Kyoto!

Aug. 10th, 2008 01:16 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)
Renee has updated about Kyoto, my last day there..which takes the pressure ff me...but I will need to write about the movie we saw.

She also has things uploaded on flickr...but due to the fact neither of us are big on haviong our pictures taken, we miss out on getting a picture together of the creepy similar clothing we were rocking.

But we do have the ugly leather boots!

And...I am totally gonna cut you.
parasitegirl: (Fuck yeah)
Kyoto: Sunday! Scott's a coming!

I have managed to kill hours and hours writing this at work.

Renee and I woke up around 7ish. Each of us, in our individuals beds, went through our small yawns, stretches, and the things that simply must be done in the morning to gain your bearings. Renee slipped off the end of her bed and proceeded to do the cow and cat stretches as I pulled my knees to my chest and rocked back and forth.

"Good. You wake up slowly." Renee remarked approvingly.
"uuuuh"

I'm not a morning person. I'm not an oversleeper, I can get up and move toward a goal, but I'm not going to expend extra energy while I do it. Everything gets stripped down in the morning.

At some point, in middle school or high school, a friend of mine was having a bad spot with her family and stayed with Dean Mommy and me for a few days during a school week. We were prepared to make some changes so that she'd feel at home, including buying sugary breakfast cereals. Dean Mommy felt the need to prepare her for our lack-of-language on weekday mornings. The night before, Dean Mommy explained that we really don't do morning conversation and that it wouldn't be anything personal. The next morning we woke and all converged on the
 breakfast table. My friend started conversing with us, and we made non-comital grunts back...and continued to until she remarked "you were serious about not talking!"...and we nodded, silently.

Renee is slightly more talkative than I am in the morning, but that's just because she seems to be able to navigate whole sentences with a modest rate of success.  My sentences in the morning are more along the lines of:

"So.....breakfast and then we'll....pack and...` corporate coffee?"

The night before we'd decided to get whatever hotel buffet breakfast was on offer. Both of us need and expect a certain level of protein, calories, and complexity in our morning food. If we don't get it we crash midmorning and become confused and disoriented.

Dean Mommy and I are big fans of hotel breakfast buffets while in Asia. Hotel breakfasts offer the path of least resistance in the goal of getting complex calories and simple coffee first thing in the morning. The coffee isn't good coffee, but it give you the power to obtain more coffee. Our use of hotel breakfasts is restricted to Asia.  Asia has different ideas from the western world about what makes a breakfast. If you search out breakfast in Japan, toast and a small salad or fish, rice, natto, and nori is what you'll find outside of a hotel...that isn't worth the effort of non-fueled mobility....you can't compare that to huevos rancheros.  In Thailand you'll get more fruits, but you'll also have plenty of fruits in-hotel. In Cambodia and Vietnam  I've never stayed in a place large enough for a buffet in those locals, guest houses usually serve fruits, baguettes, and butter. It makes sense to eat in your guest house the first few days and scout for other locations in the day.... Cambodia has tasty eggs and are not afraid to eat them for breakfast! Vietnam has Vietnamese coffee.....mmmmm...

In North America  and the UK the breakfasts are well worth leaving the hotel for. I can picture some of the breakfasts I had in Mexico 2 years ago...no problem... I plan to gain at least 3 pounds in western breakfasts this September while on the west coast.

I have vague memories of the French thinking that a little chocolately coffee and cookie/biscuit is breakfast...they make up for it with the lunches and dinners but it is hard at first. If you're staying with a French family you can always scrounge...they don't lack for food and they'll just chalk it up to crude American snack-nature/weaknesses..
Kyoto )
parasitegirl: (dance text)
If she weren't prepping for Suhalia's level 3, I'd totally call Renee a lazy lady for the fact that she'll be linking her blog to these Kyoto entries to save herself some documentation time.

(Meta-Edit: Renee's take on this so far: http://divarenee.livejournal.com/78398.html ) 
I've got the time at work to let this sprawl! I had two days off this week and am trying to stretch that vacation feel through the workdays. Until this job, August in Japan usually meant many days off, or weeks of half days. The fact that city hall doesn't automatically take time off for Obon festivals means that I had enough flexibility to get cheaper tickets by delaying my holiday until September...but it doesn't negate my patina of burn-out at being behind the desk again.
 
