Friday, January 05, 2007

Six days in Tokyo

Continuing my obsession with self-timed pictures.

I'm back in Tokyo on vacation for one week. I already did my shopping, now all that's left is meeting with my friends and former students for dinner throughout the week. A bit of sightseeing too.

My former hometown has changed very little. The school that I worked at closed down last month for lack of business; so happy that it wasn't on my watch. Other than that, the people who work at Starbucks, the bank, the stationery are all the same. Of course one has to pop in and say hello.

It was on to Ginza after that in search of new clothes. It's probably not a good idea to go shopping for clothing in Japan of all places when you're a half hour from Target and Kohl's back home, but on the plane I spilled some orange juice on the only pair of pants I took with me. One thing that either of the stores mentioned above doesn't have, though, are the size jeans I'm looking for (hey, I'm Asian, ergo short). The winter coats were also half off, one thing led to another, blah blah blah. It also has much to do that it's been two months since I've been on a date, and I have to figure if a change would do me good. Why not.

I don't know what happened in the six months I've been gone, but the Japanese have been much less surprised at foreigners who can speak the language. I've only been forced to exercise my native English twice since I got here.

I was thinking about dinner at the hotel restaurant, and then I watched that CNN report about Congress looking to cut college loan interest rates and I got sad. I mean, not for the lower interest rates I could get this summer and fall, but for the loans I already have. It can't be true that the average principal is just under $20K. How do people get Masters degrees? My dream would be a funded doctoral program, then I can defer the required payments for my federal loans (I think) and stay in academia for, like, forever.

I'm still jet lagged, and woke up at 3AM. Good thing though, because I got to see Congress change hands. Yes, I am a news and political junkie.

Speaking of which, of course not everyone is happy. Guess who the conservative punditry is blaming Iraqi deaths on? That's right, Democrats. As if George Jr. was our idea in the first place. It will never top Falwell blaming 9/11 on treating gays and lesbians as human beings, but it does seem that striving for that sort of wild crazy making is the hot trend on the right. The only regret is that The Daily Show is on reruns until next week and won't be commenting on something like this.

My Internet access will be irregular while I'm away, but I hope to blog every now and then.

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