Tag Archives: shoes

Healing: just another hospital visit, annotations

9AM Get out of bed Dave, get out of bed Dave, get out of bed Dave. You’ve got to go to the hospital Dave. Put on clothes Dave, take your medicine Dave, get on the bus Dave. Make sure you’re wearing pants Dave. Oh my goodness, have to decide what shoes to wear Dave.

Yep, just waiting for the bus as usual

10AM OK, I did it… Up, medicines, beard oil’d, snappy outfit-ish, shotgun coffee and out the door just in time and experienced all four of Japan’s seasons within the four minute walk from home to the bus stop.

Felt a little bit more springtime when I first looked out the window

{They taught me well at the school for “worlds worst secret agents”}

All of the seasons, all at once: Grey rainclouds, bright sunshine, crispy windiness all at the same time (on rather warm stuffy bus)

11AM Rocking to Belly (the band)’s “Dove” en route to Okayama University Hospital 岡山大学病院 / usual as only this & Bob Dylan’s basement bootleg are in the basc “music” app for past years (i have stashes in Bandcamp & Relisten)

Along with Belly, I’m a huge fan of Tanya Donelly’s solo EP series “Swan Song” and am partial to her songs in Throwing Muses

PS Also have signed #vinyl

11:30AM This is a “foursquare check-in” from Okayama University Hospital. I think I’m the mayor by now :)

Injections impending / 1st of 8ish checkpoints

12AM Update: nurses love my spring blossom vibe tie

{Many things happened}

My tactic with communicating with hospital doctors is taking a printed memo in both English & Japanese (i use machine assisted translation) as most doctors studied medical terminology in “English or whatever” and having something they can read rather than listen is a huge help

{in preparation, February 8, 2024}

2:45PM At least eight hospital checkpoints completed – both medical and administrative – Plus pharmacy (with all the QR codes and special booklets) and now my secret Kissaten was closed but reopened to serve me this glorious lunch with flowers on the table & 3 beverages.

¥950 + ¥400 for royal milk tea
Continue reading Healing: just another hospital visit, annotations

Diary: sundry task to 2nd hand shop + shoes & blue couch unpurchased

Aug 1: Back home after many errands, completely wiped out, spun out, etc.

Now in a cool dark room with ice pack on neck and strangely, a hot coffee… Too late for caffeine usually but it’s best cure for crippling headache besides “more pills” / also mucho water.

PS didnt buy (size in-between wifey & me… Paul Reubens woulda loved em – stellar design & great construction)

3 more great choices for wifey, maybe we’ll roll back to buy / dunno, kinda busy

I’m quite obsessive and perceptive when I get into a good second hand/antique/thrift/unique curio shop and really wanted to leave with this couch as well – great price too!

Oh the graceful curves… Plus is dang near long enough where my full 5 foot 9 can almost sort of stretch out to read a book or have a snooze / tatami floors with cushions are wonderful… for a while / aesthetically splendid however comfort wise, well… let’s just say I’m delicate

Re: “art of sitting on the floor” – I have a book coming out about exactly that artful topic // which also touches on unique vending machines and the advantages of a 6 1/2 day work week

Remind me to tell you sometime about the “Japanese art of drying slippers”

Diary: Minor expeditions (library, hospital etc) & phone + the future

Minor expedition ~ libraries feel like home to me… When I first arrived in my new home city, this was a frequent sequestration but it’s been well over a year, so i felt a bit dizzy from all the possibilities (plus I just finished some medical treatment which spins me out).

Anyhow, I didn’t bring anything home – got kind of too much on the go right now – but Ryoko filled up a satchel including topics around horticulture, charcoal making, vinegar, bamboo, various food things and plant things, the usual.

We also had a small snack at the embedded café – They have a really nice curved couch however it was occupied.

PS Noticed a bag for sale saying “you are absolutely necessary“ which, obviously you are.

Backtracking: Sept 30 was hospital check-in day so that means I put on the fancy shoes and take a snap to share… The van Gogh starry night socks aren’t necessarily the best color match but I think the pen ties it all together. Thoughts?

And yes, did get an egg salad sandwich variety pack from the embedded 7-Eleven while we waited.

Just another payphone I didn’t make a call from. I don’t have the cards nor do I know any phone numbers – however, I do appreciate that these devices exist and are well-maintained, clean and magnificent. The industrial design on them is so fantastic. It’s a sort of “peak Japan“ mixing digital and analog, materials & lines.

This photo sparked some reminiscence from other Japan residents in times past when payphones were critical utility, i.e.:

GL says, “Yeah handy too use as a guitar tuner back in the 1900’s. The dial tone is a F . Not the most convenient reference tone but it works to get you tuned up with the rest of the world ?”

MB says, “An international Japanese pay phone! The Rolls Royce version compared to their lesser green domestic call only cousins. These grey phones and their locations were coveted and noted when I was a student in Japan though I couldn’t afford to phone card pay for many calls back to Canada where a short call would cost me 1000 yen.”

JW says, “Yeah, I still remember in the early 90s when I first visited here, an international call could cost as much as 500 yen per minute. Later callback services became popular where you would ring a foreign trigger number and hang up (no charge) and the service would call you back and you’d dial the real number you wanted to call, without paying NTT for the privilege, at a much lower rate. Then I could call Los Angeles cheaper than a domestic call from Kanto to Kansai.”

I offer, “Plus having to trudge through the snow to a pay phone at some strange hour to try to contact a friend in another time zoneNow such luxury to blab on endlessly in pyjamas, from home, no cost (with video) seems 25 years changed a centuries worth.”

++ In general (I’ve been meaning to do a video spiel about this) Japan is so different than what I showed up 25 years ago on the mushroom farm and hitchhiked around, I mean, of course places change but there’s a few foundational things that are very different (as well as the massively impactful overarching demographic and economic trends).

I think the next 20 years as my little guy grows up here are really going to be incredible to watch and be part of.

Item: Boots (at Hospital) + safety ramen

Today’s boots and socks combo for hospital visit. #looksharp / easy on and off is key in Japan / gotta make a simple outing for enjoyable somehow

not only did I wear these sharp boots, I also purchased gum, three packs (1 for back, 1 for car, 1 by door) & a pocari sweat (electrolytes :)) at the embedded 7-11 in hospital

PS Safety ramen before as well #important

Shoes for Time Travellers (at photo shoot funtimes)

Florsheim Imperial brogues (scored by consulting) & Fluevog Champey (Vancouver to Okayama via Amsterdam)

Dress-up time/traveller family photo shoot fun time for Ichiro 101st day with fun Matsushita-san at Photo atelier Homare (岡山・倉敷・写真館)- FB / ありがとう / You’re gonna love what we came up with together… Mixing eras and cultures and styles, riffing on a theme.

Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

A rather rough overview originally compiled in advance of friends coming to Okayama for wedding. Re-purposed in slightly more general terms for logistical convenience as needed.

See also: “Travelling to and Around Okayama, Japan,” “Japanese Culture and Language Primer” and other resources in this archive including video guides. 

Japan Ramble Primer

Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines. 

Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.

Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.

Continue reading Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography