July 24, 2007

It's good to be back (home) in Japan

Returning from a two-week long trip to Italy for a conference, and then later New York for my friend Carl's wedding, and then Dallas to visit with family.

Italy was great, and I plan to write a blog entry about that soon if I can find the time. Carl's wedding in New York was great, and while I haven't written a blog entry about that yet, I do have a photoset on Flickr. Then a brief trip to Dallas to visit family. All of the travel was really tiring since I had to fly back to Japan before going to New York due to how the trip was funded, so the complete schedule was Tokyo -> Milan, Milan -> Genova, Genova -> Milan, Milan -> Tokyo, a six hour respite, then Tokyo -> Chicago, Chicago -> New York, New York -> Dallas, Dallas -> Tokyo.

After that long flight from Italy to New York, the eleven hour flight from Dallas to Tokyo seemed easy. Back in Narita airport, I'm always a little nervous when I have to face the immigration officer. Even though I have a valid work visa and re-entry permit, I'm always a bit worried that I will be denied entry, so it is always nice when I am actually let in.

After braving the trains to get back home and climbing up the three flights of stairs I was faced with a waist-high mountain of clothes, old toys, old shoes, and other assorted junk in garbage bags. The neighbors apparently were moving, and since I hadn't been around for a while they felt free to pile stuff up in the hallway. Yet another obstacle to overcome on the way home.

The biggest immediate change I noticed back in Japan is that it is humid here in July. Super humid. It isn't very hot, but it is really, really humid. So I thought I would turn on my air conditioner.

Of course, after a few minutes the air conditioner started to leak water. Lots of it. I spent hours moving things around in my room so that the bed isn't under the AC. In the end, the new arrangement uses space a bit better so I'm pretty happy with things.

The only problem now is when can I do laundry? Since you have to dry everything in the sun -- very few people here own dryers -- that is particularly tough in the rainy season. The rainy season should be ending soon, but after two weeks of nice weather, the typhoon season begins...


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