Foreign Affairs

I've been a bit scattered this week. Boz and I are heading to Singapore tomorrow so I've been planning our vacation schedule, and I've also recently selected a volunteer organization to assist during my Asian adventure. I spent the past month 'trying out' a few organizations so that I could find the perfect match. The one I've selected has several outreach-based missions and I will be focusing on an art program for children (ages 6-12) affected by Fukushima. Everyone who already knows about my new pursuit has asked the same 2 questions, so I'll answer them publicly:

#1. Yes, I do actually have to go to Fukushima. My first trip will be on June 2nd.
#2. Sure, I'll take some precautions. I don't want to be radiated. But as of right now, my anti-radiation suit consists of swim goggles and a baseball cap. I'm not a scientist, guys. I don't know what you're hoping to see in terms of 'precautions'.

I'll post more about both Singapore and the art program, but in the spirit of Foreign Affairs, I now bring you an assortment of Vegetable updates:

1. A new steakhouse opened in our building. It's uber posh and I walk past it daily, so I'm dying to visit. Boz is taking his time on this one because he knows that:
a) I wouldn't recognize a great steak if it slapped me in the face, and
b) I only want to dine at this joint because it requires fancy evening wear.

 He is spot-on. I would order sauteed mushrooms and a salad.

Anyway...to congratulate the steakhouse on its grand opening, all of its uber posh friends sent flowers! I read all the cards and while I can't decode the actual message, I CAN read the logos and signatures. Our steakhouse is BFFs with Lamborghini, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Aston Martin, Cartier...the list goes on.


I desperately want to put a flower arrangement out there with a card from Republican Vegetables. Like...desperately. Unfortunately, the flower shop (which is also super conveniently located in our building) starts pricing its arrangements at about $50. Boz deems this a waste of money. I deem this networking. It's a standoff.

2. We're entering rainy season soon (June/July) so apparently we're practicing. It's been raining quite often. B and I absolutely love this as, coming from Texas, we haven't seen rain in 8 years. To keep things tidy and dry, all the buildings in Tokyo have little umbrella driers...which are tubes with a fuzzy bristle interior lining...in their entryways.

That is a horrible description of the umbrella drier. Product marketing isn't my thing. Please just study the picture:



Take my word for it: umbrella drying is oddly satisfying.

In addition, there are also umbrella stands that LOCK right inside each building.



Everyone just shoves their umbrella in a slot, locks it up, and takes the little key. Just to clarify: no one in Japan has ever stolen anything. We're not locking our umbrellas for safety. We're locking them up because there are 40 billion people in this city and there would be no way for anyone to locate their own umbrella if we all stashed them together.

3. The subway stations update their signage fairly regularly. This is a highlight of my (and B's) day. The current signs are top notch. However, to the untrained eye, they could be tough to understand. Let me help you...


Good job! Keep blowing super adorable puffs of cigarette smoke into the station! Just please stand still while doing so. Thank you.


What is wrong with you!? Stop running or you'll hurt the train's feelings!! Geeeez.



When you are dressed as a bunny and you see a lion dashing out of the train to grab a slice of cake, please express your delight by covering your mouth. Thank you.



Don't take acid.

Alright folks. I will have a lot more for you next week. Boz wants to spend Saturday afternoon lounging by our pool in Singapore, so I plan to do a lot of writing out there. (I was just about to delete that last sentence  because...let's get real...but I think we've reached the point where y'all need to know how delusional I can be at times.) I will try to write a few sentences on the plane.

Peace in the Middle East.