Anti-climatic

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The return to Japan was pretty anti-climatic as I had been hoping for meters of snow to shovel from in front of our house like last year, but small-town life does not always go according to plan when you have nice neighbors who shovel for you in anticipation of your return. It also didn’t help that temps are quite high an we are even getting rain. While there is still plenty of snow, I feel bad for a friend who is visiting this weekend from Malaysia along with her co-worker from Mexico. It would be great to show them proper snow-country.
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Back to Florida where it was warm enough for Mona to run around half-naked. One of the high-lights of the trip was the deep-sea fishing trip Tomoe and I went on. It was not as exciting as I remember from my childhood, when dad spent the entire trip sick, and I landed a huge fish of some sort that we were told tasted bad so the captain “disposed” of it for us.
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This time I only hooked a significant number of snapper, and it was delicious when Tomoe cooked it up for dinner. The major disappointment was that fishing has evolved to the point that the “fisherman” only holds the line in the water and everything else is taken care of by the captain and crew. I was lucky enough just to get a chance to put bait on my own hook, let alone take the fish off. For some of the customers the captain was even casting the line and just handing them the pole.
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Mona got a kick out of watching them fillet the fish and throw the remains to the pelicans.
Tomoe snagged a grouper that was too small, so we threw it back after the photo. Its all for the best, though, as groupers are on the conservationists no-catch list. That didn’t stop us from enjoying a grouper sandwich at a little food truck nearby the condo my parents had rented. The real enjoyment though came not from the sandwich, which was great, but seeing that the proprieters had just moved out there a few years ago and well into their 40s/50s. Still gives me hope that my life is not yet over.
If it wasn’t for her small body and hands and feet, I would expect Mona to be one of the future Japanese hopefuls for olympic swimming. For three years now I have been trying to get her to swim and put her head under the water in the local bath we frequent most nights. No go, but in the pool in Florida she wrinkled me out. She had no problem swimming underwater and almost made it all the way across the pool – until…. I ran to the wal-mart to get her some arm-floaties. Maybe it was a big mistake. Now she will not swim under the water anymore, and only relies on the floaties. Her olympic dreams dashed at age three.
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