In the spirit of holiday gifts and warm/fuzzy – even cheesy – feelings (you have been warned!), I wanted to share a story.
A few months into what I like to think of (since my brain belongs in 1924) as “our courtship”, Alex and I were having dinner at his place. He asked where I wanted to eat, at the table in the kitchen or the table in other room – a space that I referred to as “Japan”, because the table was so low to the ground that you sat on the ground as if at a Japanese restaurant. I said, without thinking, “let’s have dinner in Japan!” And he paused and got a thoughtful look on his face and said something like “I’d love to take you to Japan, but it probably won’t be for a year or two”. And I clarified that I meant dinner at the low table, and we both laughed, but it was still an important moment for me. Oh, single ladies, you know the tendency to look for signs of interest and commitment early on in a relationship? This was a moment where I thought – Wow – he must be serious about this if he’s pondering major international trips à deux!
And here we are, over a year later, happily living together and discussing a trip for next year, and where do we think of going whilst brainstorming? Japan!
Alex still hasn’t quite processed how quickly I move on a project when I’m into it, so he was a little surprised to come home on a Tuesday night and find me ensconced on the sofa reading the Lonely Planet Japan that I got at the library and looking up ryokan near Mt Fuji online. I had also looked up the ideal travel itinerary and was raring to buy airfare. We had decided on Monday night that Japan was a go, so it’s true that not much time had elapsed. That’s just how I do things – I recognize it could be impressive or irritating depending on your outlook.
To celebrate the decision, I stopped by a fantastic Japanese grocery/gift store in north Austin called “Asahi“. I originally thought I would pick up a Japan-themed Christmas present, but then I saw ALL THE THINGS in the store and had the bright idea to get 12 presents and do the 12 Nights of Japan (à la 12 Days of Christmas). Here are the random Japanese treats I found!
(I should note that it wound up being the 15 Nights of Japan, since I made an 11b and then later a 13 and 14 as well. I do get carried away…)
I wrapped them all up in origami paper and made him play silly guessing games about the point of all this, and we had a lovely time opening a present each night for 2 weeks.
I know it’s been beyond ages since I’ve posted, but I’m considering this the Japan preface, to encourage myself to post on the trip later next spring.