Friday, November 13, 2009

Back from Japan

Japan was just wonderful in every way. The best trip. I wish I could have stayed longer, but our pocketbooks think that 5 days in Tokyo, the fifth most expensive city on planet Earth, is just about right. My closest friends from college came, and it was so wonderful being with friends that I have known for over a decade!

Ellie's wedding was phenomenal. She had a Shinto ceremony, which is usually only attended by immediate family members, but all the foreigners that flew in for the wedding, were also allowed to witness the ceremony, which was a once and a life time opportunity. In addition to exchanging sake to signify the union, Ellie also exchanged wedding rings with Eichi.

We were then escorted to a fabulous hall where we had an amazing meal and listened to tons of speeches in Japanese, including one by a haole (Swedish, to be specific) guy who had gone native and spoke Japanese superbly. Even the Japanese people in the audience were shocked at his fluency.

Besides the wedding, Luis and I spent most of the time visiting with Ellie and Eichi and visiting friends. The only touristy thing we did was visit Tsukiji, the largest wholesale fish market in the world. The pre-dawn auction was closed to tourists this year because of hygiene reasons and the fact that flash photography distracted and hid the hand signals from those trying to buy fish. Even so, the visit was impressive.

To be honest, I had a very averse reaction to the market. I have never seen so much dead fish in my life. And I didn't like being surrounded by so much death. No matter what you think about fish, they are animals, and seeing so many dead and butchered animals was obscene. I am not sure if it the cancer, or what, but it wasn't pleasant, and I was really happy to leave the market.

I have been recently paying a lot of attention to the overfishing that is occurring and trying to eat more sustainably (although I avoid dairy, eggs, and land animal meat, and am eating fish once or twice a week). Time magazine (the latest issue with Secretary Clinton on the cover) actually has a long article on the overfishing of the blue fin tuna, whose population is down 90%. The whole point is, eating many fish is the exact same thing as driving a hummer, but no one sees it that way because everyone does it.

Sushi used to be something that was just eaten on special occasions, but for many it is now a weekly or daily meal. It is quite easy to avoid the wrong types of fish with Seafood Watch, a great application on the eye phone that tells you what to avoid and why.

It is harder than I thought, and when I went to the local market the only fish that was in my price range and was a sustainable choice was catfish. Please ask your supermarket or your sushi chef where the fish comes from if it isn't listed. Trust me, someone places those orders and they no EXACTLY where it is caught. It is super easy to check online and see which is the most sustainable sushi to eat if you are a fantastic and can't go without.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Okay, this is gonna be short because I need to be up in 5 hours to get ready to go to Tokyo!

Major achievement for the Day: Clear PET Scan! YAY! I am still in remission!

Going to Japan! Going off my vegan diet and gonna eat lots of raw tuna, kobe beef, and whatever else the country wants to dish up! SHRIMP TEMPURA! NOODLES! All Luis and I plan to do on this vacation is eat and watch the Elster get hitched. No sightseeing or boring castles (Japan's castles are pretty lame anyways cause they all burned down every century or so and had to be rebuilt).

Okay, so I am on my third glass of wine (celebration was in order, don't you think), so no deep thoughts. I just bought like 10 apps to keep me occupied on the plane, including a Japanese dictionary because my Japanese sucks-o mucho.

Hulas are prepped and ready! Oh, yea, I am dancing 2 hulas at Ellie's wedding. I forced her to go to every Hawaii Club Luau at Georgetown, so she actually picked the song Henehene kou `aka (super fun for a wedding) and I chose Wahine ilikea because I danced it at my wedding and Ellie has really white skin(the title means Woman with the White Skin) now that she is in Japan and not subject to college trips to Cancun and other beach locales.

Okay enough rambling! Will update from Japan or when I get back!