I plucked the note from my pillow, smiling as I read the welcome message and reached for the origami crane resting on my pillow.
"It wished me prosperity and longevity," I told Adam over Cokes today. "Apparently cranes and turtles are thought to live 1000 and 10,000 years, respectively. So I don't know why I didn't get a turtle, but I did save my crane."
So on this day I noticed the details, for they accumulate to make up the big picture. I approve, for example, of the large bottles of shampoo and body wash in the bathroom, reducing the waste that comes from the tiny bottles filled with individual amounts of such products. I smoothed my fingers over the precise folding of the shower curtain on the bathtub and sighed with pleasure over the cool air that efficiently made my room completely comfortable.
I slept well last night, getting to bed rather late (after midnight) but waking at 5:00. I made this mistake of checking email and my brain clicked on, leaving me to dress three hours later and go to fetch breakfast before my first meeting.
I'm both impressed and ashamed that everyone speaks English. From the bus driver to the waitress who served me breakfast to the woman who cleaned my room, all have wonderful speaking skills and are unfailingly polite and lovely. I don't speak Japanese or Korean, French or German. My small memory of high school Spanish isn't serving me particularly well and I find myself hoping the Ones will embrace another language.
After attending morning meetings, I found myself with free time and returned to my room, delightfully convenient in its proximity. I stayed in my dress, hair clipped back, but curled into bed and fell deeply asleep. I dreamed in languages I don't understand, not unusual when my brain takes in the sounds but has no knowledge to process them. They emerge within scenes both familiar and strange, my neurons poking at the foreign noises and puzzling over their meaning.
I slept deeply through the afternoon, my head resting where the crane had waited last night, and missed my final meeting of the day. Dismayed when I looked at the clock, I realized that despite staying dressed, I was far too late to attend and spent a moment being deeply regretful before slipping back to sleep, lulled by the sound of a gentle rain outside my open windows and the gray light that bathed the nearby trees. After apologizing to my hosts and promising I'd be bright (and conscious) tomorrow for a busier day, I slipped into pajamas as Thursday comes to a quiet close.