back in Japan

For some reason, it feels very strange to be sitting in a Japanese hotel lobby (no wifi in the rooms) watching Penn of Penn & Teller on TV. Somehow, seeing Conan O’Brian on there doesn:t feel odd at all. I think it’s because I’ve seen him live, and because I’m only about three degrees of separation from him (I know someone who knows someone who…)

I have a new theory: maybe it’s the ghosts of the shoguns, enforcing their old policy of isolation, who make sure I can’t have a trip to Japan without at least some kind of complication. This time it was a small easy one; I just couldn’t check in all the way through and had to check in for the second leg in Seoul. I’ll need to do the same thing going home. It was actually easy with only carry-on bags, even factoring in having to lug the luggage. Of course, traveling to Japan is inherently complicated anyway; train to Schiphol, flight to Seoul, flight to Centrair airport near Nagoya, train to Nagoya station, Shinkansen (bullet) train to Hiroshiima. I could have simplified the end a bit by flying directly to Hiroshima, but only at the cost of an 8 hour layover in Seoul and I7d stil have to take a bus to the train station, where my hotel is.

There was another odd thing about the trip. I guess I’m not around kids much in my normal life, because I kept noticing them. I haven’t written about it here, but anyone who follows me on Facebook kows I have a new nephew, 9 days old now. He was born at only 32 weeks by emergency C-section, so he’s still in the hospital with tiny oxygen tubes in his nostrils and a feeding tube going down his throat. My brother and sister-in-law will get to take him home n a month or so when his lungs are a bit more fully baked, but given the circumstances he’s doing well and has already gained a few ounces. Anyway, on the trip here I kept seeing his future. Him a year from now in the one-year-old who, trying to climb up on the airport seats with his older cousins, was giggling happily but at constant risk of bonking his head on the armrests between seats. Him in three years, having a meltdown by the immigration desk. And yesterday before I left, I saw him in 21 years, just out of a good college and in his first job, on Facebook in the profile of a young guy who shares his first and last name. I wonder if that happens to parents or if having the actual kid there all the time means you notice the hypothetical futures less?

One Response to “back in Japan”

  1. marsha Says:

    I’m glad your trip was easier this time. Regarding your thoughts about parents seeing the future child, I don’t remember ever thinking about that, just through the looong wait for a grandchild, I noticed babies and children everywhere, and did often wonder what my future grandchild would be like. But of course, we had you two with us almost all the time. Now that Hunter is here, I’ll try looking at other children and seeing if I can picture him at that age. Interesting idea!

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