Friday, March 30, 2007

Going Home

I’ve just returned from another whirlwind trip to Australia. It was actually my third one in a year, none were planned, but for various reasons I needed to go. This time, I had to interview for some more outsourcers and a new manager for my card business, ki creations.

I was in Brisbane for six and a half days this time. As always, it wasn’t enough time to catch up with everyone and certainly not to spend as much time as I’d like with those that I did. Each moment however was precious. It was great to be able to drop back into friends’ lives, even if it was only for a few hours. There seemed to be a great sense of momentum in everyone’s lives at the moment and I was able to see new apartments, houses and pictures of property and hear of family and travel plans.

The strange think about going “home” was that it highlighted the fact that I’m not really sure where “home” is now. I have dear friends in both Japan and Australia and really enjoy different aspects of the lifestyles of both. I love the lack of aggression, the service, friendliness and politeness in Japan as well as the history and sense of design. I also love my job here. Back in Australia, I love the freedom, the diversity and openness of people. I like the landscape, especially the Queensland beaches.

People say that home is where the heart is. I haven’t seen Wayne for a week and right now, as I’m writing this on the express train from the airport, I feel that more than ever. He is my home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy White Day (for tomorrow)

It's white day in Japan tomorrow. Here, on Valentine's Day usually only women give chocolates to men. White Day is the day to return the favour. As I got a number of sweet little presents from students on Valentine's Day, and today is my last day at school before the holidays, I'm running around trying to find students that I need to give chocolate to.

I thought it was time for another Pocky commercial. Poor Pocky hasn't had any votes on my poll.. Vote for Pocky!

Monday, March 05, 2007

One Year!

As of today, we've been married for year! Yah us!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Well, I'm another year older. And boy, what a year the last one was! This time one year ago I has having a delightful day of pampering thanks to my fabulous female friends, in amidst of crazy wedding and moving plans, all to happen a few days later.

For about the last ten or so years though, I get a bit down before my birthday. I seem to do this stock take of my life and look at where I am in relation to where I thought I'd be at that age. While I'm loving life over here, this year I got really down about the things I don't own or have yet. No house, no car (we have a company car), no kids... you know.. all that stuff. I felt like I had very little to show for my 34 years on this earth. Then I talked to a couple of very good friends of mine who cheered me up; Chris, who lives back in Oz now and who despite the physical distance is so close in my heart, then to the the other Mel, who was always a good friend but has become so much closer in the last year and I'm not sure what I'd do without her friendship and support over here. It made me realise that while those material possessions would be great, it is my dear friends, my wonderful husband and my family who are important. The material stuff will come, but right now, I'm happy with what I have.

I then watched the movie Hotel Rwanda. Wow, that really put my life into a bit more perspective. What happened to the Rwandans was atrocious. Here I am living in this incredibly safe country, in a sweet little apartment, with a job I love, great friends scattered around the world and a fabulous husband. I feel so lucky to have been born into this life and for the choices I have made that have brought me here.

So my birthday has been a good one so far. Last night some girls that I teach privately threw me a party. They hung a banner which read "MERANI" and had made me cards and decorated the room. You can see one of the cards here. That's me in the red dress. I've received a couple of great presents and have a cool weekend ahead of me.

Wayne and I are going away. We're pretty serious about saving money at the moment (for those material things), so we decided to catch the cheaper train to Osaka, pack light and then stay in a love hotel. I'm pretty excited. In total, I've lived in Japan for 4 years, and never been to a love hotel! In all of Japan, Osaka is famous for the strangest themed rooms. I really want to photograph one for the book. Personally, I'm hoping for the Hello Kitty S&M room, or otherwise maybe a bumper car room.... anyway, once we get back I'll let you know where we ended up with a G-rated account of course...