So, let's go to Kyoto!
parasitegirl: (adultevil)
I was a mess when I got to Kyoto at 7AM Saturday morning. My abdomen was bloated from gas and discomfort, sore to the touch, the sort of calamity caused by travel stress and being cramped up like a veal for slaughter. Maybe I had had two whole hours of sleep. I was sore and hadn't had the chance to shower after my restaurant show. My hair felt sticky, my body worse, and there was probably crusted drool on my cheek.
 
After finding a coin locker at Kyoto station to store my wheeled suitcase in, I went to check Cafe Du Monde where [profile] divareneeand I would be meeting at 9ish.
 
Under construction.
 
Great.
 
Just great.
 
I went, disoriented and confused, outside and started walking until I found a Starbucks I could sit at, cool off, and drink coffee and eat a scone.
parasitegirl: (In the hood.)
We have tickets in progress, I'll transfer the money soon.
And, ouch, even non-peak travel is costing me me aorund 1,300$USD. About 600$ of that is airport taxes due to increases in gas.

I just paid my yearly taxes in a lump sum intsead of over 6 months...and I think it was the right thing to do, but if my wallet had balls it would be clutching them and rolling about on the floor.

My travel dates to Seattle are:
I arrive September 12th (after having left Tokyo on, yes, the 12th) and will depart on the 22nd (arriving back on the 23rd) The Milkman's Sister has assured me that if I have an extra day or so of leave come September and if flights back to Japan are full and offering a sizable travel voucher to be bumped to the next day...to take that voucher! They'll understand.

The Milkman's Sister also tells me that, as far as our boss knows, ya'll who live in Seattle are my extended family. This is my 帰郷, trip HOME to see FAMILY.  I am NOT a BAD DAUGHTER who hasn't been to my home state for over 3 years....I am visiting my family.

Sometime in that 10 day span I will take the train to Portland, maybe midweek.

Henna...I am so bad at tracking bumps...to the best of your knowledge, am I arriving in country prior to birth, after the birth, or possibly in that OMG when the FUCK is this thing going to LEAVE my BODY?!?" stage?

Summertime

Jun. 23rd, 2008 02:01 pm
parasitegirl: (Default)
It is the time of the year when I start thinking "Jesus, I need to be speaking English every day or I'm gonna go crazy." and start planning my limited summer vacation.

I had been thinking about Turkey, but right now the only summer travel companion available to me, nay...pushing for a trip... is the German.  Hadia only abandoned her halfway through the tour...I wouldn't last that long. I just couldn't travel with her. Winter for Turkey I think....sigh...

So, I am thinking another over a week-long  trip to Seattle, maybe 8th to 18th of August...this time I'd like to include an Amtrack  trip down to Portland. What with Henna returning to the homeland I have more homies in Portland now in addition to the old 7uns like Plavcan, and there's an old art school buddy who was last tracked as living there
I still don't have a valid US driver's licence and God only knows what gas will cost when I get there so I wouldn't expect any homies to drive to Seattle. I will of course be pitching in gas money when I am there.

Thoughts?
parasitegirl: (bunny dance)
Belly dance related has been fun thus far!

The first two days, as they relate to bellydance...sort of.

As soon as Gus dropped me off at Casa De Besh I started trying on the dance items that had been shipped here for me. Halfway back to his car, Gus remembered that he needed to get a machine out of the basement and came back, only to find me in my new Melodias.

I'd purchased the black pinstripe specialty Melodias. I had not realized that the ribbons used for the pin striping were actually ruffly...I thought they'd be flat and flush to the fabric. One thing that I dislike about Melodia products is that the photos always look nice and all but it is very hard to determine textures/colors because everything looks a little over-lit and there are never any close-ups of the fabrics. The pants make that corduroy "swish swish" when you walk and because of the way the waistband is made the ruffles itch my belly. But they fit well and are pretty fucking snazzy. I may wear them tomorrow.

My burgundy costume is pretty damned sexy as well. I needed to re-enforce about 50% of the fringes because the knots had come undone and they were shedding beads or about to shed. I wish that had been mentioned in the listing, there is no way she couldn't have noticed. Today, I removed half of the padding, stitched hooks, adjusted straps, and it is ready to wear. When I get back home I'll take photos, until then you'll just have to find someone else's headless torso to look at.

