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painting

Doctor Day

Posted on 2007.08.07 at 08:47
Current Location: the den (my wireless hates me)
Current Mood: calmcalm

Yesterday was tiring.  I may or may not have time to explain all of it by the time I have to leave this morning.

Anyway, yesterday was a day of doctors.  I had three appointments.  Sometimes living next to the Med Center and the train line (there's only one in my life now... wow) is really convenient.  I was able to walk or ride to all of them.

I saw my psychiatrist in the morning (it was a "did you survive Japan" sort of thing), and it looks like I don't need to go back to him again unless I have a problem in the future.  I walked back home afterwards and walked Durin (who's getting much braver and going everywhere now) and ate lunch.  Then I rode the train a few stops to my sleep nuerologist.  I usually wait forever to get in there, but since I was right after lunch (due to Mom's strategic appointment scheduling powers) I hardly had to wait at all.  We talked about my medication some and I'm going back in December.  After that appointment I had nearly two hours to take the ten minute train ride back, so I got on it going the other direction and went downtown on a whim.

The train is funny.  It's like a Tokyo bus except for the fact that it's a train.  It stops at lights, the platforms are staggered, the seats aren't long benches but look more like bus seating.  And yet the motion is undeniably train-like.  It's so short, and shaped oddly- more visually appealing than the Tokyo subway and much more streamlined than the JR trains.  But not as streamlined as shinkansen (bullet trains).  The announcements are basically the same, just in English and Spanish.  The only really different one is the one in Spanish asking you to report suspicious activity, though they do have it in Tokyo: it's just a sign.  And not in Spanish.

Looking outside the train everything streams by in a 3Dish way in the same fashion.  It's all so spread out, and you see hardly any pedestrians or people on bikes.  It seems so empty.  The people were mostly African American.  I'm getting used to people not being Japanese now, steadily.

Downtown is so tall.  There were finally the pedestrians I was looking for.  I walked a bit, trying not to stare upwards and run into things.  I came across a patch of shade with people sitting on benches and watched some not terribly talented guitarists improv-ing for awhile.  There was a nice breeze.  It's so hot here.  Believe it or not I actually lost some of my heat tolerance in Tokyo.  I looked at the people around me.  I still think I have an unusual concept of race.  When I think about different kinds of people I think about different cultures, or cultures within cultures.  I don't think about appearance.  I've always been that way, not from being conscious of racial tolerance (really, it's not on purpose) but because I grew up here and it never occured to me to think other physical races are any different from me.  Coming back from Japan put that to a serious test, but I'm finding that I just think of all the people around me as Texans or Houstonians rather than Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc.  This sort of backfires because culturally I'm Japanese now, or maybe more accurately I'm foreigner-living-in-Tokyo Japanese, and so being here I feel out of place and have a me-and-them feeling about other Houstonians.  It was really there last week, and I think that feeling is slowly going away.  I felt a bit more like I belong here yesterday than the day before that or the day before that.  At least the landscape is a bit less shocking now.

I thought about all of that as I sat there under the stand of trees with the occasional strange train going by behind me and the very Houstonian people around me and soaked up the familiar-but-not feeling.  Then I got back on the train and headed for my next appointment.

To be continued...


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