Progress report……

Well tomorrow is the first of August. Over on the right side of the international date line it already is.

I’ve struggled to put my thoughts into words having now been back in the land of the  fat women free and the home of the brave for almost 3 months.

To sum it up in one sentence-its ok, but I’d kill to be in Hong Kong, Tokyo, or Singapore right now. By myself. With money and a charged up EZ-Link card. Climbing up the steps in Central or Somerset.  To turn the corner and walk up to Lan Kwai Fung or Orchard Road; seeing the girls, smelling the smells, hearing the noise.

In hindsight, it may have been divinely ordained that  I return home for a while-if for only the reason to see, my  mother, see my daughter, and set some personal issues in order. That may in fact be true-but it still does not overcome the repetitive sameness of life here in Shopping Mall USA. Sleep, eat, go to work, come home-repeat.  Not a beautiful Japanese girl in sight, not a train in sight, no view like this one from the Tokaido line:

In Japan, even the simple things were exotic and exciting. Here they are…..just simple.

Job? It is a job. It has its ups and downs-the people are OK, the complexity of the organization I work for is hard to understand sometimes. Learned a lot-still feel very inadequate at it-always grateful to be able to pay my bills. Happy to have it and yet I wish like crazy it was on the other side of the IDL.

Probably if the position involved international travel vice domestic, I’d be better acclimated by now. It does not though-although I cling to hope that I can work hard and earn a spot in that arena in a while. I do miss my high flying days of yesteryear.

The S.O. she has taken to it pretty well. She’s come to love garage sales, she keeps our place incredibly neat and has not become too corrupted by American customs-yet. She looks at houses longingly and has already decided the house we are buying is not big enough. I keep reminding here that goal number 1 is money in the bank and we’ll do much better with a smaller house payment. The house is a necessary evil-but truth be told I’m quite happy with this little apartment. It would be just fine for me, myself, and I. Especially if I was 25 again. No yard to mow.

American impoliteness frustrates her, tips in restaurants drive her nuts,  and she has yet to grasp the fact that she’s going to have to spend a little money once in a while.  She wants to go exploring-but hates the fact it takes a couple of hours and a good amount of gas to go somewhere different. She stays at home way too much even though she has a car. Hints about her getting a J-O-B? Politely ignored. She’ll do nothing about that until she has Stately Skippy Manor exactly the way she wants it.

Our life is quiet. Too quiet for my taste. I rise early, so I am tired at night early.  I’ve only played golf 3 times this summer. I do work out more here. Actually started a progam of sorts.  The only time I’ve been to a bar is on a business trips. Even then,  its often just too much hassle. A couple of times I’ve just bought snacks, beer, and fallen asleep watching TV in a strange hotel in a strange town. That is depressing.

I’m struggling to  mantain my Japanese proficiency. I talk with S.O. but even she is lapsing into English more than she used to. (Except when she gets mad…).

Even the sex has become feast or famine……is there something in the water over here? Did not used to be that way in Nihon.

However I am working hard to save money. I am paying down my other bills.  I buy powerball tickets and hope to win enough to buy out my ex wife-so I can stop working and paying her extortion money.

I never win,  so I keep working.

Probably the most interesting thing about all of it is I have no passion either for, or against, my new found state. Where once I was passionate about things-now I am just sort of mindly numb about it all. If it were not for the war, and politics, I would not have been truly angry in weeks. Watching In Memoriam on Sundays still gets my blood boiling though. The surge- a- holics maybe happy-but I am still fairly convinced my assessment of the situation in Iraq is correct. Getting better in many ways-still  not worth the effort, or the lives of any Americans.

Life in Shopping mall is what it is. Useful, peaceful, productive-and boring as hell.

1.5 years tops. Then I’ll have to get on a plane-or go crazy. Till then, I just hope to enjoy what I can.

It is what it is.

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It's not easy being me-but the adventures I get to have- make it totally worth it. "One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."- Bertrand Russell

0 thoughts on “Progress report……

  1. Skippy-san,

    Your current position is exactly what I have been dreading. I thought I didn’t like Japan, but the place seriously grows on you. I was up for orders, and for some reason, I just can’t accept going back to the US yet. So, I got orders to Singapore…only because they didn’t have anything for Hong Kong. I’m hoping I can network enough in the Lion City to make it so I could live somewhere other than the US when I’m done. I haven’t ruled out the idea of separating after Singapore and living in Thailand for a year, teaching English for an unnecessary 12,000 USD a year. I just want to avoid where you’re at right now, at all costs.

    No offense of course!

  2. Singapore does not suck! Especially if you get the housing allowance or the quarters in Sembawang. (They keep going back and forth about whether to allow single Sailors to take it-or married for that matter too). If you can get the OHA go for it, because if you are single, Sembawang is kind of far from all the fun stuff.

    I do envy you so much!

  3. I kept a diary of my 4 years in Korea so i would not mis-remember. Its full of vitriol and yes, even downright hatred of Korea..or at least the young punks and the horrible summers and winter(no air con and no central heating) So why did i stay?
    The girls were nice, and most of all, EVERYDAY was a challenge, being confronted with a difficult language and mysterious, if not a perplexing culture.
    And like the expat rants I read on the various K-blogs I see things have not changed for over 30 years!!!!
    And if I ever went back, for sure I would need air con and heat!!!!
    I am an old coot and I need my amenities…
    Anyoung
    Oh, does Singapore still have the , I think it was called, The Tiger Balm Park?

  4. Man. . .I went through that same bit after I returned from a semester abroad in Spain. I figured it was mainly the abrupt shift from freewheeling expat in Europe’s Playground back to 2/C MIDN at Shipwreck Tech.

    My father in law found 2 years ago he was working basically just to keep paying his ex-wife her blood money. He re-negotiated his divorce settlement, retired, rented out his condo in MD, and bought a sailboat. He hasn’t set foot on US soil since and doesn’t expect to anytime soon. If only we could all have it so good. . .

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