Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Sky is Falling

I bet you thought my promises of blogging were just that – empty promises. Well, I’m here to tell you I’ve turned over a new leaf. And to prove it to you, I thought I’d spend a few days sharing some of my more amusing tales from the last two months. But before I can tell you today’s story, I need to remind you about one thing in particular: I am Canadian. I grew up wearing a kilt that barely covered my important parts and sporting thick tights while waiting for the bus in -15°C weather. I know from winter.

Now on with our story!

My husband and I have lived abroad for four years, and for each of those years we have we have spent our Christmases on an island. True, in the past they’ve been tropical, beach-themed islands but technically Japan still fit our M.O. I was somewhat wary of heading off to Japan since we have very few winter clothes of which to speak. “It’s not like it’s going to snow!” my husband insisted, rolling his green eyes.

On Christmas morning, Hubby and I awoke in Osaka and giggled together at the proof of Santa’s visit during the night. After rummaging like children through our stockings,
we packed up and took the train to Kobe where I was determined to see cows being massaged.

During our initial hours of sightseeing, I found plenty of plastic cows and “massage” places but not cows being massaged. Rich people on television swore that the overpriced beef here was the best in the entire world but I could find no evidence of any farms. “Have rich people lied to me again?” I whimpered pathetically, trying to keep warm under my fall jacket and light cotton sweater.

After consulting several guidebooks, Hubby patted my head and assured me that I could have fun in Kobe without seeing cows drinking beer. His faith was rewarded during our walk through Chinatown where we nibbled on pork and posed with zodiac symbols.

Still determined to see where they “grew the cows” we headed further up into the hills to Kinano-Kobe. Despite being chilled the bone, Hubby and I rode one of the local cable cars to its peak so that we could enjoy the vistas. I honestly don’t know what happened but one moment we were laughing at the tourists and the next I looked up at the sky and turned to Hubby with the most perplexed look on my face.

“Are we near Mount Fuji?” I asked. Having lived with my complete lack of geographic common sense for all these years, Hubby kept the eye rolling to a minimum while he waited for me to explain myself. “I think there’s ash falling from the sky.” I held my gloved hand out and let the floating particles land softly against the black wool.

Hubby gave me a withering look worthy of any seasoned parent or teacher. “Sweetie, that’s not ash. That’s snow.”

My brain tried to make sense of what was now so obvious. Snow? But I would recognize snow – I’m Canadian! It had only been four years since my last snow – I wasn’t some sort of southerner who had never played for hours in the fluffy white goodness of winter. I know snow! At least I used to.

Hubby and I grabbed our camera and, like the children we were, began trying to photograph individual flakes before they melted. We danced as the snow pooled at our feet and mocked ourselves for the joy this simple thing brought us. Snow in December is a miracle no matter what your age or location and we were determined to embrace the gift nature had given us.

What we didn’t yet realize is that despite the late hour on our watches, Japan still had a few tricks up its Christmas sleeves.

18 comments:

Lydia said...

Writer's block - shmiter's block. Great piece! I miss snow too.

illahee said...

brrr, the snow can go! ;)

did you find the cows? waiting with bated breath...

Bluefish said...

Great commercial!

LadyFi said...

Love your lyrical writing. You've booted out Mr. WB, I see!

Not sure if I dare ask - but WHAT is that second photo of? Not sure I want to know even... as a vegetarian...

Snow is magical! We have plenty of that over there, yet we're still sad to see it melt.

Connie said...

How fun. One of these days I'd like to see Japan. Kids have been begging to see snow again... maybe next year. We're in the same boat though, no winter clothes, completely acclimated to hot weather... we'd be so pathetic.

Christine Gram said...

I'm doing somersaults I'm so happy to be reading you again! More! more! more!

Cairo Typ0 said...

Blue: i'd love to send you my email but i have no way of contacting you! LOL

Fi: It's waterfall! heheh

Thank you so much, everyone! It's good to be back. :)

psychoknitter said...

So...did you see cows being massaged in the end??? I have heard they do that too...but, yes, maybe the lies of the rich! hehehe

Protege said...

I like the whole "massaging the cows" business.;))
Well, at least you had snow for Christmas, ours was gray and rainy.;)

NicoleB said...

I love this :)
I'm glad you had a bunch of fun and especially with the snow - we did too, but now it's enough ;)
Those cows are everywhere, no?
The plastic ones I mean.

Anonymous said...

It is snowing right now in Canada--that fine white stuff that sticks and stays!
The cows remind me of the moose that used to be around the city...
Good to see you back in teh writer's chair.
merthyrmum

Brenda said...

Wow. . . sounds wonderful. I have never been to Japan but I love reading about it.

How can you have writers block? You have so many interesting things to write about!

Simple Answer said...

I love cows. I miss snow. Can't wait for your next installment.

Jacki said...

I am so glad you are back!

Betty said...

Did you find the growing cows? :)
I miss snow too and especially some cooler weather!

Maricris Zen Mama said...

Pretty pictures! When are you going back to Japan? I want to see them cows!

The Noles Family: USA to Egypt said...

Its good to read your blog again. I was wondering where you were off to!

Amanda said...

Haha - this is where the I am Canadian clip came from! Ahhh, drunk blogging!