baggage whine and beer

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and I’m over it. I really dislike being hot. Our house has no AC. Fire season is about to begin, and they’re predicting a bad one. When I open all our windows to get some air, the entire province can see me in the altogether and I CHARGE people for that shit. Summer: I am not a fan.

In addition to being a petulant whiny bitch about some mild discomfort on my part, summer denotes the annual period of NO TRAVEL. We don’t stray very far from home in the summer, because while it is hot here, it is significantly hotter everywhere else. Sweating in Europe is only slightly more desireable than sweating in North America, and not by a large enough margin to overlook. Also, the rest of the world travels in the summer and I am not a fan of the rest of the world. I am a reclusive hermit with wanderlust. Could I BE any more contrary?

We have two upcoming trips that I am looking forward to, but they’re not for another 3 months. I’m very excited to be Somewhere Else relatively soon, but I’ve got a pretty wicked case of cabin fever going right now. I know it’s wholly irrational – hi, have you met me – but I’ve come to really be grumpy at summer as a whole because I feel STUCK. It’s too hot to nest in Halfwack, I can’t go anywhere, and my impatience for September to arrive has me on edge.

Yes, poor Kimli. I should start a GoFundMe for my pain and suffering.

bless the rains

Ever since my friend Lani told me about a whirlwind trip to Marrakech, it’s been on my mind. Last year, when I learned we (well, Ed) would be going to Barcelona for the conference, I put on my planning hat and did what I do moderately well: start planning a complicated trip. I like planning things. When I don’t have any plans brewing, I get anxious and cranky.

Several spreadsheets later, I had drawn up a couple of different itineraries that would take us to Marrakech. Going to Madrid was sort of an afterthought – as we’d already done Barcelona, I really wanted to go somewhere new. It was also cheaper to fly to Morocco from Madrid than it was from Barcelona, AND we’d get to take the train. It was a solid, if somewhat convuluted, plan.

On Monday, Ed and I woke up early to grab some breakfast and get to the airport. The flight to Marrakech was only two hours or so, and it went by fairly quickly. Our flight landed on the tarmac, so when I tripped down the stairs I got my very first view of an entirely new place:

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i never said it was a GOOD first view

I had been worried (because it’s what I do) about two specific things when landing in Marrakech: how do I get money, and how do I get internet. These two things were literally addressed within the first ten feet after exiting passport control: there were two booths set up with girls offering free SIM cards, and data at about €1/GB. €20 later, Ed and I were armed with 10GB of internet each for three days, which is probably enough.

Getting cash was simple, as well. The Moroccan currency is the dirham, 1 of which is around $0.14 CDN/$0.10 USD. Two large kiosks were set up in the airport: one for cash exchanges, and one for credit cards. A short queue later, we were on our way to the taxi stand with a fistful of dirham so Ed could try to haggle his way into town (it didn’t work – taxis are pretty much the only way out of the airport, so they’re pretty firm on the price. Getting back to the airport cost a great deal less.).

Because this was our first trip into new territory, we didn’t have any grand plans to explore outside of the Red City. Our taxi dropped us off outside the medina, and gave us vague directions to our riad – most of the hotels and inns in the centre of Marrakech are within the cramped, twisty walls of the old city, and cabs cannot get you there. It wasn’t a far walk, and it gave us some ample gawking time at the activity buzzing all around us.

We reached Riad Jona (picked at random) around 3pm, and I was delighted to see that the riad closely resembled my only previous experience with Moroccan architecture – the second level of the video game No One Lives Forever. The staff sat us down in the lounge, and prepared Moroccan mint tea and cookies for us to enjoy while we filled out some paperwork:

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just like the videogame!

We got a full tour of the riad while our bags were taken to our room, then were given some tips on how to navigate Marrakech. This was super useful and provided the answers to a lot of questions that we had, so we really appreciated it. It was also explained to us that meals were available in the riad, but dinner had to be requested several hours in advance so they could prepare it. We scanned the menu, and ordered several things for dinner that night – never having had Moroccan food before, we really didn’t know what to expect so we choose what looked interesting and hoped for the best.

Okay, that’s all the boring logistical stuff – now for the reactions.

You guuuuys, Marrakech is FUCKING AMAZING.

