Autumn Leaves

I know it’s lame to blog about Autumn when it’s December. But in order to see and feel the autumn, I had to go out instead of staying in my futon typing on my Mac.

In case this is of any consolation: if you’re an AUCian, then you will have access to my published Japan ramblings, if you’re a dear family member, then you’ll have access to my very detailed daily journal when I die from reverse culture shock next June.

Colors... Lots of them.

Never have I in my life witnessed a change of seasons. I know that in summer is it as hot as your oven after cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey. I know that  in winter (which lasts for about 7 days in January)  it is nice, sunny and cool. In spring I have always enjoyed being hit by the dusty  Khamaseen, and in Autumn, most of the trees remained still green anyway. I remember that my window in Heliopolis overlooked a street with trees lined on the side walk, where my mom could never find the parking spot she always hoped for.

I never took a picture of them, and now I know why: they always looked the same: Green in summer when I would hang my swimming suite on the lines after my swimming lesson. Green in autumn when I would look through the window waiting for the school bus at 5:30 am. Green in winter, when I would look at them and wonder why they were still green. And they were grayish green in spring, when the wind would carry all that hot sand from Sahara desert in order to land on their green leaves and on my window glass making its supposedly transparent surface tempting for index finger name writing…

Autumn never meant anything to me. The only thing I ever associated it with was getting back to school, buying backpacks, pen cases, notebooks and school uniform.

Japanese autumn is beautiful. Trees turn from green to yellow to red, including all the shades in between. Crunchy-looking leaves on the side walk fly as you pass by them on your bike. Men in blue uniforms with machines (that probably have names) blow away the leaves from the 5 centimeter ditch between the street and the side walk.

Two of my very favorite days in Japan so far, has been the two days I spent solo wandering around public parks in Tokyo.

My hot coffee and autumn leaves...

I went to the same park on two consecutive days and it was completely different; one it was rainy and empty, the following it was clear and sunny and crowded. Same parks, same trees, same 24-hour span, yet looked -and felt- completely different.

It was a good chance to unwind, spend time walking, looking and admiring with very little need to talk, and even if I wanted to talk, I couldn’t, because the information center for non-Japanese speakers was marked “Japanese Only”.

Because, of course, all clueless tourists wandering in random parks and seeking information should have prior knowledge of Japanese...

Girl and autumn leaves...

Now do me a favor and listen to Cannonball Adderley featuring Miles, playing Autumn Leaves, from Blue Note’s 1958 release, Somethin’ Else.

10 minutes of achingly beautiful perfection.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ahmed Shaheen
    Dec 15, 2010 @ 15:35:32

    This is so true! When I first arrived to my university, in Shenandoah valley that is known for its nature beauty, in September it was at the peak of the summer season and the whole city and surroundings were covered in green and I went crazy on the camera just taking pictures of the vast green lands. When the Fall came in it was the first time to witness all the trees uncovering their fall colors in all the beautiful colors there are: yellow, red, brown and even blackish. I guess nature is one of the small unnoticable differences that you only experience when you stay for a long time away from Egypt. Heck, trees barely look green in Egypt!
    Is it winter yet at your side? Tell us more about the japanese winter! 🙂


    • Dina
      Dec 16, 2010 @ 01:06:09

      Can’t agree more… And yeah, trees in Egypt are more or less grey… but hey, we’re trying to leave a good impression here 😉

      Yep, winter has made it here. In Osaka there isn’t that much snow, so I will have to go up north (Hokkaido, for instance) to experience that… Osaka winter is still rough though especially at night – it rains like the Amazons and, actually, it’s 2 degrees outside right now. They say I have to wait for late January to see what real Osaka winter is like… Fingers crossed!


  2. Maha el Kholy
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 23:56:04

    Love it 🙂
    And I would like to see pictures of you, Dina !
    Where are you ! Always behind the scenes.. 😀


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