Japan

A Speck Of Dust Inside A Giant’s Eye: Osaka At Night

I went to the most epic salad bar of my life for dinner last night and on the walk back to the station, I got lost having gone the opposite way and ended up in Shinsaibashi, Osaka’s main shopping area. I had been there before but never alone and never this late at night. When I finally arrived home after sightseeing (ahem shopping) for a while, my special friend (hehe don’t ask) asked me to describe to him my favorite sight of the night. This, with a few minor grammar adjustments is what I replied:

To be honest, I liked the look of the luxury dresses in Dolce and Gabbana but all I could think about when I looked at them was the image of the poor little staring boy recently rescued from the rubble in Syria. How can one nation and some people be so filthy rich (myself included) when others not only have nothing but live everyday in fear of their life?

I enjoyed walking through the busy city with my headphones on playing Dido. Do you know her? Her voice is really calm. I felt like my life was a movie. In a way, it was as if I wasn’t really there but viewing it all (the people, the lights, the concrete jungle) from the outside.

Tonight, I saw the most people I have ever seen in my life. There was just so many of them. I wondered about their life and their hopes and their dreams and their struggles. What made them smile and what kept them up at night. I thought of how interesting and unique we all are and how imperfectly beautiful.

I took delight in seeing beautiful women in fashionable dresses and high heels zoom past me on road bikes. Catching just a glimpse of their attractive face with their long straight hair dancing behind them in the night lights felt like the meet cute of a romantic drama. And of course, I enjoyed the heavily cologned businessmen carrying fancy briefcases, lit cigarettes and/or vending machine coffee who flashed me an attractive smile.

Japan is a very fortunate country. I only saw one homeless person the entire night. Everyone seemed happy. Or at least, I only noticed the smiling ones. They were either family members on holiday trying not to get lost or selfie-taking loved ones or Japanese themselves out for a Friday night. Again, because everything was so busy and so full-on, I felt I wasn’t actually there but merely observing from the outside. And for the first time in my life, I enjoyed being alone really really alone after a long time of wishing I had someone.

“…Is this you saying you don’t need no man?”

Haha no. It’s me saying I can handle waiting for you.
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The World Is Indeed Full Of Peril…

“…and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring…

From top to bottom: avocado, tomato and walnut sandwich made with brown-rice bread, a NZ apple – I was so freakin’ excited to find it and its three brothers. This is because, Japanese apples are HUMONGOUS. Believe me, they’re the size of my dad’s head. So it’s been really fun actually holding an whole apple with one hand and completely finishing it. Next, lunch at One Room Cafe, more boyfriend adventures and last, my new personalised chopsticks and tofu-shaped chopstick holders gifted to me by Yuka’s loving parents. Why two? “One for you and one for your future husband” they said.

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Osaka Desu

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“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
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“I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure”
(Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)
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“I decided that adventure was the best way to learn about writing.” (Lloyd Alexander)image[7]image[4]
“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” (Roman Payne)
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“Marry me, Zelda. We’ll make it all up as we go. What do you say?”
(Therese Anne Fowler, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald)
image[5]image[2]image[3]“It’s the unknown that draws people.”
(E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly)
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Arashiyama

I feel much better today.

Thank you for always being there. I love that we are on this journey together.

Today I went to Arashiyama (Kyoto) with my friend Yuka, her husband, her son (my bf) and her parents. Now, I want to tell you about how Yuka and I became friends. When Yuka was 16? 17? She did an exchange programme in Timaru, New Zealand where my family used to live. In super rural Timaru, fate brought her and my sister together. They became very good friends and eventually parted when Yuka had to return.

Flash-forward 15 years, Yuka is married with a gorgeous little boy living in Osaka and I (was) teaching English near. Thanks to Facebook (yes, it does have its benefits!) I also got to meet Yuka and become her friend! Further, when my sister came to visit, her and Yuka were reunited. Also, my parents met her on their trip. Can I just say, how very amazing is this incredible world we live in?

For all of August, Yuka’s parents have left their fully furnished city apartment, bicycle, unconditional love and fresh vegetables (see previous post) in my hands. Today, they took me to Arashiyama were they didn’t let me spend a penny and bought me a pair of very pretty, green and floral personalised chopsticks! I will never forget their kindness.
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The More I Live The Less I Fear

Do you remember Yasu? My ex-neighbour that was too shy to talk to me for a year but then became my best friend? Well, she came to visit me in the big city and we had a blast together and I showed her my new favorite places. In saying that, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of this (see below picture) which made me think… (don’t say I told you so!) that the countryside does have its benefits. For one, I am spending a lot of unnecessary money here. Mostly on over-priced drinks (oops) and it’s hard to walk past a top that’s been reduced by 80%! I also can’t help but feel body conscious with the crazy amount of advertisements everywhere. However, I still believe the more I live the less I fear.
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