The food – especially the meals we had at the riad – was incredible. We ate dinner there every night, because the food was so good there was no reason to go elsewhere. Our favourites were this chicken, almond and cinnamon pie thing that tasted like a sweet, savoury, flaky, cripsy miracle, and a stew baked in a tajine with monkfish and other things that weren’t monkfish but crazy delicious. Both of those were ordered twice during our stay. The riad also served breakfast each morning, full of fruit and tea and delicious crepe things with homemade yogurt and jams. In the afternoon after walking our feet off, we’d find a random cafe in the souk and have a snack while people watching. We ate SO WELL in Marrakech, and everything we had was incredible.

The market in the centre of old Marrakech was enormous and beautiful and chaotic. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of colourful displays of pottery, leather goods, fabrics, and spices – oh god, the spices. Everything smelled so good, thanks to the incense burned at various stalls. I could have happily spent a week getting lost in the winding, twisting streets of the souk, finding stray cats and narrowly avoiding the donkey-pulled carts and scooters coming from both directions. It was amazing. Both Ed and I agreed that between Madrid and Marrakech, this was the best and most exciting vacation we’d ever had.

I had a done a lot of reading on Moroccan culture and the things to do and not do, so armed with that knowledge and the information given to guests at the riad, we were fairly well suited for our trip. I had done a lot of worrying (again, because me) about my wardrobe – I didn’t want to call attention to myself and I definitely didn’t want to offend anyone with my tendency to wear clothing cut nipple-low, so I had purposefully chosen dresses that were long enough to cover my knees, high enough to hide my huge rack, and light enough for the weather (which was sunny and hovering around 24C/75F the entire time). It was cooler in the evenings, but the clothing we both packed was perfect for the environment.

Haggling was interesting. It was the thing I was least looking forward to, because I am very bad at talking to people. Ed handled most of it, but I was starting to feel comfortable going back and forth towards the end of our trip and even attempted to haggle for myself a few times (but likely still paid way too much for things because I don’t want to insult anyone or not give them what the item is worth). Many of the shops in the souk sell identical items, so it’s easy to find something you love, not come to an agreement on the price, then find it elsewhere with someone more willing to bargain. We walked away from several places, and were either convinced to return or simply found the item somewhere else.

Shopping in the souk was so much fun. Everything is bright and colourful and smells good. I wanted to bring so much stuff home with me, but I was limited by the size of our carry-on bags and Ed’s watchful eye. I still brought home a lot of cool stuff and gifts for friends, but had to acquiesce on things I logicistally could not manage: gorgeous brass lamps, tajines for Moroccan cooking, tea sets, donkeys. Luckily, the internet is beautiful thing, and after we returned home I was able to find several Moroccan websites that would ship the things I couldn’t bring home with me. Take that, wallet!

We did have a couple of small run-ins with really aggressive people in the marketplace. We had been warned about the Henna Ladies, and the only one that managed to get close to us had an iron fucking grip on my hand that required both Ed and I to free myself from. The Henna Ladies will trap you by applying henna to your hand unasked, then extort money from you. Ed still has a smudge of henna on his hand from where he intercepted her brush on its way to my skin, but we got away relatively unscathed. The other incident was an overly friendly shopkeep who kept hugging me, calling me princess, begging for a photo, and ultimately kissed my neck – all of which I was/am HELLA UNCOMFORTABLE WITH. Ed once again ran interferance for me, and afterward I needed a stiff drink (of orange juice) to calm my nerves. Did not like. F—–, would not be mauled by strangers again.

However, the rest of our time in Marrakech was lovely as fuck. Ed describes it as “relaxing chaos”, which it really was. If you ever get a chance to go to Morocco, I highly recommend it – I’m already planning another visit to see Fes and Casablanca in the future. As much as I loved it there, it’s probably not a place I’d go to on my own .. I’m sure I could manage, but I don’t wanna. So I won’t. And it gives me an excuse to plan another magical trip, which is always a great thing.

Also I didn’t see a single fucking Tropius so clearly I need to go back to Africa.

 

spanish fly

We just got back from Spain and Morocco, and it was fucking amazing.

For most of the first week, we were in Barcelona. This part wasn’t vacation – Ed was attending MWC with his company, and I was working from the hotel. I was also sick, having the symptoms I felt the day before we left turn into a full-blown flu/cold thing. We landed late Saturday night, and by noon the next day I had completely lost my voice. This sucked. I was 2/2 for Sick in Barcelona (albeit nowhere near as sick as last time), and I was over it before it had officially begun. I’m starting to think Barcelona is a somewhat cursed destination for me.

