The "Mid-Twenties" Edition
Belated Happy New Year to all! It’s hard to believe that I should actually be wising you Happy Mid-January.
I have been off for a few weeks for an extended family vacation (with a wee bit of business, as luck would have it). I missed publishing but it was good to take a break from the obsessive news scanning and culling.
The trip was terrific! The itinerary was Tokyo; the town of Niseko (for skiing) on the island of Hokkaido; Taipei, Taiwan; and then back to Tokyo. Expected highlights, namely food, fashion, general observations of otherness of life and style, turned out to be even more highlightier! And being in a country on the near eve of a consequential election (no, not ours—Taiwan), was an under-expected highlight.
I could go on and on about all the things we did for almost three weeks. But for many, hearing about other people’s travel ranks about as highly with as detailed descriptions of other people’s dreams. So I will take that note and report the inverse of what made our trip superb: all the things that *didn’t* happen.
8 different plane rides: none were canceled or even late. —Also, none crashed into any other planes and caught on fire on the exact tarmac we had been on days before and no side panels detached from the body, mid-flight.
No one got Covid.
No major jet lag in either direction (harder coming back and only on day 2, so we’ll see— trying to stay humble here).
No one had any barf or other stomach incidents, despite some adventurous eating, particularly in Taipei. (If I said “chicken testicles stew” it would sound like I was making it up, right?)
No one broke any bones during 7 days of skiing and snowboarding.
None of the hotels were disgusting.
No passports lost.
No car accidents while driving for a week on super-icy and snowy roads, in a not-too-grippy mini-van, in a country with right-hand drive/other side of road.
No specific meals or activities that cost a fortune that were horribly over-hyped and underwhelming.
Great weather — appropriate for each phase of the trip.
Other than run-of-the-mill hangry- or fatigue-induced momentary tiffs, there were no significant intra-family conflagrations during any meals or activities, even on New Year’s!
On other trips we could have done a travel BINGO card with all of the above checked off so it was truly nice to think of all the things that were positive and additive to the trip that sometimes…aren’t so smooth.
As always, big thanks to my many contributors to the newsletter. But right now, a huge and timely thanks to the many contributors to the success of our trip: Jennifer, Jim, Anna, Sarah, Shirley, Dan, Allison, Jesse, Irene, and Aliza.
Back to reality tomorrow. Or maybe it’s unreality what with the sub-arctic Iowa Caucus tomorrow and another war threatening in the Middle-East. Although it’s just me who is back post-New Year’s a couple of weeks late, I authorize you to join me and pretend it’s still vacation time. Take today to immerse in and enjoy all the most important news of the week about women.
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Hope your winter weather is not too nuts, wherever you might be.
Thanks for all the welcome back emails in my Sunday Paper inbox— I really appreciated it!