We haven’t settled. Eight weeks ago, after giving away all of our possessions to neighbours and friends, we left the island of Iki. From there to Kyoto for just a few days before running the pandemic gauntlet at YVR and watching the clock tick in a quarantine hotel in Richmond. All shipping had stopped between Japan and Canada in May, so we wheeled all the suitcases and boxes we could take on the plane to a rented isolation house in Kelowna. There we sat for three weeks, only able to travel to the hospital to say goodbye to my father.
Since then it has been a month of back and forth. We asked the kids where they wanted to go for a short holiday once we were out of quarantine. They said Hogwarts. So, I took them to stay in residence at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, my alma mater. After the 45 degree weather in the dry Okanagan, Nitobe Gardens was nice and green. We rode Stanley Park and ate lots of Japanese and Chinese food. We bought a car (more on that below). It was a busy three days.
Since being out of isolation we have been staying with my mother in Armstrong BC, about 60kms north of Kelowna. We have a new house in Kelowna, and have slowly been moving stuff into it. We got our first covid vaccines. My wife and I took a second trip to Vancouver to pick up the new car (more on that below), staying on Granville Island with its lovely night view of the city. Then it was back to Armstrong and back to shuttling stuff to Kelowna in our new car, driving through the hazy valleys of the “Smokanagan.”
After a couple of months of sleeping on other people’s beds, I am looking forward to settling into my own.
Good night. Be peaceful, happy, and well.
Driving Iki: Indōji to Hara-no-tsuji, the ancient Yayoi settlement
Come with me for a short drive on #ikijima #壱岐 from the seaside to an ancient capital city.
A systematic culture of failure
How many things can go wrong when you are trying to return to Canada from Japan in an emergency AND under a pandemic? Well, a lot actually. But I learned something along the way.
A bumpy ride into the electric car future
Speaking of driving and things going wrong, buckle up for 3000 words on the disastrous inaugural road trip in our new electric vehicle, the friends we met, and the 8½ lessons we learned on the road.
“Eventually, most of the doors will be human sized and things will make sense again.” Link →
Been really enjoying Alex Kerr’s new YT channel “Secrets of Things” Link →
Because I can’t be in Kyoto for the Gion festival this year, my father-in-law has been sending me pictures of the floats Link →
_ A Concise History of Japan_ by Brett L. Walker (16% complete)
The book starts off with the intriguing angle of approaching Japanese history through its relationship to the ecological. The author wrote a whole other book on the plight of the Japanese wolf. I am still only in the early chapters, which are a pretty standard “concise” history. Walker is hitting all the high points and major players of J-hist, but there are hints of Japan’s relationship to nature. Curious to see how this develops.