Sunday, January 21, 2007

Was I really back home...(part 1)

First of all my apologies for not posting anything since I came back from my all-went-too-quickly vacation at home. For those of you I did not get a chance to meet up with, I apologize profusely but I really did not have much time. In fact, I did not have much time to exactly what I wanted...I needed a holiday when I came back and thankfully I had a long weekend ahead of me when I did return. However, that was spent driving over night for a mad twitch, but I will spare you all the details of that for the next posting which shall be bird-related...the collective sigh of relief now sends the meteorologists in a spin as a untold numbers of mini-tornadoes and hurricaines pop up in regions where they don't normally occur. A bit like what is happening now across Europe which is crazy. Global warming? Natural fluctuations? Are we due another stormy period in the earth's weather patterns? Who knows...

Moving on, it was great being home, seeing the family and as many people as I could. I found it very strange at first, being able to understand everthing that was being said, being able to read all the signs, the tv, the was a bit overwhelming for the first couple of days but then it just settled into the madness that ensued. A family wedding thrown into the middle of the mix made for a fully booked-out Carmo diary. It was hectic. Coming back, I was sad to leave my family, being around them was good but I knew that this was just a very short vacation. It was not a move back. The city had changed a bit, some cool and quite ugly buildings thrown into the mix but the mood and atmosphere of the city was changed. I don't know if it was a good or bad was hard to put one's finger on it. However, one thing for certain was that there was a particular edginess to the city that was not there before in such an obvious manner. People appeared very tense and wary...interesting.

Upon return to Nippon, it was full steam ahead and back into life here as if I never left. I questioned myself a few times to remember that, yes indeed, I was really back home for a bit. A couple of sessions with the boys here and HD from the ol' stomping grounds was good and it was nice to hear a familiar accent and share my stories of being home with HD and the friends back in Cork that we have in common. Of course, being back at work was just like getting back on a bike after a rest from being on it. It just came back to me. Although the first day back was the slowest day of my life I think. Even slower than sitting through one of Bishop Magee's sermons when I was a kid and went to mass. It was that brutal. As big brother has an extensive and thorough reach, that is all I will say on that. Work is work is work...and that's all I do.

And to really bring home the fact I was back in Nippon, the new craze to hit the streets of Osaka is the MEGAMAC...four beef patty's in one glorified heart-attack-guaranteed-or-your-money-back big mac. The locals went nuts for it. You should be able to check out a commercial here. Even I had one and felt like throwing up for quite some time afterwards. I think that ghoul of a clown wants to fatten up the locals and bring their life expectancy of 81 down to the rate of the US which is currently at 77 (and rising by all accounts). I am led to believe by the media that such a burger has been banned from being sold in Britain...those munchers of the "pork pie betty" and other glorious wonders such as deep fried mars bars. Now that is saying something.

One of the coolest things I have seen yet these last couple of weeks has been the release of Apple's new iPhone . It is spectacular. I wouldn't buy one mind you, as it is going to retail at about 500USD but it certianly makes the prospects of the next generation of iPods look very intriguing indeed.

So, at last I get a post up. I will update the bird-lovers amongst you with a separate post as I have been pretty busy and let's just say, 5 new species in the last 2 weeks, 4 of which were lifers....oh, nice. Also, news just in. My allegiance to a certain camera maker may be coming to an end but more on that later.

I hope all is well and answers to emails shall begin posthaste.

Carmo's Diet: This week, I have mostly been eating hot lemon drinks

Carmo's Birds: oh, wait and see. 291 species for Japan now...9 to go

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: Lucy Liu