Every morning I pass through a small, charming green space located a few steps east of my Tokyo apartment building. Walkways of concrete slabs meander in various directions through the small grove.
Across the street is a schoolyard as well as a graveyard.
I chuckle as stroll under the canopy, for I realize this rather sums up where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Mono no aware. You don’t always need cherry blossoms to put a sharp focus on the evanescence of things.
Shortly after my arrival at Nikko House, a glossy raven landed on the balcony railing. I’d heard him earlier as he did a fly past, but I’d never seen one a mere three meters away. As he landed I froze in place, held his gaze and mentally thanked him for dropping by.
He gave me a long discerning look, cocked his head from side to side and seemed to ask, “And who are you?” Then he lifted his beak as if to say, “Humph! I guess you’ll do. Welcome to our neighbourhood.” As quickly as he landed he lifted off and was gone.
After a bliss-filled journey and arrival at my apartment without mishap, irritation, or lost luggage, the first seven days have been riddled with energy-sucking technical and additional problems. (I may or may not get to those in a future post.)
All were time-consuming glitches which needed to be resolved. Complications I didn’t create. Except for accidentally setting off the emergency security alarm on my first evening. I did that. However, that was the easiest one to handle. I could not turn it off, but knew that eventually someone in a uniform would show up and do it. Mondai arimasen. No problem. I kept on unpacking.
Sure enough, after raven, on my first night in Tokyo, a good looking gentleman knocked on my door to ascertain my security. How twice blessed can a person be? The heck with the rent an elderly man service in this city, eh? (You can rent anything in Tokyo.) I can simply push “the wrong button” on my security panel and one will come to my door for free.
As I said to a friend, the transition so far has been filled with glorious moments, splendid experiences and a feeling of being quite at home from the moment I landed. However, it’s been much like going on a great date with the wrong guy. It might have been so much more fun.
Although each problem popping up like an over-eager Whack-a-Mole has also been an opportunity, so far it’s eaten up the time I would have preferred to get more rest and find the hidden gems of my new neighbourhood. But now I’m back on track. More to follow. Soon.