One of the blogs I've been following faithfully is 1000 Things About Japan. The author is an American woman who has lived in Japan for about 18 years. She lives in Tokyo and teaches English in her apartment. A year or so ago she announced in an earlier blog that she and her American husband had decided to return to the States and that she would begin a daily blog of things she will miss/won't miss about life in Japan after she's left.
As a recent example of something she will miss: "About a three-minute walk from my apartment, there's a dingy little restaurant which uses buckets of red hot coals to cook its food. In the evening, when they are in full service mode, these buckets are sitting outside full of glowing coals and the air is filled with the heavenly scent of grilled food which is made with them. The smell is distinctive and extremely enticing. I'll miss the lovely scent of this old-fashioned cooking style and having a chance to encounter it often."
And something she won't miss: "Because of the long, humid summer and generous amounts of rain in Tokyo, I always have problems with spices and salt caking into lumps. While I keep most of my spices in the refrigerator, I simply do not have the space to keep everything in it and the result is having to whack the counter with the jars to try and break up the inevitable bricks that form. What makes it worse is the fact that spices are pretty expensive in Japan so wasting them can mean losing an investment. I won't miss my spices and salt forming bricks and blobs and becoming unusable because of the weather"
She accompanies each brief post with a picture, and I find her observations about everyday, ordinary life in Japan fascinating. And I'm fascinated that she seems to notice everything. I will miss her blog when she returns to the States...although at that point, perhaps she'll begin writing about the things she notices in everyday, ordinary life in America.