Still, my only real plan until Friday was to work, so instead of working in a sunny Spanish cafe somewhere, I stayed in my hotel room and worked and felt horrible. I did force myself out a few times to wander the Gothic Quarter in search of food, visit Casa Batlló, and have some amazing tacos, but for the most part I was left to my own miserable devices and recovery. The recovery part was essential, because as of Thursday at 5pm, our vacation was starting and I had plans. Many, many plans.

Luckily, by this time I was feeling much better so on Friday, I officially got my Barcelona Do-Over. We walked from our hotel to La Boqueria for some fruit and chocolate, then headed to Sagrada Familia which neither of us got to see last time (I was on my deathbed, and the others went only to find it closed due to an emergency). It was okay I guess:

lol jk it was fucking magical

I have a serious boner for stained glass, and it fucking delivered. The day was overcast, but we got some sunlight during our visit and it looked like this and holy shit. I understand why it moves people to tears (not me though, I’m way too cool to cry) (okay, my rage at the idiots doing photo shoots kept the awed tears at bay) – I have never seen anything like it. It’s amazing. If I ever go back to Barcelona, I will go visit again after I recover from whatever illness will strike me then. We took the elevator up one of the towers, and had some stunning views of the city:

so uniform! so orderly! so jealous.

Saw Gaudi’s grapes, walked backed down the spiral stairs and got shaky-leg, tingled in the pants over the stained glass some more, and generally just had a great time admiring the insanity of Gaudi’s vision.

From there, we went to Park Güell which I had also missed last time ’round. The weather was nice, and we enjoyed walking through the park .. but wasn’t crazy about the teeming crowds of people, all trying to take selfies and fashion pictures of each other. I still wasn’t feeling 100% so we didn’t climb up into the park, but did spend a good amount of time admiring the structures and park features:

you’re pretty okay, barcelona

With that, our week in Barcelona was over. Next stop: Madrid! We’d never been there before, so we hopped a train and had a pleasant ride to the capital of Spain.

Madrid was really nice – in fact, we both agreed that we like it more than Barcelona (sorry). It reminded me a lot of Paris for some reason, except cleaner and friendlier and less tower-centric. I had picked our hotel at random some months before, and once again hit the jackpot – it was outside of the bustling tourist area, but a fantastic location for walking (and a block away from all the art), quiet, comfortable, and had an EPIC breakfast each morning. We’d absolutely stay there again. Our train got in around 5pm, so after checking in we wandered around the neighbourhood in search of food, finding an incredible Mexican restaurant several blocks away. We ate ourselves stupid, then rolled back to the hotel to sleep.

As it was our first time in Madrid, we booked tickets on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour to get our bearings. Sunday in Madrid was super nice, so we round the routes several times to take in the city. There was much we wanted to do, but we really only had the Sunday to play with .. because the next morning, we were off to friggin’ Morocco. I had booked the hotel in Madrid for the entire week (we’d be leaving from the Madrid airport instead of Barcelona), in part so we could leave the majority of our stuff behind and travel light to Marrakech. It’s a somewhat extravagant luxury, but amazing for my overthinking brain and general anxiety.

I’m gonna end this here, because Marrakech deserves its own post. Madrid was awesome, and we’re hoping to go again next year if Ed does MWC again. We didn’t have time to check out the museum or palace or Primark or the Madrid equivalent of Times Square – our 2.5 days wasn’t nearly enough.

for example i only got to make one superman pun about this building and i’m capable of so many more

 

everything old is new again

You know, everything was fine. I was more or less resigned to the fact that I would never get to live in the UK because I couldn’t get my visa situation sorted out (and that whole “Ed likes to crush my dreams” thing, but we try not to think about that). I was perfectly happy to sit here in my outraged misery, trying to be content with visiting London as often as I could instead of moving there – even temporarily – to bask in the rolling green fields and eggs that don’t go in the fridge. I endured. I acquiesced. I mourned my dreams in – well, not silence, but with heaving sighs and an aching longing that could not be quenched. Basically, I Scarlet O’Hara’d all up in this bitch.

Then, today. I was writing a post on reddit to complain about my ancestral paperwork woes and researched the requirements again to make sure my post was accurate. It was then I discovered that the Ancestry Visa Requirements for the UK had changed slightly:

Ancestry Documents

You’ll also need to provide:

  • your full birth certificate
  • your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your husband, wife or civil partner wants to join you
  • the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • marriage certificates for your parents and grandparents if they were married

Those bolded and underlined words? Those were not there before. And they completely remove the blockage I had with my application. I’ve never been able to locate my grandfather’s birth certificate, and cannot prove he and my grandmother were actually married. It always pissed me off, because he wasn’t the relative I was claiming ancestry through – yes, my great-grandfather moved his family from Ireland to Canada, but the Ancesty Visa only goes back two generations so it was a moot point. I HAVE my grandmother’s and father’s birth certificate, and a valid reason why I don’t have a marriage certificate for my grandparents. With those 6 words, my path to an Ancestry Visa is suddenly clear. I could apply for this. I have, or can get, everything I need to make it go, up to and including the painful £516 application fee.

