I made it through the checkpoint, then stopped at a medical center for tape, which they were out of. No spray either. Heaps of runners were stopping at this point, getting the timers on their shoes cut off, ending their day. I sat on the curb for a few moments and tried to refocus. Every stretch, bend, rest and mental exercise that I tried wasn't helping. My foot was feeling uncomfortable as well, so I tentatively pulled off my shoe. The entire tip of my white sock was covered in blood. A popped blister and too much friction caused by the regrettable top seam of my sock, still better than what I imagined had happened. I tucked my foot back into the shoe and pretended that I'd never even seen it.

I was back in Ginza again for the second pass through, and my energy level and that of the crowd kept me running in spurts. One woman handed me one of my favorite Japanese treats, a chocolate-filled pastry from Hiroshima that's shaped like a maple leaf, and another gave me a handmade charm with tiny green slippers on it. I took all the candy and food that I could get my hands on, including a half a banana, raisins and sugar cubes, and lots of sports drinks and water. It was a 26.2-mile smorgasbord of treats. I saw McDonald's french fries, Pretz sticks, miso soup, jelly shots, cola...everything. I also saw my girl Arisa and her parents, who were visiting from Hokkaido. They snapped pictures and gave hugs and I felt so much better after seeing them.

38-41K -- During the stretch of bridges and small hills over to the finish line on a tiny manmade island called Odaiba, it started pouring down buckets of rain, temperatures dropped and the winds picked up. There was a lot of walking going on. Still, scores of volunteers and spectators lined the path and urged us forward. I squatted down beside the sidewalk at one point and a kind old lady asked me if I was OK. Tears welled up in my eyes and I told her I was fine, just tired, and a man on the other side of me said firmly but sweetly, "My own pace. Honti ni, my own pace." Meaning, don't do anything that your body is telling you not to do. I was way beyond that point already, but even when I wanted to run I physically couldn't manage more than single step and then I was walking it again. Luckily for me, two tables were handing out soggy but delicious cream-filled buns that offered a bit of solace and sustenance as the rain dripped down my face and my knee and hip both seared in pain.

42K -- I ambled my way through the last turn and toward the finish. Yutaka and our friend were waiting in the bleachers and made me smile with a series of big, hearty whoops, then I ran across the finish threshold and willed myself not to collapse right there. After a brief stop at the railing, I limped my way along with a whole slew of limping, rough-looking runners through a line of handshakes, got a towel wrapped around my shoulders, a medal slung over my neck, a mandarin and countless rounds of "Otsukaresama desu!" and "Omedeto!" Thanks for your hard work and congratulations. 6h28m. Not what I envisioned out of the race, and I've felt plenty of frustrations and disappointments over it, but a feat considering that I finished with what was diagnosed on Friday as a torn hamstring. Yeah. The support of the crowd and just being a part of the experience is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

The aftermath was not pretty. I could barely walk, so collecting my bag and changing into fresh clothes and negotiating an escalator were massive undertakings. Yutaka, Arisa, Junta and Arisa's folks guided me to the station and laid on plenty of praise and playful conversation all the way home. Going up and down my stairs at home was a painstaking process for several days. The rest of my body was and is absolutely fine except for those two unruly spots. My knee is still giving me grief, but I've got some gentle stretches to do to help with the healing.

Right now, one week later, I'm unbelievably anxious to lace up my Nikes and get out there again. I'm proud of my accomplishment. And if my body cooperates, I am absolutely game to don the marathon bib again at some point.

served with wasabi @ 23:37 |

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I stumbled into 2008 with the dumb luck of meeting someone who would sweep me off my feet, quite literally that first night after the confetti rained down on the dance floor and the speakers buzzed through my toes to the tip of my head and we clumsily kissed our way across the entire room and back, our feet never planted firmly beneath our tingling bodies.

2009 has found me nursing a heartbreak so big that I can't breathe if I think about it. Which is almost all I can do. The relationship was doomed from the beginning, I suppose, if either of us had ever paused during our hasty swapping of affections to examine it. Without my willingness to in essence become Japanese (meaning that I should have the desire to live in Japan forever, become fluent in the language and accept that a man's career is a disproportionate part of his life), then we were a timebomb waiting to go off. And go off we did. A silly spat, unending cultural issues, communication barriers, a month and a half apart and now we are not a we anymore.

So I've spent my first two weeks of the new year wallowing in a room where we spent countless hours making eyes at each other and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in our underwear, I've read Oprah-appointed fluff and Murakami, drank my weight in tequila and red wine, danced, jogged, cried, vented, baked, cleaned, watched old episodes of Roseanne and developed a nice (and mutual) crush on an adorable surfer who works in my neighborhood. And reassessing my life as a whole.

January hasn't been at all what I had hoped or planned for, and as an indication of the next 11 and a half months to come, especially in comparison to the clouds of perfection on which I was floating at this time last year that lasted through Thanksgiving, the potential for 2009 looks bleak indeed. But I still feel more than an inkling of optimism. I have survived worse. And there has got to be a silver lining to this whole thing. The freedom to leave Japan? To find a partner who can read what I write and understand it, or be together outside of Sunday and Monday? To have another first kiss? Besides, it's nothing that a springtime getaway to Greece (and potential visit from Thailand) can't remedy, or so I'm hoping.

Here's to hope in 2009.

served with wasabi @ 00:56 |