Tag Archives: travel

Jesus on the Temple Trail

Kyoto_shrine

When we awoke in Kyoto, Steve, our fearless leader (a.k.a. the only person who took the time to figure out what there was to do in the city) took us on a trail of temples and shrines. First stop was the Tainai-meguri, the womb of a goddess. No, really. At first I thought it was just a bad English translation. But after giving two coins to a Japanese man, he pointed to a stairwell that descended into complete darkness.

“What is this, what’s going on?” I called out hoping someone would respond in English. Sebastien was ahead of me and told me to just hold onto the railway as I walked.

“Are we in the womb?” I said.

“Yes.”

“At least there’s no blood in here,” I said. All things considered it wasn’t as grotesque as I thought it would be. And I’ve seen some disgusting stuff including my own birth. It was an accident. I was playing hookey from school one day and rummaged through my parents’ VHS tapes for something to watch. One of the tapes had my name on it so I thought it’d be fun to check out. It was not. My dad must’ve been positioned right behind the doctor and he made full use of the zoom feature on the camera.

We finally reached a glowing rock and Sebastien told me to make a wish. Technically to make the wish come true I had to spin in either direction. I didn’t want to so I just made the wish and walked out. My wish came true anyway because seconds later we were back outside. “I could get used to these gods,” I said. “They actually listen.”

From there we skipped through the cherry blossoms from shrine to shrine making wishes. I gave my suffering to a piece of paper that I threw into a bowl of water and I gave my knee pain to an ox (although I accidentally rubbed his balls instead of his knees like I was supposed to).

We stopped at Jishu Shrine, the home of the god of love and matchmaking and watched as tourists attempted to secure success in love by walking from one stone to another with their eyes closed.

It was a full morning. But by 11am, my knee was hurting and all I really wanted was an ice cream. But there was no god or goddess for that.

We walked down the steps along Chawan-zaka or Teapot Lane, looking in the various souvenir and tea shops along the way on the hunt for a late morning snack. I saw tourists with ice cream, which momentarily rekindled my faith. But I got distracted and photobombed some Chinese tourists dressed as geishas.

photobombing

I figured if the people didn’t like it, they could make a wish to the photoshop god.

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I’m a Better Person on Gchat

For the longest time I avoided online chat rooms. After all, it was the place pedophiles went to lure unsuspecting girls into their web of lies and where Nigerian princes tricked people into believing they inherited millions of dollars. Sebastien’s a big fan though. But it wasn’t for me. I preferred person-to-person communications and thought that was the only way to truly develop a relationship with someone.

But then I got an office job and learned about the magical world of Gchat.

One day I was sitting at my desk wondering how to occupy my time while I waited to hear back from my boss. I had been checking my email every 10 minutes and googling random thoughts, but it wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. Then, all of a sudden, a small box appeared in the lower right corner of my screen.

‘You around?’ it read.

I could barely hold myself together. I jumped in my chair and looked around. I wanted to let everyone know that I had a friend and this friend wanted to communicate with me in real-time on Gmail. It was amazing.

Then I realized that I was in an office and not on a schoolyard playground. I pulled myself together and responded to the greeting like a normal person.

We had this fun back and forth about nothing and everything for a few hours and I felt really close to this friend.

I had questions, though. Like what does it mean when someone’s status reads busy. Is it OK to Gchat them? A friend informed me that, that happens all the time, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It seems really passive aggressive. Love me, talk to me, oh no I’m too important and too busy for you. But sometimes I even get conversation starters from people whose status is marked “busy.”

That’s my only problem.

Other than that, I love Gchat and wish I could conduct all of my business through those little white boxes in the lower right hand corner of my screen. Some days I go to work early just to sit in front of my computer and wait for someone to start a conversation with me. I believe it has made me a better person and people like me more.

On Gchat I am smarter and funnier and I am also more compassionate. For example, when I started chatting with friends I would impulsively want to keep talking about myself. But then I started proofreading what I was saying and didn’t think others would be too interested. So I would erase the self-centered comment and think about the other person instead. Ask how their day is or what they are up to, etc, etc.

Gchat has also helped me get closer to Sebastien. He’s so much easier to communicate with through email or instant chat and I feel like I can really open up and be myself around him in cyberspace.

