Tag Archives: Travel

It Must Be SoCal

Okay, I haven’t worn a string bikini in public in over twenty years. This is Southern California, though. I’m with my glamorous 17-year-old, and there are palm trees and a Jacuzzi. If not now, then when? We’re here for two … Continue reading

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Parasol Days

In Osaka, there’s no shame in being, or acting like, a woman (at least for women). When I move there, I’m going to buy a parasol, and I won’t be afraid to use it. I’ll be careful not to smirk … Continue reading

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Mansion Hunting

On Tuesday I visited seventeen Osaka apartments with Akamori-san from work and the shy young real estate agent, who patiently walked up and down stairs with us in the 95-degree, 60%-humidity weather. He carried a bag of slippers and a … Continue reading

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Shifting into Maverick Mode

I’m back in Silicon Valley today. It feels so…Californian here. Succulent plants stretching brazenly in the sun, bright orange poppies, palm trees, scrubby desert trees, wide roads, high stress levels. People seem large and brash. In immigration, we had to … Continue reading

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The Gods of Traffic Safety

These driving deities have guarded over this stretch of Highway 1 ever since (and no doubt long before) I’ve been coming to Osaka. The signs read: Traffic Safety A steering wheel held with a Buddha heart will have no accidents. … Continue reading

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A dusky lace of sadness overlays my thoughts every time I smile at an English word spelled or created charmingly. I smile at the “Fancl House” clothing store and remember how many in Tohoku are still freezing with clothes washed … Continue reading

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Hanami at Osaka Castle Park

Yesterday, I celebrated the exquisite fragility of youth  under the cherry petals with coworkers from China, Russia, India, Vietnam, UK, Turkey, and Japan. Many toasts were drunk to the ephemeral nature of life–and other things. The somei yoshino cherry trees … Continue reading

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There’s nothing like the sharp tang of loneliness on the first morning in a Japanese city. With jet lag, I’m up at 12:45 a.m., then 3 a.m., then finally get up and have some coffee at 3:30. I look out … Continue reading

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