Tokyo Stranger

It’s been 3 weeks since I moved to Tokyo. There’s a little bit of familiarity but ten times as many first-time experiences, like shopping for a washing machine, or buying a washing machine, or having to return a washing machine.

Tokyo in July is a hot, stagnant, hot, tiring, hot place. It’s about 10 degrees to hot to do anything. When people talk about something being “uncomfortably hot,” this is what they mean. It’s so hot that the only thing you can really do is sit indoors and wait for this to blow over.

But as anyone who has lived here knows, the early summer heat is a warning of an annual visitor just around the corner.

Indeed, monsoon season is a few weeks away. The city basically dries up for the first few weeks of the summer (despite all of the wretched moisture in the air), and then finds itself drenched with rain for hours or days at a time. It is an unpleasant time to be outside, but you know this is your chance to do summery things, which makes it an unpleasant time to be inside. In short, it’s hard to get comfortable.

Moving to Tokyo has been a big project. Like any other project, it wasn’t without its twists and turns, its moments of panic and fear and sleeplessness and disbelief. As I write this, these surprises–some pleasant, others very unpleasant–are still unfolding. I am anxious to see how things play out. Despite the shockingly frantic nature of my move (my work visa came the day before my flight), here we are, on the verge of being able to say I’m settled in. Quite a month.

My plans for this blog have been met with the realities of life in a large city, in summer, in a second language, after a move. I had a sexy layout planned, worked feverishly for months trying to get the thing fast and responsive and beautiful, only to realize that simple is best–text and images (for now). Clean reading is the best reading. And I hope to get more comfortable behind the camera soon.

Stay cool.

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