I've been back in Tokyo for a week and a half now and am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I wasn't thrilled about having to come back, and then being welcomed back only a few hours into my return to Japan by having a police officer demand to see my papers for no apparent reason - not the greatest welcome back. But things have been slowly getting better, and to remind myself of that, here's a Thursday list of things I'm loving this week:
- onsen... and even better are the outdoor variety - rotenburo! (especially in cool mountain weather!)
- hand-made buckwheat noodles (te-uchi soba)
(why yes, I did go to Nagano for the weekend, a class trip to Matsumoto and a nearby onsen area that was very relaxing and just generally good fun despite icky cold drizzly/slush weather)
- spending long days at the museum editing and proofreading English material for an upcoming special exhibit - and catching a few Japanese mistakes! Then having a coworker compliment me on just how much my Japanese has improved due to writing my thesis
- getting a letter from my university with confirmation I will be graduating as well as all the details for convocation
- having the free time to cook for myself - not gourmet meals by a long shot, but equally not just throwing together whatever I can in under 5 minutes before I go back to studying. Using actual ingredients (fresh vegetables!!) to make a pasta sauce, or a stew, or...
- freshly made and piping hot tai-yaki (fish-shaped red bean buns) from the stand near my school
- catching up with friends - lunches, museum dates, time with people I haven't had the chance to hang out with recently between being away and having my life be swallowed by my thesis
- the weather! After what seems like weeks of cold icky wet weather, today is warm and sunny and beautiful. I have my balcony screen doors open and am loving the feeling of the breeze blowing through my room and how bright and fresh my room feels!
but most of all I'm loving a piece of mail I got yesterday. If it turns out to be what I think it is, that is...