Nov 17, 2014

10 things i'm grateful for (Japanese holiday style)

1. Japanese style baths. Being able to wash first on the side of the tub, and then stepping into steaming hot bliss, where the water actually covers my shoulders.

2. Convenience stores here--they seriously live up to their proposed convenience. You can choose from a dizzying array of rice balls, send your mail, or hang out and read the latest magazines.

3. Bullet trains--there is nothing like the smooth ride on a shinkansen, with an "eki ben" (station bento box) and cold beer in hand, as you hurtle to your destination at 186 miles/hour.

4. Celebrating my great aunt's 90th birthday in the remote countryside with my toddler. Her tears of joy when she saw my daughter for the first time, and the way they looked at each other--with completely uncensored happiness.

5. Watching my mother and daughter adore each other. At two years old, my little one met her Japanese Obaachama (Grandma) for the first time, and my heart is so full to see them together.

6. How travel sparks me alive like nothing else--that feeling of being a stranger amidst locals always gives me a secret thrill. I adore the challenge of finding my place in the out of ordinary, and coming face to face with a reminder that the world is vast and full of so many untouched secrets.

7. The constant hum of Tokyo, long into the wee hours of the night.

8. The unparalleled comfort and convenience of taxi rides here. You never have to wait long, and the cars are always immaculate.

9. The humble rice ball. I'm convinced that I could live off of them for the rest of my life, as there are that many flavors, and they are just that delicious.

10. The adaptability of children. I'm blown away by my toddler's ability to take all of this cultural difference and jarring change in environment in stride. She lives purely in the moment, infused with curiosity and joy.

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