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As Mie has moved from Tokyo to San Francisco, she has moved her ongoing photo moblogging experience to a new website: kokochi.com. Please check in with her there!

On to Chapter Two ...

Posted by Mie at 2003 Sep 28 11:17 AM JST

Irasshai and welcome. After much mulling over a new name for my San Francisco based blog, I have chosen www.kokochi.com.

Thanks for the many suggestions. I really liked them, but I also wanted a Japanese title since the Tokyo one had been English.

Kokochi means comfortable and pleasant...in my mind, kind of like old jeans or a nice sofa after a long day of work. It is written with 2 kanji characters: heart (koko) and land (chi). Thus there is also a connotation of comfiness linked to a place. I wanted to capture, somehow, the 'ahhhhh' feeling I get from being in San Francisco. I didn't grow up here and actually haven't spent much time here, but from the very first day, it clicked. Certain parts of me were like, "see, you aren't weird. you fit in cuz everyone is weird here." I sometimes wonder if I lived here in a past life and so now feel some sort of gut connection. Who knows.

So, I won't be posting on TokyoTidbits, unless I go back to Tokyo (just writing that brings sniffles...) My new chapter will be documented at kokochi.com. Ready for another ride?

Where do I start?

Posted by Mie at 2003 Sep 14 02:38 AM JST

Yes, I am alive and kicking. I have much to say, but at the same time have too much to cover, so I'm overwhelmed as to where I should begin. I'm gradually figuring out my groove here, and thanks to Dav, I have an eye on a mobile phone with picture and video capability. Once I get that up and working, my posting urge should be more regular.

You see, posting in Tokyo really was a natural part of my daily life. Kinda like brushing teeth. And even though I've lived here before, I've never blogged. So I've been feeling a bit awkward. Been wondering how to get started. I certainly don't want to force myself to post something just because, so I've been waiting for some sorta moment. Even now, actually, I'm more explaining where I've been instead of rambling on a random experience or observation. I guess we'll have to see how things develop. Having a phone outta make me feel whole again!

Things have been crazy busy though. Only in the past few days have I had the space to think about blogging.

In the 2 days after landing here in SF, I had to get prepared for Burning Man (living in the brutal desert for over a week can't be taken lightly), drop my freaked out cats at my friend's, and help prepare load the 24 ft. truck our camp rents out together...all the while dealing with the worst jet lag I've ever experienced (probably cuz I hadn't slept much the days before leaving Japan so I was pretty messed up).

I had planned that once BM was over, Dav and I could work to get my alternative sight up and running, but he got called away on business for a week the day after BM! Talking about a harsh transition back to reality. And the server for the site went haywire so it was down for a while. During the 3 days after BM, I helped unpack, return the truck, and attend to the other post-party to-do's. Meanwhile there was/is much to do to make my new home function and feel homey. So I've been running around getting my stuff out of storage, buying necessities, learning about the neighborhood, etc. This is all quite fun for me, and I can only say that I'm treasuring every second with Dav!

Things that have made me think, "ah, I'm in this fabulous town/city SF that is bursting with diversity and creativity that *almost* makes me wanna wear a 'I love SF' T-shirt":

* got a $6 haircut in the Mission by a sweet old woman who couldn't speak English. I don't speak Spanish and the cut is one of the best I've ever had. It took 10 minutes. Then I walked down the block and had a wonderful (and cheap) falafel sandwich.

* I drive over the Bay Bridge from the east bay towards the city at dusk and saw how amazingly beautiful this place is. This is a quaint city that still has the natural beauty to take your breath away.

* Going to Trader Joe's and just walking up and down the aisles drooling and laughing at the incredibly low prices. I can buy all the peanut butter, Nancy's yogurt, and cheese I want! Can't get better than this!

* Dealing with the huge pile of garbage from BM for our whole camp, it was way over our weekly allowance. I was expecting to be slapped with an extra charge, but upon meeting our cheerful garbage men one morning, they said they'd take care of it all for a 6 pack of beer. Works for me...especially after dealing with Tokyo's nazi garbage and having to buy special tickets and make reservations to throw away anything that wouldn't fit in those designated Tokyo Garbage bags.

* Trying to buy the best deal for kitty litter and finding myself with a 50 lb bag. Luckily a very friendly store person loaded the bag in the car for me.

* When picking up our 24 ft. renta truck, finding they had a 15 ft. one for us. Took a long time to get that straightened out. Then for a minor fender bender, I followed up on a fax report I submitted only to hear that they couldn't find it. I faxed it again and am still waiting to hear from them. Everyone is just so damn relaxed!

*Craig's List. Need I say more?

Good to be back with you!

and i am off!

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 21 01:08 PM JST

In front of my apt. with 2 bulging suitcases, 2 nervous cats, a backpack that feels like it is full of bricks, and a shoulder bag that doesn't close.I would not be able to move without my generous mom. Posting from the Narita express. Can't believe this is finally happening! $8$c$"$M El5~ [heart] I'll be back.


Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 21 08:36 AM JST

[location info]

I have been packing and cleaning all night. Let myself lie down for one hour though. Happy to say I have time to do something important to me...visit one last time the shrine I used to jog to. So much has turned out well for me - I wanted to say thank you. I will offer a pachinko ball my dad gave me a while ago that I treasure.

