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Unsuspecting and trusting, after a long flight across the Pacific, I arrived at our Kyoto apartment 10 days ago, looking forward to resuming my satisfying routine of blogging about my new Japanese stay. The first intimation of trouble to come occurred when I tried to send an email to my husband to tell him I’d arrived safely.  No luck. What was happening?  Alarmed, but hardly prepared for the technical mishaps ahead, I decided the best thing to do was to go sleep.

Nothing had changed by morning.  The situation was grim. I was yanked into a backwards timewarp of a pre internet existence. There were no emails, no facebook, no google, no blogging, no news updates, no downloads, and no music. A world bereft of connection opportunities had unexpectedly disappeared.  The problem was tracked down to  a bill that hadn’t been paid in two months, so service was uncermoniously terminated.

IMG_5822 (1)

On the third day, the friend I was with, seemed even more agitated  than I.  We went to the nearest Starbucks, expecting relief.  Not only could we not get online, but I clumsily managed to drop my computer off the small table in front of me.  When I picked it up, the screen was dark and stubbornly declined to come to life again.  I was told it would take 2-3 weeks to try and repair it. There went that hope.  I tried to tell myself that there might be a lesson to be learned from my dependency on my tech toys, but that provided little solace.

dark computer screen.

We enjoyed a brief stay at a Tokyo hotel where internet service hummed along.  I managed to post a few photos on facebook, but a blog on my iphone was out of reach. It was the weekend of the Paris shootings.  Access to the news of the whole world was depressing.

Last night my husband arrived in Kyoto carrying a new ipod with keyboard. Today, he somehow managed to install a mobile hotspot device in our apartment. Miracle!  It works.

I am so happy and relieved to be connected once more.  Let’s face it, a world without internet, is an impoverished one for spoiled individuals like me.

Postscript:  The internet worked for about 5 minutes, then the signal faded, never to return in a substantial, useful way.  It was not long enough to ever get the blog above posted!

Update:  We returned yesterday from Japan following a 3 week hiatus from the internet. I made peace with my inability use a computer. After giving up, it wasn’t that bad.   The conclusion?  The part I missed the most was the on-line writing.  It had become a valued part of my Japanese experience. I liked getting up very early in the morning to blog.  That loss was followed by our inability to google for all the reasons one googles!  After that?  not much.  Conclusion?  I spend too much time looking at my computer.

Question:  Can I pedal in reverse to blog about my thoughts, etc.using my photos as a springboard for memory, while no longer in Japan?  Without the immediacy will it still have the relevance?

The proof shall be in the pudding, although it’s no longer my beloved creamy smooth must consume immediately Japanese pudding, but now the less polished, American variety that just doesn’t have the same urgency attached to it.

japanese pudding






Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • April Walstad says:

    Love the cakes! What faces. What artistry! Keep on blogging! Xo. A.

  • devapnek says:

    Glad you liked the story, Elaine. Japan is the world’s capital of cuteness!!

  • oh, on second look–and I had to look again–it’s a whole menagerie of critter cakes! I definitely recognize a dog’s face, maybe a bear, and… they are just too cute!!!

  • enlight60 says:

    Ah, but a picture paints a thousand words, and this pic of the little kitty cakes says it all. Fresh as can be, thanks, Dianne! I enjoyed the whole story and the pics were the icing on the cake.

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