Sometimes, I start a conversation with him while he is sitting right next to me on the couch because it’s the only time I know he is really listening to me and will take me seriously. Case in point:

 me:  Do you think I could make it to the mailbox and back in my underwear without anyone seeing me?
 Sebastien:  yes

Let’s Take the Deathstar, Honey

People have been asking if Sebastien and I are planning on going on a honeymoon. But the thought of it makes my stomach turn. When I hear the word ‘honeymoon’ I think of beaches and I can’t think of a worse place to be: the sticky sand, the polluted salt water, the heat. It sounds awful. Sebastien agrees.

We prefer cold, bland places with a lot of concrete and depressed citizens. We would go to North Korea if we could. Instead we just visit countries with high suicide rates.

And what does it mean to have a honeymoon anyway? We normally go on a vacation every year, anyway. But because it is a honeymoon does that mean that we will really enjoy spending time together unlike those other vacations where we dread sharing a bed and spending every waking hour with one another?

If it’s a honeymoon does that mean Sebastien is going to ogle me for five days straight, whispering sweet nothings into my ear? I think I’d have a better time at the beach.

I don’t even like the term honeymoon and told a person that we would only call it that if free things were involved: massages, robes, an upgrade to a larger suite. If not, we will just call it another vacation. Or, the deathstar.


It’s Over…

The wedding, I mean. And the worst part about it being over is that I can longer use planning my wedding as an excuse to get out of my regular responsibilities.

At any rate, here are the highlights:

-The wait staff was alerted about my extreme hunger prior to my arrival and satiated my appetite with mini chicken pot pies, shrimp skewers and steak ceviches until I encouraged them to feed the other guests.

-Sebastien and I entered the reception to the Imperial March-a fitting tune for a couple so determined to rule the universe.

-My Dad did his famous Charlie Brown dance.

-Despite my ban, guests danced to the electric slide. The song was never played because of said ban, but one clever guest realized another dance song had the same beat as the electric slide and rallied guests to join in. Now I have to extend the ban to include all songs with a similar beat.

-For some reason the DJ played Hava Nagila and for some reason it worked as part of this nondenominational wedding reception.

-And we finished the night off with Enter Sandman by Metallica. Some were dubious that it could be done, but, we danced. Even Sebastien’s 73-year-old godmother danced.


The Word of the Day is ‘No’

This morning I was looking over the questionnaires I submitted to the photographer and the venue manager and I noticed a common theme.

Will you need photos of the ceremony: no

Will you be doing a bouquet toss: no

Do you need pictures for the cake cutting: no

There’s no word I like more.

Then when I arrived at the hotel an hour ago, I noticed my name and Sebastien’s name flashing on a screen behind the reception. I thought it was someone’s idea of a sick joke. Then I found out it was the idea of the hotel manager who thought it would be better than apologizing for her incompetence. I tried to reserve a block of rooms with the hotel a couple of months ago and she never responded to any of my phone calls. (It was the most stressful part about planing my wedding.)

I thought I was going to have a seizure if I saw my name flash across the screen one more time. “Can you take that down,” I said to the man behind the counter.

“You don’t want that up?” he asked.

“No.”

Feel free to take bets on how many times I will say that word tonight.


Bag of Tricks

I carry a moderately sized purse that can hold a book, a selection of magazines, two notepads, a handful of pens and an assortment of gum. My shoulders are permanently lopsided, but at least I don’t look like a jackass walking around with multiple small purses. (I see it everyday on the subway.)

I’ve never understood small purses and I am always amazed when women show up to parties with them. Especially in New York City where you need to take public transportation to get anywhere. What do these women usually do during the travel time? It’s hard enough to get me to leave the house, so I can’t imagine going anywhere without a variety of things to keep me entertained before during and after the event to which I am traveling. You never know when you are going to get bored.

I met a group of friends at a bar one night at the insistence of this guy I know. I don’t go out to bars much because I usually get bored and I’m a low talker so it makes for strained conversations. I told this guy as much but he persisted.So I agreed to show up.

When he arrived, he found me sitting at a table. “So where’s your magazine,” he said. I pulled it out right after he finished the sentence.

I’m sure a number of women will come to the wedding with dainty shoulder purses that can hold a tin of altoids and a packet of birth control, if anything at all. I reserved the seat next to me for my purse, which will contain a panoply of items to keep me busy if and when conversations lag.


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