But .. getting that visa is not going to change the fact that I have a life here. We’re not even a year into our new place. Our cats are here. Ed does not want to move, even temporarily. I desperately want this – like, bucket list item that ranks even higher than that multi-dick scenario I keep talking about – but getting that coveted, I-assume-stamped bit of paper would do nothing towards making my dream actually happen.

The temptation to do it just because I CAN is strong, but I think it would just make me even sadder to think about. I’ve done ridiculous things out of bureaucratic spite before, but $1000 is a lot of money to pay for something that would make me cry and mope endlessly.

But damn if I’m not super tempted.

btw, going to spain. this’ll be me in 4 days.

drama queen

We came home from our trip a week early, because:

cominghome

Basically, something was wrong with Hobbz (oldest kitty and Ed’s one true love). In the weeks before we left, he had started peeing on the floor in the downstairs bathroom. We’d catch him in the act, he’d stop for a few days, then start up again. Nothing else seemed wrong – he would just very deliberately pee on the floor, then leave like nothing happened. He hadn’t done it in the few days before our trip, so we just hoped he was being a prima donna about the state of his litterbox.

Unfortunately, the floor peeing got a lot worse. Our neighbour and cat sitter both reported in that he was a veritable fountain of pee; hosing down the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. He was also being unusually skittish, wouldn’t let anyone touch him, and was looking pretty rough. All of these are highly unusual, but when pee started to appear outside the downstairs bathroom, we knew something was seriously wrong. We asked our cat sitter to please take him to the vet, which went about as well as expected: he fear-peed all over everything to the point where he had no more pee for the vet to take. Blood was drawn, then they were sent home so Hobbz could be put in isolation in an attempt to capture some pee for testing (didn’t work – puppy pads are REALLY ABSORBANT).

Meanwhile, Ed and I are in Lille and feeling like horrible cat parents and terrible people all around. We discussed it briefly, and made the decision that we would cut our trip short and fly home as soon as possible. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which complicated matters – but I searched through every possible combination of cities, trains, and airports and managed to come up with a return trip home that didn’t cost $2500 each, leaving on Saturday. It was Thursday at this point, so we left Lille and headed to Brussels as originally planned. We’d get a day and a half in Belgium (better than nothing), then leave from Brussels early Saturday morning to take a train to London and fly from Gatwick at noon.

Brussels was truly lovely, but both Ed and I were really distracted with worry about Hobbz so we didn’t get to see nearly as much of the city as we normally would. We made the best of a bad situation with many beers (for Ed), statues of small children peeing, crazy waffle concoctions, and huge epic castley things. I ate a weird taco. Pay toilets are both awful and great. Tourists are fucking rabid about Manneken Pis, which is surprisingly tiny. A great gay store named Boris Boy reminded me of my long-standing grudge against women’s sex toys and roused my outrage all over again. I drank the Diet Coke I smuggled into the country smugly. Angst aside, we had a lot of fun.

I was struggling, though. There’s a 9-hour difference between Brussels and Vancouver, and our cat sitter would arrive around 3pm each day so I’d be awake well after midnight, waiting for updates and passing along information for the vet. We had to be at the train station by 7am on Saturday for our train, so I was up at 5:30 to shower and finish packing and make sure everything was ready to go. Worry for Hobbz, stress about being so far from home, lack of sleep, angst over cutting our vacation short, and wracking internal sobs about having to return to the reality of my work situation a full week earlier than intended has taken a huge toll on me – I am not myself, something Ed has repeatedly noted over the last few weeks.

Still, we made it home. Our plane landed on time, all our luggage arrived, and by 4:30 we were pulling into our garage, desperate to see our cats.

All of whom were totally fine (and beyond ecstatic that we were home).

The vet thinks Hobbz has a slight kidney or bladder infection, or possibly a stone. Most (but not all) of the peeing has stopped, leading me to suspect he was being a complete fucking drama queen because Ed wasn’t home. We had to collect a urine sample from the floor to take to the vet, but that’s happening today and we’ll get a course of treatment for Hobbz .. who, incidentally, perked up a thousandfold the instant he saw Ed.

