I’m turning Japanese, in a small way.

To be honest, at my first encounter, I instinctively disliked the Japanese habit of bathing in the evening rather than the morning. I felt that not washing after having been in bed was somehow unhygienic and smelly. Two things changed my mind.

One, getting up early for work. The time between getting up and leaving for work is one of the most frenetic, at least for me. Why waste those precious minutes washing? This holds true even now that I am lucky enough to have a job where no one forces me to keep to a strict, arbitrary timetable. Getting up is still hard.

Two, it’s cold in the morning! Standing naked in the icy draught, waiting for the water to heat up, just isn’t pleasant. Japanese houses are grossly inadequate as far as retaining heat is concerned, which makes it even more of a concern over there. But it’s cold here in the morning, too.

My plan to visit Japan in November is coming together nicely. I’ve booked a cheap flight with Lufthansa. I wonder if their notorious luggage handlers will deliver my suitcase safely.

It might seem strange that I’m going back to Japan so soon, but there are a few good reasons. Number one is that I want to see N——. I want to escape from the relentlessly awful European autumn weather. I want a holiday. And I do miss the place a bit. I can’t help but feel nostalgic when I stroll through the unalloyed, gum-strewn ugliness of any of Brussels’ subway stations. But I’m glad not to be working there any more.