The end draws ever nearer, and soon we will depart from these fair shores. But in the spirit of completeness, to bring this blog full circle (subject to any closing remarks Sim may wish to add), I will now publish my list of:
Things I’m Looking Forward to Coming Home to, and Things I’ll Be Sorry to Leave Behind
1. Proteins. This is a country that knows how to treat them right. Aside from one or two over-boiled eggs at hotel breakfasts (which is bound to happen), the Japanese appear to have serious respect for any meat, fish or bird product that comes into their kitchen.
2. Breakfast. Japan doesn’t do it well if you want to eat out. It will be nice to return to a culture that values baked beans, ricotta hotcakes and fried haloumi.
3. Normal-sized things. In Japan everything is one of two sizes: mini or maxi. There’s no in-between. For instance, hotel rooms, puppies, hamburgers: mini. Shopping centres, train stations, tuna: maxi.
4. Mystery foods. As we approach the end of our stay, my tolerance is waning along with my sense of adventure. I’m ready to know what I’m eating again.
5. Lattes. It will be nice to return to a world of baristas that don’t all work for Starbucks. Also nice to order a latte without being asked whether I’d like it hot or cold.
6. Polite schoolchildren. If you’re wondering where they’ve all gone, they’re over here.
7. Carbs. Bring em on.
8. Fruit! Likewise.
9. Beautiful things. It’s both wonderful and a little daunting being constantly surrounded with objects so lovely and fascinating that you’d swear owning just one more of them will change your life forever.
10. Packaging. I love it but I feel slightly guilty about it. Everything you buy has twelve layers around it, and they do it so stealthily that even if you want to tell them not to, by the time you’ve finished fumbling in your purse for your change or Visa card, it’s already happened.
See you in 24 hours, Australia.