I am trying very hard to be pragmatic about our melodramatic diva of a cat, but there’s a liiiiiittle bit of resentment there. I’ve STILL never been to Amsterdam, damnit.

I know we did the right thing, and Hobbz isn’t out of the woods yet. Still, I can’t help but feel cheated out of what was supposed to be a complete distraction from the last few months – it kinda feels like I can’t catch a break. I wasn’t supposed to return to work until the 17th, but since we’re home and I don’t get paid time off, there’s no reason for me not to work the week. We’ll also need the money to cover the extra train tickets and flights home, because even though we had trip insurance, I don’t think it covers pet illness or emotional manipulation via floor urine. I haven’t been able to submit the claim yet, but I’m not hopeful. And I feel just weird overall – I’m glad to be home, but at the same time this is the last place I want to be.

I’m trying not to be all fatalist about this maybe being the last vacation we’ll ever take because once I lose my job we won’t be able to afford stuff like this (not to mention this trip was booked with proceeds from the sale of Sparta), but I am REALLY GOOD at being fatalist.

Pictures soon!

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ireland in numbers

We’re home! Ireland was okay I guess. :P

  • Distance driven: 1286km
  • Places we stayed: Galway, Doolin, Killarney, Kinsale, Kilkenny, Dublin
  • Tiny islands visited: Inis MórInis Oírr
  • Pints of Guinness enjoyed by Ed: 14
  • Pints of Guinness not enjoyed by Ed: 1
  • Sheep storms: 3
  • Most types of potato served at one meal: 4
  • Caves explored: 1
  • Lens caps lost in caves: 1
  • Times I heard “Forever in Blue Jeans” by Neil Diamond before I realized it was playing on a loop: 5
  • Gaps driven through: Moll’s Gap, the Gap of Dunloe (number 1 favourite good time gap), Sally Gap
  • Legit haunted places we stumbled upon: Leamaneh CastleDerrycunnihy Church
  • Bangers eaten: 36
  • Primarks visited: 3
  • Unsettling things in Kildare: 7
  • Gingers ogled: 147
  • Faerie villages visited: 1
  • Incredibly boring films about Irish wildflowers viewed: .81
  • Burger King visits: 5 (they’re the only place in all of Ireland that serves an actual American-style “large” drink)
  • Emergency trips to the pharmacy for sticks to pee on: 1
  • Statues with comic-book-style boobs that gave me an inferiority complex: 7
  • Hidden roads driven down that led to incredible scenary and my favourite place in all of Ireland: 1
  • Jaw-dropping, epic vistas: 293

Ugh you guys Ireland was so awesome. The driving tour was better than we hoped: we saw incredible things, like sheep. And .. more sheep. And ridiculous landscapes, rugged mountains, breathtaking valleys, terrifying cliffs, and and and. It was so great. I would highly recommend the trip to anyone (maybe don’t get sick at the end) – we used Discovering Ireland for the arranging, which was frankly brilliant. Every place they booked us into was perfectly located, the rooms ranged from old school to modern but they were all comfortable, and breakfast was included at each location (which went a long way in ensuring we ate reasonably well the entire time).

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we joked about this place being haunted when we found it. turns out it totally is. ahhhhhhhhhh

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oh what a cute abandoned church we found that is also TOTALLY HAUNTED FOR REALS

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this was my favourite place on the entire trip

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another view of favourite place

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the gap of dunloe was also incredible

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sally gap was not too shabby

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anyway, here’s wonderwall

Where to next? That is to be decided. The next few months will be dealing with the move, and Ed is going on a man cruise in February. Will I solo travel to Japan? Back to London? Somewhere else entirely? All of the above! I just .. can’t plan anything at the moment, which is frustrating. I should probably sell the condo first. Anyone want to buy a condo? I’ll throw in a free coffee table!

