Haiku reflections on Japan

2013 resolutions

2-0-1-3

but why am I stuck back in

1984?

or should I say 1Q84??  Cos I`m re-reading 1Q84 that`s why!!  I bought it January of 2012 but I remember that I could have read it at a slower pace. But it really is a page turner and I couldn`t stop myself.  Anyway, I`m nearly finished the 1st and second volume of my hardback edition (again) – waiting for the third volume to be returned to me by the person I lent it to.   So I`ll have to go even slower now until they do!!  Well, I`m trying to only read it in the evenings but then I read it for ages so I end up getting through a lot of it.

I`ve read a good few books from Haruki Murakami and though he`s really good I`m actually suffering from Murakami-fatigue (1Q84 apart).   Which is why I like to branch out a little.   I`m going to look for more Yasunari Kawabata cos I`ve read one of his books and I`m looking forward to branching out even more and discovering yet other Japanese writers – dead or alive.  I still have to read Botchan by Soseki Natsume.  Actually I have a book of short stories by various modern Japanese writers which is good but it takes me a while to read them as they`re in Japanese and the last thing I want to do when settling down to read a book is struggle with the language.  So I keep that book for when I don`t mind looking up a dictionary (I know I should rely on just getting the gist of the story and I try to do that too but sometimes my arm reaches automatically for the dictionary.  Actually there is a dictionary and an explanation of the grammar in the same book for each story but it`s the same thing.  You try not to look at that section right?)

Apart from discovering new Japanese writers, which is not really a resolution as such, I have other resolutions for this year – saving money for Japan (or just anywhere really, the travel bug is biting again, but it has a particularly strong bite where Japan is concerned), buying a new computer for my work duties, learning to drive, decluttering my wardrobe, or even going back to learning how to use the sewing machine properly (I know the basics) and actually following up on my `great` ideas to upcycle various things.  I think giving away my clothes to charity shops is good in theory but I wonder who they really go to.   That reminds me, are there charity shops in Japan and if so what are the names of these shops?   I once lived in Spain where charity shops simply do not seem to exist.    People there (well not just in Spain but Spain as a whole does seem like a very anti-charity shop kind of place!!) just don`t like the idea of wearing clothes (or owning other items, say kitchenware or whatever) that belonged to other people.    I buy the odd thing in charity shops now and again but overall I tend to stick to contemporary shops.   I do think people who turn their nose down at charity shops are missing out though, not necessarily in buying stuff but in the fun of browsing.   I know they can be smelly places can`t they so maybe there`s that too.  Just because you`re in a charity shop though, doesn`t mean you have to feel compelled/obliged to buy something.   Noone`s going to come up to you and say `oh think of the poor folks in (….) or the blind person down the road…. you have to buy something now you`re here!!`.   If that was the case, thinking of the sweatshops associated with some high street shops, you`d feel equally compelled to buy something from them!! Anyway, browsing is half the pleasure.  Back to Japan,  I think you can sell your belongings to second hand stores but I`m not sure if that includes clothes.  It would be handy if you were living there, but wanted to get rid of stuff before you left and you wanted to avoid the hassle of putting ads up or having a garage sale.

Still looking out for those cheap flights…

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