Oh! …Canada?!

Posted: May 24, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , , , ,

Typing these entries has just became exponentially easier with the arrival of my replacement laptop keys! \o/ Finally, I’m free of the cat-related mishap that destroyed my vowels and caps lock. And speaking of matters feline: we recently visited our kitten-to-be again! His eyes are open and he’s walking…albeit unsteadily. (He’s also the one on the right of the photo above, being decidedly more camera shy than his sister.) July 20th really can’t come soon enough.

Prior to that, however, I’ve stumbled across flights to Canada for less than the price of my coffee table. And booked them. Aaaand I’m leaving exactly one week today. 2G REUNION IN TO! …provided this god-forsaken ash cloud doesn’t put a very Icelandic dampener on things. Chris is also flying up from Georgia to meet us, and with Yurie presently doing a homestay there, it promises to be a thoroughly Akita-n get-together. It was Yurie’s arrival, in fact, that catalysed the entire thing. That same morning, my very happy bank balance informed me that I’d just became a pensioner – arigatou, Japan, for the early retirement! (^‿^)v – and naturally I took the appearance of my Japension money within mere hours of Yurie touching down at the airport as a cosmic sign to join her.

This is what Canada looks like, right?

I’m flying with Air Transat, who very considerately offered me a free Canadian SIM card with $5 credit for the trip, minus the disclaimer that this is contingent on a minimum purchase of $20 credit. I think I’ll try my luck with 3G, thanks all the same. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a visit to Ottawa while I’m there, though I realise that its proximity to Toronto on a map is a tad deceptive when one Canadian province is about five times the size of my entire country.

Yurie, by the way, is an absolute sweetheart, and sent me this belated birthday present earlier this month. (She even went so far as to apologise for its lateness, despite having the most legitimate excuse known to man.) The Japanese tea fragrance is really quite nostalgic, though I’m still grateful she wrote a warning explaining that it’s not actually tea, haha.

On a similar note: what do kakipea, Akita komachi rice, denroku mame, umeshu, Nagahama coffee and Japanese Starbucks all have in common? Are they:
a) 99% of the foods & drinks I miss most from Japan, or…

b) ALL IN MY LIVING ROOM RIGHT NOW thanks to the singularly most amazing birthday present from Naomi?! 本当にありがとぉぉぉぉ!(*⌒▽⌒*)

All she asked in return as that I help her out with an English project by taking pictures of various gaijin holding her students’ work. The aim is promote Akita to a global audience, which is also curiously nostalgic since I remember her doing the very same thing with our students back when we worked together. (Why does that feel like a lifetime ago?)

I’ve since accosted everyone who walked through our door with my camera, including but not limited to (clockwise from top left): Nicola, John, (John’s sister) Molly, me, (John’s cousin) Ami and Jill.

And, speaking of things that come through the mail…

…there’s something oddly satisfying about rating ones LOVEFiLM rentals. I want to write that I hated The Last Airbender but that a) suggests that it actually provoked some kind of emotional response, and b) feels like I’m making fun of the handicapped. Truly though: what a horrible, horrible movie. Likewise, I don’t understand why Ratatouille is so universally acclaimed. (Surely I can’t be the only person who though it was just a bit dull?) Thankfully, we broke our run of crappy movies with「猫の恩返し」 (The Cat Returns), which was adorable…though my affections were pretty much guaranteed given the subject matter. It’s also left me wondering if there’s an equivalent term for “crazy cat lady” in Japanese.

…which – with wonderful circularity – brings us right back to this furry young gentleman. We went up last Saturday, and his breeders (a term I can’t help but find hilarious given the circumstances) were so accommodating, they let us stay with him for two hours.

This is his sister, who’s far more ambulatorily adept than her five siblings. We dubbed her Alice, after her exploratory, would-be namesake. (The M-shape on her forehead is apparently typical of their breed.)

Look at his tiny little paws!

He came and slept next to us at several points: first beside John, then me, then between to the two of us. Clearly he already understands the inevitable battle for his affections.

I love this one! Whenever we picked him up, he’d squeak incessantly. Name-wise, we’re erring on the side of Pip.

T-minus 2 months! Alf can hardly wait.

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