My mornings used to be rushed to get myself out of bed, clean, fed, and on the bus. It was on the bus that I had time to relax, read, and even do some lesson planning. I’ve chronicled this many times.
Things are different now. I wake up quite early and have lots of extra time in the morning to enjoy my coffee, eat my breakfast at leisure, remember to take my vitamins, watch my neighbours take their dogs for walks–though, humourously, some dogs seem to be taking their owners for walks –and generally ease into my day.
Up until recently, I had also spent that time checking the news and playing Words With Friends on my phone. What has changed is that I have spent at least some of that morning time reading. Since my commute went from more than one hour to about 30 seconds, I had let my good reading habits slide. I was reading 60 to 70 books a year, but had fallen off that pace. Sure, I’ve been reading woodworking magazines, but I should be reading more.
In one of my last Amazon orders–the one that brought me the bathroom fan motor I successful swapped out–I also ordered a book. For the last bunch of mornings, it has accompanied my coffee and whatever else I had for breakfast.
The book is called For Fukui’s Sake and chronicles the two years the author spent living in Fukui Japan. Having spent three years in Japan almost a quarter of a century ago, I often find myself reading books of the same genre. Some have been good and some have been mediocre.
The important thing for me seems to be the search to find someone who had the same experience as I did and decided to write about it. Before you think me foolish, I am well aware that no two experiences are going to be the same. This is true of any place and any time, but this is even truer in Japan. Despite economic stagnation, many things have changed in the country. Things change quickly and wildly. As a result, I have never found an experience like mine, but I keep reading.
What I do find are moments that make me smile and remember that young man who stepped off a plane into the warm Osaka night air, took a ride in a car that came equipped with a TV, and ventured into an unknown world full of vending machines, temples, convenience stores, rice paddies, and experiences whose significance continues to resonate.
In this particular book, I haven’t found so many of those moments, but it has still been a good way to spend my morning before teaching. This isn’t going to be a book review. This book was printed on demand by Amazon and it has given me some inspiration towards self publishing. Maybe instead of reading the adventures of someone hoping they’ll be like mine, I could just write mine…or a totally fictional account that just incorporates some of my experiences…..
In case it needs to be said, reading while enjoying my morning coffee is Today’s Perfect Moment.