Do you remember your Japanniversary? Do you celebrate or mourn it? Mine have come and gone without much to do but they always give me pause to remind myself why I am here. More than the date, the smell around Tokyo at this time of year when the wind picks up is what makes me nostalgic. I know, I shouldn't wax on about luscious spring air when what you really want is more of my snarky tales of Kaisha terror but I love the smell of March and April. It makes me walk slower on the way home so that I can inhale it ferociously. It reminds me of my first week in Nakano getting settled into my apartment and upon the realization that I had come back to a Tokyo void of anyone I knew from my uni days, thinking, well now what? Well now what indeed. If you had told me I would be here now doing what I do and shacked up with a Japanese man I would have slapped you.
The smell reminds me of listening to Slum Village's most recent album on my iPod as I walked to catch the last train out of Nakano to meet the beau in the first weeks of our courtship.
The smell reminds me of late night walks by myself out to Koenji or Asagaya, times I embraced my loneliness and enjoyed the quiet neighbourhoods sometimes punctuated with a small lit-up sign.
The smell does not remind me of the School, which is perhaps not so surprising given I was shell-shocked for some time after arriving for that first day.
I don't know what it is about Tokyo that makes me observe my time here to the day, but I can't imagine doing the same anywhere else in the world. Maybe it's to keep from feeling like the city has swallowed me whole.