The weather here has turned decidedly towards spring, while back in Michigan winter is still hanging on tight. So on our last weekend in Japan we soaked up the sun and soaked in the sight of ume blossoms as they start to fill the brown branches with pink puffs.
Nikko isn’t a cold climate by any Michigander/Manitoban standards, but it’s always almost 10 degrees warmer in Utsunomiya, a 45 minute drive away. Also, they have Starbucks. Which sounds so boring to people who can buy coffee at any coffee shop in a mug larger than a shot glass. But we are not those people. And so we went.
We found a park in the city that, after 3 years of day trips, we had never noticed before. The flowers were everywhere and we weren’t cleaning or packing or saying goodbye-see-you-maybe-nevers so we were happy. Happy and warm.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about our girl is how much she loves being outside. Just out. In the air and the dirt on the run. She doesn’t need a plan or a game or a bunch of toys, just someone to play along with her imaginary scenarios. I was happy to oblige.
I wonder what they sell at titty&Co.? Actually I am fully aware that they sell clothes but like…has no one mentioned to anyone that this name is a little…off? I mean if they sold bras maybe it could work? Sign spotting is absolutely without question my favorite pasttime in Japan. I should get out more?
It’s funny how spring makes you forget how awful winter was. And how being a few days from going home makes the struggles of the season seem so mild. Two months ago I had it up to here with Japan. I was sick of taking off my shoes and bowing 40 times never knowing when I was supposed to walk away and eating things out of fishy broth the consistency of jello and feeling a breeze through my single paned windows. But with the sun shining on my back and the plane waiting to take me home in two days I will miss the friendly smiles and the special slippers and sliding doors and the chopsticks. You know I’m getting slaphappy because even the men’s haircuts are starting to make sense.
We sipped cold drinks at Starbucks and chatted up the Australian man next to us. We are so starved for conversation with new people we would talk to anyone at this point, but soon we will be able to communicate with everyone and won’t feel the need to exchange names with every person we sit next to in Starbucks. But maybe we will. Just out of habit.