May 10, 2016

Learn from My Mistakes

I’m pretty sure I am at a point where I would happily commit a heinous crime in exchange for one of those beautiful blue boxes of kraft mac n cheese in dino shapes.

Jet-Lag: How does it manifest in your body?
Tell me in the comments!

I seem to have a body that likes to deal with Jet-Lag on a roll of a dice: sometimes I do REALLY well! We landed in Cancun and were fine* within a day or so.

*with regard to timezones anyway. we’ll get there.

And other times (aka 5 out of 6 times), my whole body just goes on strike. Headaches, stomachaches, an acne breakout rivaling a 13 year old, a stupefying level of apathy to everything, and of course, inability to sleep at the proper time of day. This is compounded by my absolute inability to fly in a plane well, so that’s all coming at you directly after I spent 12 straight hours on a plane back to Japan curled in a ball trying not to hork and occasionally weeping in my pleas to my husband to please not let the flight attendants put food anywhere near me because the smell would 100% certainly make me vomit.

Learn from My Mistakes photo

(taken moments after clearning Japanese customs.

please note how unaffected The Mister is next to my miserable hot-mess of a person-hood.)

Not sharing all that for pity, but as an explanation for my insatiable need to cure the Blue Box Blues. Do they sell Mac N Cheese in regular grocery stores in Japan? Not that I’ve found in the last two days of wandering to the markets within my walking radius. I am hoping the craving and jet lag passes before I loose my mind and hitch hike out to the insanity that is Nagoya's Costco. (on that note, if you know me IRL, please do not mail me mac n cheese. I am well aware this is a passing thing, and will almost certainly be gone before a package would arrive. But thank you for keeping me in your thoughts.)

Moving on from macaroni; I’m back from Mexico and had a GREAT time! My little cousin got married in a beautiful ceremony, the reception was a blast, and I got to catch up with my family in a setting where no one had other stuff to run off and worry about. Plus, The Mister and I had some quality time to actually SEE each other without work obligations getting in our way. It was much needed.

Plus, *now* I’m a nice golden tan, which as I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, is a highly valued dose of vitamin D for me.  

This contrasts sharply with Japanese beauty standards, which place high value on pale skin. In the summers, it’s not uncommon for me to be walking down the sidewalk sweating through my tank-top and shorts, as I pass by women wearing wide brimmed hats, long pants, parasols, and elbow-length gloves.

Learn from My Mistakes photo

which probably explains that the sunscreen I was able to find in Japan before our trip was only SPF 15... 

if everything is covered why would you need sunscreen too? Who am I kidding this was not the sunscreen's fault.

In summary, I’m saying is that people here do not go tanning. There are a few outsider trends that buck that blanket statement, like Ganguro girls, but by and large, tanning isn’t well-accepted by the public. And so, before going to Cancun, I did no pre-tan.

Sure, there are people out there who are capable of going on vacation in Cancun without having tanned beforehand, and who manage to not burn. I… have proven to not be one of those people.

I didn’t add up the math - if I didn’t do any tanning before the trip, as I had done before every other trip I’ve taken to Cancun, then I should not use the same sun-screen mentality I’d used on those previous trips.  

You see where this is going.

I burned.

I burned real bad. On day 1.

Learn from My Mistakes photo

as this picture was taken I was slowly turning a vibrant crimson.

Did you know if you give yourself bad enough sunburn that you get dizzy when you walk? You can’t eat? That aloe isn’t soothing but instead feels like you have doused yourself in lemon juice and salt? I didn’t go back outside to enjoy our all-inclusive beach resort for two days.   I was a mess, and I deserved it for my own idiocy.

Learn from My Mistakes photo

not a good look.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES. Use so much more sunscreen than you think you need. Apply so much more often than you think you do. Ugh, you know this. You actually listened to Baz Lurhman.  

I can share, though, that if you’re going to a wedding ceremony and your sunburn has started to peel, you can put some coconut oil over the peely bits to make yourself not look like a shedding snake long enough for pictures to be taken.

Learn from My Mistakes photo

we cleaned up well, if not for being a bit pink. :)

I’m just about done peeling / fading from red to gold, and hopefully just about done having visions of making out with Cheesasaurus Rex. Now I just need to switch my head back from speaking Spanish into speaking Japanese again. Wish me luck!

today’s little language lesson:

me gustaría a matar un hombre para macaroni y queso de dinosaurios.

I would kill a man for macaroni & cheese dinosaurs.

tune in next time when I talk about bird pirates, actual (sort of) pirates, and why I’m not allowed anywhere near The Mister when negotiations are happening.



The name is Kp or KpMcD (Kristin, actually, but for the sake of continuity let's stick with the nickname, shall we?) Hailing from the Midwest US and living in Nagoya with my husband (The Mister), my dobermutt (Mac) and an elitist marmalade tabby who answers to no one (Bubba).

1 Comment

  • DaveJpn

    on May 17

    Not jet-lag as such, but the think I notice the most when I come back from a trip away from Japan, is the way my apartment smells. That may sound a bit weird, but I mean it's a kind of unfamiliar smell, like I'm moving in the first time. Other than that, jet-lag just does that miserable thing of making me super tired but then waking me up when I least need to be awake. Annoying!!