One of the major advantages of having almost no possessions is that I can spend time to make sure that each thing I own really is the best possible product. I spend hours researching alternatives for just about everything major that I own, hoping to find something good enough to warrant the hassle and expense of replacing an existing piece of gear.
I got pretty lucky this time-- I have three new pieces of gear; two replaced more than one item, and all three cost less than I sold the old ones for.
I've written about my Epson R-D1s rangefinder a few times, and it's responsible for all of the pictures on my Flickr. I thought that I'd never give it up, but there's finally a new camera that is tempting enough to wrestle it out of my hands.
I'm in Tokyo now for the first time in two years, and it's mostly familiar. Some things don't change much: the spinach-lentil curry from Nataraj is still a taste bonanza, it's still confoundingly difficult to wrestle a SIM card from one of the phone companies, and I'm still not equipped with a good enough sense of direction not to get lost. But one big thing has changed: all of my gaijin (foreigner) friends here are much better at Japanese.
It's astounding, really. My Chinese friend is so fluent that I assumed he was Japanese and I had just forgotten, another now knows seems to know all of the Kanji, whereas he barely knew any last time I was here, and a third who never seemed to speak before effortlessly chats with Japanese people now. This is the other side that I talked about in Instant Habitual Change.
Maybe it's a result of our instant gratification culture that people don't like waiting anymore. The problem is that some things require waiting, and if you aren't willing to wait you end up missing out on a whole category of experiences and accomplishments.