Overall update

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 20 11:26 AM JST

Most important thing first: If you have been reading the comments from the kitty postings, I think we can all say that TuTu, the luckiest kitten around, has found a very loving home. Gosh, I still can't get over how perfectly this all worked out...except for the 48 hours while I was a nervous wreck wondering if I could hide the kitten with one of my cats and sneak her on the plane.

Second: I am leaving tomorrow. I continue to be a nervous wreck cuz my apt. is amazingly still full of stuff. Don't know where it all came from. Anyway, I'm off. Been waiting a very long time for this and can say with every cell of my body that this is the right thing to do. It's seems a dream that Dav and I will actually be together like a normal couple. No more relying on email and typing so much my thumb got numb.

Third: Tokyo Tidbits will continue! Details are yet to be worked out, but it sounds like several fabulous and insightful women living in Tokyo will collaborate on something using Tokyo Tidbits. Maybe guest bloggers will join too. So it'll keep a Tokyo/Woman perspective. I plan to continue my yapping in a linked but seperate blog. It'll take some time to get this all organized since Dav and I will be electronically unplugged until early September (yep, we're very much looking forward to a blissful week in the Nevada desert with Burning Man folk).

So it'll be quiet for a bit, but I promise to get back to you...let's say early September-ish...since I gotta settle in too and think how I wanna do all this.

Anyway, this has been a blast. Really. Had no idea and I just rode an amazing wave, eh? Something to tell my grandkids when they think I'm too ancient and
uncool. I do want to say that all this would have very little meaning without you, the reader, and your quirky, inspirational, and warm comments.

Thank you!


Meant to be

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 17 09:41 PM JST

A wonderful connection made...Tracy, who saw my posting, has adopted the kitten!u* I can't express how happy I am. I know Tracy will provide the best home; a perfect match, a meant to be situation. I am relieved :-) to say the least.Thank you to everyone who spread the word and helped me.(Eddie, I couldn't get your phone#.I hope you see this Mon. morning) Now I must get back to the moving business...4 more days!

deep blue eyes

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 16 01:32 AM JST

This kitten has gorgeous eyes and looks right at me with such curiousity. Cute pink nose too. Already moving around, peering out of the box. I think she is a girl but hard to tell. OK, I think we're all settled.Time for bed for moi. So tomorrow please ask around.Thank you!


Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 16 12:16 AM JST

I was walking with Stephen,my brother in law, and we heard a scared meow from some bushes. Quite desperate. We could not ignore it and searched. I had him go buy tuna to coax this one out. However we found not a kitty but a baby kitty...frightened and hiding under the bush (smart after all this rain). I just could not walk away... although I've never done this before. So here I am at home now with the tiny fellow and I am moving in 6 days. Not to mention my cats who are quite curious and are staring @ me. I would like to ask ALL of you to help me find a home for this beautiful white and blue eyed kitten. I will post more pics once I get him/her outta my shirt. Please!

farewell party

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 15 01:53 PM JST

I really don't and can't say good-bye. I've moved around a lot and have managed to keep many long-distance friendships so I just don't consider moving away as any reason to change things. But the people I work with at the Ministry of Finance organized an awfully nice farewell dinner for me and invited the women from my office to join. I can't express well how much I've appreciated working with dedicated and good people. They have really inspired me and don't even realize how much they helped me through confusing times. I've gained great respect for the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

And it's not just their work. They're also super friendly and funny too! We had a great time last night (I didn't want to sit there typing in my phone while at the party so I'm posting today). After a few drinks, we really began swapping stories in earnest.

Here's a cute one: a MoF guy recently went to Washington and visited our headquarters. For lunch, he was taken on a tour of the sakura cherry blossom trees. The woman he was with kept talking about the problem with beavers and how they were gnawing away at the trees. Well, this MoF guy, who speaks excellent English, was not quite following the conversation for some reason and became quite confused because he did understand 'beaver'...not the animal definition but the alternative meaning, which is used in Japan too. We all had a good laugh imagining him trying to figure out why this woman was yapping about beavers and sakura.

Anyway, I received beautiful flowers which I appreciate much since my apartment is getting empty and ugly.

Thank you to all!
本当にお世話になりました。いろいろ助けて頂いて、心から感謝しています。これからもどうぞお元気でがんばって下さい。サン フランシスコへ来られたら是非連絡下さるようお願いします!

short is good!

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 14 10:11 PM JST

It was the rainy season. Then we had 2 seconds of summer (which was more than enough for my mom and I last Sat.), and now it seems we are already in typhoon season cuz it's a mess outside.(I don't watch weather on tv so I guess on my own...which actually isn't smart with Tokyo finiky weather.) Anyway, I just faced a sidewalk that was on its way to becoming a river and was thankful for once that I am short cuz I got platform shoes on and can wade through the mini river without wetting my toes. Yeah!

proof of a true neighborhood bar

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 13 11:13 PM JST

So my friends arrived and we were hanging out. Then one of the upstairs residents, who just got back from Niigata, dropped off an omiyage gift: a kabocha and a goya. Then a different guy came running down cuz his wife was in labor and they were heading for the hospital...and according to Kyoko, a natural place that will let you eat the placenta if yno want. I have never heard of that but apparently it is VERY good for the woman, health-wise.Makes sense. Congrats!

a shop sign

Posted by Mie at 2003 Aug 13 09:30 PM JST

I snapped this a while ago and forgot to post it with all going on."Killer Studio - Active Violence Shop." Didn't go in. Anyone know what thdy're up to?

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