Monday, October 22, 2007

Come Visit Us and We’ll Take You to Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch is our new favorite breakfast/brunch joint. It’s in Shimokitazawa, a neighborhood just a short train ride from our apartment. Not only is the food delicious, they also sell clothes, shoes and accessories for after brunch shopping. Plus some of the brunch options come with one of their many fantastic desserts! The architecture incorporates high ceilings with skylights letting in cheery morning light. It’s a happy place. Leave it to a couple Portlanders to seek out a great brunch restaurant in a city filled with people primarily eating rice and miso for breakfast.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wedding in Portland

Driscoll and I were recently married in Portland, Oregon on the Sunday of September 2. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend planning a US wedding while you’re live in Tokyo. It adds stress and difficulty to an already trying task. But the good news is that living abroad can be inspiring, plugging the brain with new and exciting information. This helps shape and reform your style and taste, all of which becomes useful when you’re making choices for your big day. Looking back, I think a lot of the choices I made for the wedding were directly affected by the experience of living in Tokyo and ideas I picked up after moving here. Sure there are things we would have done differently had we planned the wedding in The States, but over all we were pleased. Besides, it’s not really the venue, food or decorations that make a wedding special (dresses and flowers maybe). It’s the people. And we’ve got some good ones. Like Michael J. Fox said about his own wedding, in an interview I watched at a babysitter’s house years and years ago, it’s just so wonderful to look out and see all the people you love in your life gathered in the same room. I’m not sure why I remember that comment he made, but he was right.

The photos are up on our flickr link/Tokyo & Other Photos

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday in Tokyo

My birthday was yesterday. We didn’t really plan anything. I thought we were just going to be lazy. Driscoll came home from work a little early. He peeled me off the couch and away from the television to go have a casual dinner down the street. But when we got down the street we passed all the restaurants and kept walking. We walked all the way to Ebisu, where to my surprise, we met up with friends and hopped in line to see M.I.A. perform a concert at Liquidroom.

This concert was one of the best I’ve ever seen. M.I.A. is topnotch among the world’s most original, unique and entertaining artists. She puts on an incredible show – her dancing, her voice, the music and the visuals. She is huhuhot! The show was mesmerizing. I have some of her music, but seeing her live is a totally different and better experience. If she comes through your town, don’t miss her. Characteristically Japanese, Liquidroom is super nice and very clean. Another cool thing about shows in Tokyo is that they start at 7:00 pm and end around 9:30 or 10:00. I missed so many great shows when we lived in Portland because I didn’t want to be up until 2:00 am when I had to work the next morning.

After the show we all had dinner and dessert at an izakaya in Ebisu. Fun night. We’ve got to start going to more shows.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Round Two

We’re back for what feels like round two in Tokyo. After the wedding I took a giant chill pill and haven’t really done anything communicative in a while. That includes writing this blog. But now that we’re back and settled, I intend to keep a somewhat steady posting flow. I also promise to upload our wedding photos to our flickr account just as soon as we receive them. So stay tuned.

Immigration Bureau of Japan finally pulled me aside and took me into that scary back room I’ve always feared. They explained that I was only allowed to enter the country on a tourist visa twice. Somehow I have made it through five times this year. After threatening to put me back on another US bound plane, they finally gave in, they gave me one last stamp. Here’s to getting my dependent visa before my 90 days is up!

After the airport incident, we made our way back to our apartment. We were happy to be back in Tokyo. It felt great to be home. And for the first time, coming back to Tokyo felt as familiar as taking a trip somewhere in The States. This lasted for a while until my spirits began to take a bit of an emotional dive. It happens here sometimes. Living abroad has its ups and downs. But I have no doubt that the tough times are well worth the experience. Luckily my lows here usually don’t last too long. There were a few key things, which pulled me out of this particular being-abroad-funk.

The weather changed. It’s autumn here now, and it’s beautiful. It’s skirt and jacket weather, and it feels great just being outside. I’m a firm believer that autumn brings out the inner fashionista in most people. Being in Tokyo is fun right now because as the seasons change, so do the styles. I’m really digging some of the cool-weather clothing I'm seeing around town. I started a part-time job teaching. The school is located right here in Azabu-juban (our neighborhood). It’s an international school with kids from all over the world – well mostly Europe, Japan and Australia. I made a great skirt out of some really nice vintage fabric I found in Nakameguro. A successful crafty project is always good for a mood boost. Last, I have a wonderful new husband. He knows how to help pull me out of the low bouts.

Once again I’m really happy to be here in Tokyo. Happy to be living in the moment.