Okay, back to work and daydreaming.

on japan (part 1)

Things I Will Miss About Japan (alternative title: things to import from Japan):

  • ROBOT. TOILETS.
  • .. with taps, for convenient and eco-friendly cleanliness!
  • Vending machines EVERYWHERE, with recycling bins attached – so you can always find a drink, and always recycle the empty
  • Canned/bottled milk tea
  • Vending machines that deliver hot canned coffee and tea
  • Ticket restaurants! Pay up front, present ticket, receive food.
  • An amazing country-wide rail system that runs with eerie efficiency
  • Tokyo Banana! It’s delicious.
  • Gashapon! You do not want to know how much money I spent in vending machines in Japan, and not just on water/milk tea/corn
  • Tiny 600cc city cars. It’s like a scooter with walls!
  • Wet rooms and the art of sitting down in a shower. Makes for good, warm sleeping (even if you shouldn’t).
  • Japanese 7Elevens. “7Elevens are universal”, I foolishly thought before our trip. “You’ve seen one rancid hot dog at 3am, and you’ve seen them all.” Oh, how wrong I was. Japanese 7Elevens are EVERYWHERE and they are AMAZING and they are the true epitome of “convenience store”.
  • Onsens! More on this later.
  • Baby wall seats so you can put your baby down while you pee or wash your hands. It’s genius, and I don’t know why we don’t have them in North America. I don’t even HAVE babies, but I can immediately see how brilliant this idea is. Travelling solo? Don’t have someone to hold the baby while you do your bathroom business? WALL SEAT. Baby is safe, happy, and most importantly, off the bathroom floor while you allow a robot toilet to blast your nethers with warm, pulsating water. It’s like a gentle hug for your anus while you make silly faces for your wall baby.
  • In Japan, roaming trucks play jaunty tunes. Is it an ice cream van? A truck that delivers red bean paste and soy sauce? No! It’s the garbage/recycling truck, playing music to announce their approach! Forgot to set the trash out? No problem! When you hear the familiar tune, you can rush outside with your neglected waste. Smart *and* hilarious! Also, ice cream vans aren’t necessary because ice cream vending machines are totally a thing that are wonderful and so much cheaper in Japan.
  • Speaking of ice cream, you can buy soft serve waffle cones in the freezer section of convenience stores (including my beloved 7Eleven). They’re delicious, and like ¥130 (just over $1US/$1.50CDN).
  • Solar panels everywhere. If a tiny mountain town in the middle of Japan can have solar panels atop almost every damn building, why are we still arguing about them here?
  • Whiskey Ice. You can buy bags of crystal clear ice meant for whiskey sippin’ (or in my case, water) everywhere.
  • Cream puffs the size of my hand (which is admittedly small, but still large in terms of the mighty cream puff)
Things Japan is Missing:
  • Diet Coke
  • Me (don’t be jealous, London – I have so much love to give)
  • Every hotel room shower cap in a 4-city radius (sorry Japan, but I need them when I dye my hair)
  • The automatic Canadian reflex to apologize when you bump into someone (there are so many people in Japan that being walked into is just a way of life)
  • Escalators in most train stations – I have never walked up and down so many goddamn staircases in my life, but damn if my calves don’t look great

Things I Missed from Vancouver:

  • Cats
  • Soft beds/pillows
  • Being naked all the damn time
  • Bacon

Things I Will Miss, Period:

  • Being on vacation
  • Travelling with friends
  • The stillness of Takayama
  • The hustle of Tokyo and Osaka
  • The jaw-dropping beauty of Japan in full cherry blossom season
  • Vending machines

Trip Highlights:

  • The amazing lunch with an equally amazing view in the Tokyo Skytree
  • The show at the Robot Restaurant
  • Stumbling upon a Sakura Festival
  • Staying in a ryokan
  • Having an onsen completely to myself
  • Osaka Castle Park
  • The small bit of Kyoto we saw
  • Shibuya Station and the Scramble, where I got my Jet Set Radio Future and The World Ends With You fangirl on
  • The Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the National Art Centre in Tokyo
  • .. especially the Infinity Room
  • everything.

Things I Regret:

  • Not having enough time in Kyoto
  • Resorting to American food when exhausted
  • Not attending Kanamara Matsuri
  • Coming home
  • Not buying more gashapon items
  • Vending machine corn chowder

Things I Drank Instead of Diet Coke:

  • All the water (Japanese tap water is delicious)
  • Milk Tea
  • Canned cream puffs (okay just once)
  • Water
  • Pocari Sweat
  • Coke Zero (gross)
  • Coke (even grosser)
  • Coca-Cola Plus (Coke with fibre. Why?)
  • Water
  • Melon Fanta
  • Orangina
  • Qoo
  • Mango in any form I could find
  • So much water

Devastating Life Lessons Learned:

  • I will never be a flight attendant.

Hope you’re not tired of photos from Japan, because I’ve only been posting pictures taken with my phone. There are still the camera pictures to go through. #kimlichiwa

Godzilla_Road___kimlichiwa