American Girl in Italy

During the cold winter months, I am very motivated to bring my lunch from home on the days I work.  That, or I stop at the convenience store during my morning bike ride to the office.  When it’s cold out, I have very little desire to go back out into the cold just to eat.  But the last few days have been a bit warmer, and I have been reminded of how much I enjoy getting outside for a walk in the middle of the day.  Even though it’s just a short walk down street, it’s nice to leave the office, breathe some fresh air (when it’s not garbage day), and stretch my legs.  It’s not a pretty walk – it’s not the cleanest area (for Japan) and there are no trees or flowers along the way.  It’s not a peaceful walk – my office is located right next to the highway ramp and the train passes by rather close.  But it’s 5-7 minutes (round trip) during my workday which belong only to me.  The other day was a beautiful sunny day, the air filled with the tear-inducing smell of a chemical spill.  Today, the sound of the birds singing and the inexplicable squadron of helicopters passing repeatedly overhead rang out over the rooftops.  And of course every day I can count on the curious sight of bags upon bags upon bags of used clothing piled up outside the recycling center, just sitting there lined up along the sidewalk, as well as the earthquake-like tremors from the trucks that go barreling by on the highway.  Oh, how I love my daily walk!