Monday, April 13, 2009

UGH! Signs Of Summer Already!!

It's raining right now and I'm sooooo happy!! It's been unusually hot and a bit humid in fact, I'm already wearing sandals! While right now is still fine in terms of heat and humidity I know what it leads to....hell!!! July~October....I wish I could live in Vancouver during this time-big blue humidity...heaven! But no....I live here in hell.

The one bright spot is that I'm planning to go back to Canada for 2 weeks and my mom lives near a lake so the weather will be fab!! I will also be able to go barefoot!! I am sure that you all take going barefoot for granted. Summer equals walking on your wood deck or in your yard or a park or a beach barefoot. This is something that most adult Japanese NEVER do! I mean NEVER. I once visited my friend's house-they have a big (big by Japanese standards) wood deck and I was about to walk out on to it from the living room and they quickly pointed to the outside shoes I was supposed to wear. I wanted to cry. I miss my feet touching dirt, grass, sand,wood decks etc. I tried to explain to students about how wonderful and healing the feeling can be to walk on grass in your bare feet but I'm not sure they got it. That makes me sad.

They also generally don't eat outside. Now, granted by the time July rolls around I have little interest in eating outside as the weather is so humid I lose my appetite but in spring when the weather is great they don't eat outside. They might have a barbecue at night sometimes but I mean people don't grab a cup of coffee and sit out and read a book. Or eat lunch. Some people don't have yards (or as they say-gardens) big enough for that but those that do don't do it. I miss this a lot too!!

When they do sit out for "hannami" (drinking party under cherry blossoms) or go to the beach they use these blue plastic sheets to sit on. I remember the first time I sat on one-I just got to Japan and my boss was sweet and took me many places and one day we went to the beach. It was sooooooo hot and humid that day but I thought maybe it would be ok because we had a big umbrella to sit under BUT we sat on one of these terrible blue plastic sheets. Talk about uncomfortable!! It's plastic....on a hot day....on the sand so I was sweating like a pig on that thing and sand was being rubbed in even more due to the plastic....I didn't not enjoy myself! At "hannami" they use the sheets on hard dirt....again, not comfortable. I don't know about you guys but when my family went to the beach or a picnic we used old blankets and big big towels to lay on. My one student was shocked when I said that. I did explain that the blanket's only purpose at that point was to be a beach's not like we went home and put it on our bed!

The one good thing here in Japan is the summer food. They have cold tofu dishes, cold noodle dishes, "kakigori" (snow cones) everywhere oh and many summer festivals. After almost 11 years though, I still have to say that I hate Japanese summers!! And if you aren't used to this kind of weather...never visit Japan in the summer!


Jennifer Rose said...

yeah the blue plastic sheet doesn't sound comfortable. I miss walking around without shoes on here, but I don't walk around without shoes on because people here think its funny to smash bottles on the ground (and there has been a few cases around here where there have been used needles laying on the sidewalk :/) Never wore shoes at dad's place, which was fine until you tried to walk across the gravel driveway :p

if we didn't have any towels or blankets we just sat on our coats at the beach and would just sit on the grass at the park (while fending off dozens of Canadian geese. pushy bunch of birds :p). use towels here too, at least on the sandy beaches. haven't been to a pebbled beach but I would assume we would bring a few towels to sit on or a few chairs.

Anonymous said...

I nodded so much while reading your post, I'm pretty sure I'll soon suffer neck strain.
You summed up a lot of the things I've been thinking for the past few years living here.
The blue sheet from hell...the ever present "outdoor slippers"...the summers so hot and humid you just want to move in your fridge (well, at least I do).
Of course there are many wonderful things too.

Have a good day !

Sanctum's Muse said...

Yes, I remember the hot, humid Japanese summers from my time as a study abroad student. However, having lived in the southern U.S. all of my life, it wasn't really new to me. Japanese winters, on the other hand, were a whole new beast: my study abroad college was on top of a mountain, and the winds in January and February felt like a thousand stabbing knives.

"B--- said...

Hello there! I was wondering, where did you find the gadget to feature your Etsy shops? I love how it looks and would like to add one to my blog. Thanks for the help!

Grace said...

Oh - please do tell me what the weather is like in Japan now... my hubby is going during Golden Week and wanted to know what clothes he should be packing.....

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi everyone!

Jennifer-the plastics sheets are from hell! Oh...Canadian Geese....totally forgot about them. I guess I will see some when I go home in the summer.

Mycrafyways...hope your neck doesn't hurt! ^__^ There are good things about Japan but in the middle of hell...I mean summer...I kind of forget about them!

Muse-a thousand stabbing needles doesn't sound fun either!!

Grace the weather now is mostly ok....sometimes cool but sometimes hot but the humidity isn't bad. In May I wear capris and spring/summer clothes.

Grace said...

Thanks, I will let my hubby know about the weather....

Btw: I was hoping when he's in Japan he can buy a yukata for our 7.5 month old girl. Do you know of a place in Tokyo or online where I can get one?

Elaina said...

I've lived in Japan my whole life, yet I'm not sure anyone ever really gets "used to" the summer weather.

That said, summer is hands down my favorite season...and it's because of things like kakigori, matsuris, and the gorgeous sound of semi.

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi Elaina! You like the sound of semi? They sure can be noisy!! I almost count down the weeks/days from July until October-I hate it that much!


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