Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Practical Things

17 Days…

There’s been little time today for wistful recollections of the city I will soon leave. Most of the time was taken up by practical needs and errands. Most likely the list of things to do, to wrap up, close out and end is on schedule, but that doesn’t allow any complacency, and every now and then I get a little jittery about the list. Despite that, while in Shibuya taking care of some things, I did allow myself a short span of reminiscence while eating lunch for the last time at one of my longtime regular restaurants. It’s just a short walk from the site of the photograph above.

Before leaving home this morning I packed two boxes of ink and fountain pens, one just over six pounds, the other right at fifteen. My plan was to take the boxes to the post office and send them to Florida by air mail; that was the plan until I learned the cost would be $160 for the two boxes to go by air. That was out of the question, so I settled for sending them by surface mail for $96, and a long boat ride of about two months. I tell myself I can get along fine with only six fountain pens in the meantime. Another box of ink will go with everything else on April 20th, and two or three bottles will go in my luggage. Fortunately, I have ink in Florida.

Forty-five minutes at the post office dealing with that, and I left happy that everything else, apart from the iMac, will go via a private shipper. The iMac has to go by air a couple of days before my departure, and at twenty pounds will be costly.

In the afternoon I said goodbye to my barber, a fella who has cut my hair for the past several years. Since first coming to Kugayama I’ve always gone to the same shop, but in all that time six different barbers have cut my hair, one by one eventually moving on. I will sorely miss my times at the barber shop here, always a relaxing and pleasant experience. Nothing at all like a quick clip, bye-bye. Even children get a shave here, though it’s one of the things I wave off. But I do enjoy the shampoo, the pampering and the attention to detail. I suppose it’s steep at the equivalent of $42. Never had the experience, but I’ve heard that barbers in Taiwan wash your socks while you’re getting a haircut.

Meanwhile, wet spring weather in Tokyo makes it hard for people to get out and enjoy the cherry trees, which are at the height of blossom this week. Drizzle doesn’t make for comfortable flower-viewing, and surely prevents most from spreading a blanket under the trees with a few friends. The cherry tree in the garden just below me is a late blooming mountain cherry, so not yet in fullest flower. Apologies for the poor photograph.

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About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America