Thursday, January 04, 2007


What’s great about this New Year—aside from all the exciting things coming up, including a few fabulous trips—is that I no longer have to make any decisions about my life. For Christmas, I was given an Unazukin—a small fairy who “lives under the big mushroom in a woods” and “enjoys listening to the talk of other peoples,” according to the website and package. She’s small—about two inches high, and shaped like an egg—but powerful. With a nod, a double nod, a headshake, or a double headshake, she can indicate whether she agrees or disagrees with my plans, or what course of action I should take.

Today I asked her to weigh in on some of my New Year’s resolutions. She first shook her head, chastising me for addressing her in an unnecessarily loud voice. She then agreed that I’ll do more writing this year, and she supported my resolution to continue learning Spanish. She agreed that I should resolve to update my blog at least once a week. However, when I asked her if I should live this year with a spirit of adventure, she remained silent. “Unazukin,” I said, “should I live with more caution?” At this, she nodded. Puzzled, I asked her to clarify. “Unazukin,” I said, “will my life be better this year if I go into it with a spirit of adventure?” Finally, she nodded. “Should I really live with more caution?” She shook her head, forcefully. There had clearly been a misunderstanding.

The Unazukin also said that Andrew and I will be leaving Europe, moving to Miami, and visiting New York. We’ll also be wealthy this year; sadly, we won’t be getting a puppy. And, alarmingly, we’ll apparently be camping out on the street in Seville during Semana Santa because our hotel will cancel our reservation. (However, Andrew asked her these leading questions as he usually does—in a loud, aggressive voice, while pointing his finger at her; she tends to nod her head incessantly at him out of fear, so this is perhaps not a prediction to be trusted.)

The Unazukin is not available in the U.S. or Europe; she came to me by special order from Hong Kong. She is hugely popular in Asia—on the Unazukin website are hundreds of pictures that people have sent in of their Unazukin(s) posed in various places, such as the armrest of an airplane and among pieces of sushi on a plate. “Today I went out to lunch,” one person writes. “Of course, I took my Unazukin with me.” Of course. I, too, shall be taking my Unazukin with me wherever I go in this New Year.

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