Monday, December 5, 2005


I’ve been complaining to myself (and anyone who will listen) lately about the fact that Japanese houses have no central heating. I lament the fact that while my spacious room with lots of light is great in the summer, large windows and extra air make it impossible to keep warm with only an electric carpet in the winter. It’s 37 degrees in my room. I don’t know how I survived last year.

And yet, I think of the people in northern Pakistan whose houses were destroyed by the earthquake and who will soon be set upon by mounds of snow. They will be colder than I am, even though it seems like I will die in my room in front of my computer, my hands stiffened on my keyboard as if I was still typing. I have become weak.

Really, it’s a matter of priorities. On one hand, I could wake up every morning with icicles on my eyelashes and save money for a plane ticket to someplace warm; or on the other, I could pay for the heat and live a normal boring life teaching English in Japan. It’s a tough decision.

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