Ca fait longtemps…

It’s been a while, sorry about that, but life has been pretty quiet lately. Chip had something gross going on with his right eye (which is fortunately clearing up) and his nap schedule, which was a regular and dependable as a Japanese train has now gone all Amtrak on me. Some mornings he has been taking a 3-hour nap, and then yesterday he didn’t nap until 3pm. Thus “Alden time” has been scarce.

Last weekend was fun–the theme was “eating.” Rob and I had another date on Saturday (I’m getting used to this) and we found a good pizza place in nearby Zushi. The veggie pizza came with radish and edamame which were delicious and gave the pizza that crunch that has always seemed to be missing. On Sunday we had a cookout with some of our neighbors who are German, Brazilian, Russian, another Navy family, and of course Japanese. I thought of my dad, a master griller, as onto the grill went a multicultural assortment of whole fish (one member of the party later ate the eyeballs), rice cakes called “onigiri”, hamburgers, and later marshmallows for s’mores. I thought of my grandparents as I looked around at the company. What would my WWII-veteran grandfathers have thought if they could know that I was standing around in Japan grilling with the enemy? I like to think that they would have been happy to know that it all turns out okay.

I have also been reading. Somehow I got through all of my education without having to read John Hersey’s Hiroshima, so I finally did that here (Dad, I have your copy). Needless to say it was very moving, and amazed me in the way it portrayed the horrors of the bombing so that they were simultaneously so vivid and so unbelievable. I then moved on to a book of Rob’s called Embracing Defeat by John Dower. The book is the first non-fiction (well, besides Hiroshima) that I have picked up since graduation last spring, and it is fantastic. It is very well-written; unlike most scholarly tomes I’ve been subjected to, it has a strong narrative and wonderful detail. The pictures are amazing. The book talks about Japan right after World War II, and answers all kinds of questions I’ve had about what old Japan was like, and how it got on the road from bombed and defeated nation to the marvel I see around me daily. The most burning question the book answered for me, however, is why Japan doesn’t have daylight savings time (the sun, and therefore Chip, rise before 5 am now). Land of the Rising Sun, indeed. I won’t spoil it for you–you should read it.

The problem with reading is that it sometimes leads to action, and now we are all booked to go to Hiroshima over Memorial Day weekend. We are taking the shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train, which has been a lifelong dream of Rob’s. Japanese hotel rooms are notoriously small, so we’ll see where we manage to stash Chip for two nights. I might wish I had never read those books after all.

To tide you over, a picture of Chip. He and Rob went to Tokyo on Saturday to the Maritime Science Museum (I sat that one out, and enjoyed a lot of “Alden time”).

Lunch at Ma-ka-do-na-ra-do's


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty Kline
    May 20, 2010 @ 13:50:41

    Land of the Rising Son? See you on the 18th!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S. I still think Chip favors RC III…


  2. Anastasia Waits
    May 28, 2010 @ 11:43:33


    When I went to Hiroshima, I stayed at a Hotel called Hotel Flex. I booked it on and got a great rate! The rooms were pretty big and very modern. It was not too far from the train station (walking distance for most) and I walked to the major sites like the Abomb museum too. Just an idea. Don’t forget Miyajima! Hope you have a blast! Take care.



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