Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now you can really come visit. Really. Anytime. Come visit

Wanna know why? Cause yesterday I drove to the airport for the very first time, and it is EASY. Of course it takes twice as long to go half the distance in Japan, but the drive is uncomplicated and on the highway, all the way! Come on over.

The circumstances weren't great, I'm sorry to say: I had to say goodbye to my knitting student, Wendy, as she and her family left for a new life in San Diego. They have two puppy dogs who are not allowed on the airport bus, so they rented a van and I rode along, then drove back home by myself. I wish I'd brought the camera; it would have been nice to document a couple things. Like when the suitcases on top of the car banged into a height warning thingie at a parking garage...oops! And poor Natsumi, the Akita, barking away in her crate as she was about to leave her homeland forever. And then there were the fart jokes coming from the back of the car - did I mention they have two teenage boys?

We said a sad goodbye at the (clean, friendly, comfortable, convenient) curbside dropoff point, and I drove home on my own. On the way I stopped at a rest area for amazingly delicious fast non-food (whassup, chicken teriyaki mosburger?), returned the rental car and then swung by the Japanese grocery store. And there, I found...

A CHICKEN. An actual, whole, chicken, plucked and fresh and head- and foot-less, ready to go in my oven!* I haven't seen one of those in Japan ever. Poultry comes in sterile styrofoam packages here, skin on, bones usually removed, and whole chickens aren't particularly useful in a culture that doesn't typically include ovens. The commissary on base, land of whole wheat bread and skim milk, sells only frozen big-box poultry, which takes days to defrost and tastes like sawdust. I was so excited about this chicken!

So now we've got bellies full of roasted bird, a big bowl of fresh stock in the fridge, and the knowledge to find a chicken again when the mood strikes. (Tori-o ichino kudasai!) It's been a pretty good week so far.

*Well, I had to kind of squish the heart and innards away from the chest cavity, but whatever.

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