Thursday I met Renee of InFusion for brunch. We'd met last year and enjoyed martinis and conversation after an InFusion show. since then we've been reading each other's lj blogs for a year, but other than that we had no clue if we'd really hit it off one on one. I walked to Hi-Light and arrived in time to sit and order a cup of coffee and chat animatedly with the waiter. Renee saw me immediately when she entered, but the waiter I was conversing with was outside her line of sight. Was I practicing what I wanted to say to her? Was I simply hallucinating due to lack of sleep due to jet-lag? Was she about to have brunch with a crazy lady?

And then she'd moved forward enough to see the waiter: the fears dissolved.

Her husband also joined us for brunch. I'd also met him last year. After we stumbled through the menu (well, I did most of the stumbling. I am still unaccustomed to being in a location where there are an array of options for me on menus) we talked for about an hour and a half. I can confidently say that we all enjoyed ourselves. It helps that they both have an interest in traveling and Japan...and (of course) bellydance because, well, these are dominant topics in my life. Whenever I first arrive in America I endure a fair amount of, if not culture shock, mental culture-reorganization. I find myself trying to catalogue what it is about rooms/ streets/ communication styles that feels so slightly strange to me. Verbalizing helps this process...but no one wants to be the "all conversation roads lead to this foreign country I live/lived in" person. We hate that person. She's a bore. People a few years younger than I refer to her as "One time, at band camp..."

Languages interest me, so her husband (who has a more than average interest in linguistics) also had a dominant topic which could be appreciated.

After brunch Renee's husband went for a hair cut and we, enjoying each other's company, went to the mall. Renee was at first reluctant to suggest the mall, as she is not the mall type, and I was probably not one either, but it was serendipity. She needed some stuff for her upcoming trip to Germany and I needed Victoria's Secret.

Usually VS is the last essential stop made when I am Seattle because no one I know wants to go to the mall, and I am so reluctant about visiting mall-land that I don't push until the day prior to flying out arrives. I now have 3 more bras, and am debating returning and buying more. I've written extensively about my bra-life in Japan and returned, once more, to find myself smaller. I've gone from DD to D to somewhere between C and D, requiring all bras to be tried on to figure out which style landed me in which cup. I also found a supper-low cut bra...which I always need because of the number of black low-cut dresses I own...and now need more than ever because a smaller cup creates a lower cut V on said dresses.

Score.

We also went to Target. I won't talk about the joy of being in a Target, it makes me feel a little unclean, but Renee shares the joy. We were filthy together. Target panties are reasonably priced, unlike VS.

And then the fabric store, for which I both cursed and thanked her. I believed that I needed to stop in at a fabric store to pick up a few hook and eyes and snaps with which to make alterations and final fittings on my new burgundy costume...Renee knew that I needed to be taken to the fabric store with the cases of specialty beaded fringes. I dropped 70$ on fringes for future tribaret projects. Sexy fringes. And I enjoyed sarcastic but informative sales help. I miss that sort of help.


And then she dropped be back at Casa De Besh (which, as of Wednesday night, was occupied by all Bechtas: Matt, Angie, and Emma...the last of which has asked very nicely when I will play with her again. She's been very good about playing quietly with her new charcoal pencils while I type so I should probably wrap this up.)
parasitegirl: (Default)
I fly out  from Narita on Wednesday afternoon and arrive Wednesday morning in Seattle where Gus will be waiting!  August 15th- 26th!

I'm starting my sleep sabotage now through random naps and a great deal of yoga and dance to try to make this go smoothly. I rarely have jet-lag returning to Japan, but going to America can mess me up for weeks if I'm not lucky.

I'm also cleaning the apartment as well. I've gotten rid of 5 trash bags in the last few days. I want to come home to a clean place...and my face is sun damaged enough that I want to stay inside as much as possible and let everything un-inflame.

1. Audiobook recommendations? I have an Audible account and will be in need of some time-consuming good reads. I plan to listen to audio-books and bead for a large chunk of my flight.

2.Who is in (or will be in) Seattle and up for catching a bite and socializing? I'd even be up for going out Wednesday night as my host friends are out of town for the first half of the week due to family reasons.

 Sound off here and we can exchange contact info and possible days via my ozmaofjapan  gmail address.  Busses, taxis, and the kindness of others are my forms of transportation now that my driver's license has expired.

Plavcan? Popping in?
parasitegirl: (Default)
Generaly thinking Seattle, 2007 August 16-27. That should be a large enough window for some folks to see me and for me to get over some reverse culture shocks.

Will book tickets in the next two days.

After that comes booking private lessons, getting workshop info, getting show info and so on.

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