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Here I am, back in Tokyo.
I just returned from a two week visit to
my parent's house in Canada and it was the
longest that I've been out of Japan in over
three and half years. When I got back to
my apartment, it felt really good to be home.
You know what I mean. After a long trip,
and you come home tired and hungry, you kick
off your shoes and you just want to put on
some comfy clothes and stretch-out on the
couch. I felt that way, and it surprised
me, because Japan is still such a foreign
and surreal place to me. I still don't feel
like I belong here, but I guess I'm getting
You know what else struck me? This morning
on the way to work I stopped at the coffee-can
vending machine outside of my apartment.
I reached into my pocket and took out a handful
of change. I looked down at the pile of coins
in my palm and thought to myself that the
money looked really 'normal'. Not foreign
or exotic at all. I had a strong sense of
what each denomination was worth and exactly
what I could buy with each one.
You know what it's like when you go to a
new country, maybe a vacation in Mexico,
and you change money, but when you look at
the local currency, it doesn't look quite
right. It doesn't look like real money. It
kind of looks like some kind of monopoly
money. I used to feel that way in Japan,
but I don't anymore.
Canada will always be home, but for
I'm pretty settled here in Tokyo.
In other site news, Hunkabutta got a nice
review from The Weblog Review.
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This has probably been the longest gap in
posting to Hunkabutta since its inception
last March. Sorry about that, but my parent's
computer died on me. We had to take it in
for repairs and just got it back yesterday.
Anyway, Karen and Jack left for Vancouver
yesterday and let me tell you, my parents
are pretty heart-broken. It was a great visit
and Jack was his usual charming self. But
heartbreak is the price you pay when you
have families on both sides of North America.
I know Karen's family is really enjoying
their time with Jack and Karen now.
Our holiday has been a whirlwind of pastries
and cookies, turkey and carrots, beer and
music. We saw pretty much all of my family
here in Ontario, and even got to spend New
Year's with my old school friends. It's nice
to see how everyone's doing, we're all okay,
haven't changed too much, maybe a bit thinner
on the top and wider in the middle, but I
suppose that's to be expected.
Karen and I also took the time to gorge ourselves
at the world's best hamburger joint, C &
W's. You see, you can't get a good hamburger
in Tokyo where we live, and gravy on the
fries...? Forget about it unless you're in
Canada. We ate till we couldn't move, wallowing
in sweet grease, and we've got the morning
after grease-binge pimples to prove it, like
a hangover you get in your skin.
We also managed to have lunch with our always
entertaining friend Jenn of oneofthose.com fame. We ate at the The Marche, I think
it's also called the Moven Pick, down on
Yonge and Front. Absolutely wonderful place
inside of BCE Place, right behind the Hockey
Hall of Fame. Although the restaurant is
inside, they have it set up so that it looks
like an outdoor cafe. Inside, the food is
all sold at different stall-like areas, and
you walk around picking and choosing what
you want (modeled after a market, hence the
name). The place was great, but it was really
nice to be able to touch base with Jenn.
Finally, and you're not going to believe
this if you are a regular Hunkabutta reader,
but there has been another mishap in the
never ending saga of the new camera that
just won't happen. I've already told you
how we've been trying to buy the camera of
the gods, a Canon G2, since September. Well,
after having several people back-out on the
deal, then having one sent to Japan only
to be returned damaged to the sender, we
finally managed to find a new shop to send
us one to my parent's house in Mississauga,
Ontario, the only problem... it was lost
in the mail. There's no record of it once
it entered Canada from New York. I'm really
starting to get discouraged. I think that
this camera is just not meant to be. I mean
c'mon, it's been almost five months, and
I still can't get my hands on one. I can't
just go to the store and buy one here, which
my gut is telling me to do, because now we
have to wait for the camera shop to straighten
everything out with the insurance and all
that crap. I just don't know anymore.
I'm leaving for Tokyo tomorrow, and I still
have a lot left to do. So, take care and
have a good 2002.
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Things have been going very well on our Christmas
trip back here at my parent's. I've managed
to see most of the relatives here in Ontario
in the past few days. I went to my cousin
Mark's for a party on Christmas day and saw
his parents and brothers and sisters. We
went to my cousin Joe's on Thursday and met
his new wife and baby Hellena, and last
night we went to my uncle Joe's.
The only thing left on the agenda is to meet
up with my old high school friends. Most
of them are still pretty close and see each
other fairly regularly. We're all getting
together for New Year's.
Tonight we're going to go and see my cousin
Dougie's band play at a Newfie bar in Brampton
called the Eastern Passage. It should be
a lot of fun, all of his family and friends
will be there. The neat thing about it for
us, however, is that it's the first time
that Jack is going to be baby sat -- by my
parents. I'm not feeling too worried about
it though, I couldn't think of better baby
My parents are pretty excited about
They've got the whole evening planned
with Jack. He's going to get the full
a bath, an olive oil scalp rub, a massage,
the whole shebang. I'm kind of envious
Well, gotta go and get ready for the big
night out. I'll try to take some pictures
for you if it's not too dark in there.
See you next time.
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Merry Christmas from Canada everyone.
but no more Tokyo pictures for a while.
Jack's first Christmas was excellent
of food, family and presents.
It's late right now and I'm busy, busy, busy,
so I'm going to cut this post short. I just
wanted you to see some of our Christmas pictures.
Tomorrow we're going to a big family get-together
at my cousin's house, so expect some 'Newfie
P.S. Thanks to Karen's sister Julie for the
Santa outfit for Jack. It was a huge hit.