Fish Out of Water
the past few days have been wizzing by in a whirlwind like fashion. starting out at the airport where i left my mom i found myself alone in this big world. it was a very freeing feeling. but also a little unnerving. not that i ever get nervous but if i did it would have been then. but the more pressing issue at hand was the 15 hour plane ride in which i was about to embark upon and i still found myself in a state of relative disbelief that i am actually about to leave. this trip was has always been 3 months away, 2 months away, 2 weeks away, 3 days away, yet there i was sitting in the terminal about to leave. of course with my luck i ended up in the section with the child who would never stop crying or yelling. but with the exception of that the flight was enjoyable. i caught up on some movies and such as the blindside, the informant, law abiding citizen, and other movies whose titles escape me now.
once in japan i took a series of trains to my grandfather's house and after a few quick hellos i proceeded to pass out and not wake up until midday the next day. that whole day ended up with me being just a vegetable as my body tried to adjust to the jet lag (Japan is 13 hours ahead of NJ). for dinner my grandfather made a stew that was very appropriate for an 80 year old man who has health concerns and wants to eat right. but this dish was not for me. of course i ate some and proceeded to make my own lil meal afterwards. the up side to dining with him was the sake he "insisted" i drink.
the next day was a very special day. it was a day in which we mourn and remember the deceased in the family. in our case we remembered our late grandmother who passed away about 12 years ago. this is a very important tradition in japanese families for them to remember their dead and celebrate their lives periodically after they have passed. so my grandfather and i pick up one of my cousins and go over to the place where the ceremony is being held (a short train ride away). picture a funeral parlor decorated for a wake, but instead of a bunch of people mourning one dead, it is a bunch of families mourning their respective dead relatives. it was here that i had my first "i'm a fish out of water" experience. as i got in the elevator i realized that i am a full head and shoulders taller than everyone else. and as soon as i got out there was a camera guy who would not leave me alone because i was sticking out like a sore thumb.
after the ceremony went to my aunt and uncle's house where we stayed for the remainder of the evening. Fumiya "insisted" i drink with him so again i spent another night catching up and drinking sake like a wholesome Japanese man. its a good feeling.