Monday, July 24, 2006

Birks for Looks

Today I made lunch for us all by myself. Potato salad (3 kinds of potato) with wasabi, and eggplant tomato garlic stirfry. Normally, my aunt slaves away while I'm off browsing webpages. Cooking is very enjoyable! We'll put it next to gardening on the healthful things to do list.

Thought I'd get a break from anything academic here, miles away from school, but it's been frustrating and a bit of a downer sitting through and dealing with rants from my highly opinionated uncle and provincial aunt about, say, Koreans as barbaric and belligerent, and Chinese people (literally from China) as uneducated, rude and uncouth. And this is all just within the Asian ethnicity! I'm more offended at their jabs against Koreans, since I have Korean American friends, and after being told that they are a discriminated group in Japan. 'Sure, we'll eat your oishi barbecue and kimchee, but don't show your face in my neighborhood or employment.'

On an entirely different note,
Birkenstock makes really great- looking shoes here in Japan. The more you look outside, the more it seems that the US gets all the conservative goods in general. Notables:

Montana. (The current location of Rachel Self.)

Part clog, part moccasin, part elven. They be illin'. With the steady demise of the Clarks originals Wallabee boot, could this be the next expensive footwear picked up by Patagonia fleece- sportin', cheap beer- guzzlin', sockless, frat boys who have a taste for the taste of the outdoors? Well, maybe if they are ever made available in the US.

(OK, I apologize for that. Even members of fraternities have enough dignity to deserve some protection from being reduced to a stereotype. Which are never harmless.)

Tabora. I have an old pair of these, but the colorway is no way near as cool as this one. Tasteful art!

So, the news lately has been rather bleak. Or maybe it has always been- I've just recently started paying a bit more attention with all this free time and whatnot. We, as in me, my friends, peers and family, are living very comfortable lives, pretty much untouched by happenings elsewhere (unless you know someone in the war in Iraq).. and most of us don't care about the news, especially not international news. Not that this is a good thing at all, but at what point is it imperative to care?
The rainy season has been atypically long this year in Japan, and while people are complaining about the wetness, countries in East Africa have been experiencing a crippling drought and are beginning to starve. This did not sit well with my grand breakfast of bakery items, fresh fruit from the garden, and cinnamon cafe latte.
It seems like the gravity of current world events is dire enough, are we screwing ourselves over with voluntary ignorance? It's so easy getting lost in the heated arguments and passionate opinions of attention- paying citizens, but at least there's a dialogue going on. I guess the only person I can truly change is myself, so I will try to be more aware of what's going on in the world today, difficult as it is living in a bubble at school, bumping into other people's bubbles.

The only thing that can stop us is hopelessness.


Nora said...

Hey Fran! I"m just catching up on your journal. I LOVE those Birks... yum! :)

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punk said...

i was thinking about buying some but they cost $109 where i was so i opted for some white tuk creepers

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