As the strands of rope once said, you’re not supposed to plan on vacation


Random Observation/Comment #5: There are boarding cars on trains for ladies only – the stares ensue.

My nails may be bitten to the bed by the end of the day if I don’t at least figure out the city I’ll be near for the weekend. I don’t mind wandering in random places by myself, but I need to at least know of a place to wander. I, of course, made a nice list of places to go in Osaka and Kyoto before leaving NY. It’s nice and organized with activities, travel routes, nearby dining, shopping districts, prices for transportation and special entrance fees, a set hourly itinerary laminated by my personal assistance (Darjeeling Limited allusion), etc.

As I was double and triple checking these plans, along with time of wake, departure, and specific trains to take in this route, a fellow researcher at the lab offered suggestions for places to go. It was quite educational hearing his opinion of what was crap and what could be seen in an hour. He warned me to not over do the tourist scene or else I would get tired and just wish to pass out. If only the locals knew how hard it is to be a tourist. There are so many things to see and such a limited time to see them. Even though half the things begin to start repeating (like the overpriced little toys and even the delicious takoyaki), us foreigners feel obligated to get our flight ticket’s money’s worth. We’re on vacation and yet we still pull out hairs out to make optimize. Cough, Sharon. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy.

The general direction is always a nice thing to have. I can definitely entertain myself in a new culture and environment for hours without anything special or significant. If you look at my notebook (which you probably never will, for it stores the unsolvable puzzle that is my consciousness), you’ll notice that most of the interesting observations came from my mind slipping away to its own paradigm. No, I did not just take drugs and stumble around the crowded streets. It seems like I don’t need those influences to make sense out of nothing. This abstract thinking probably gives me some enormous advantage in the world. On the other hand, it could just make me very weird (kawateru). Either way, I keep myself occupied in the midst of boredom, which is a very useful skill (almost as useful as my other skill: being able to sleep anywhere in any position).

Luckily, today has been uneventful (since I’m still waiting for replies on my upcoming projects), so I have the extra time to prepare my next stops. I’ll publish the entries on the incredible projects at this lab on Monday. I don’t have Internet access at the dorms, and I must admit that it gives me a lot of free time to work out, study languages, write offline entries, and just explore other methods of entertainment.  I picked up origami again, and started making little butterflies and cranes from the receipts.  I’ve also learned Katakana in three days, so this new notebook (I filled my old one, also in three days) will be written with a bit of katakana translations.  I’ll write a separate entry about my technique for this miracle.  You’d be surprised how easy the solution is when I tell you my routine.

I’m torn left and right for my coming weekend. I could go to Kyoto to walk around and take pictures of different temples, or I could stay in Osaka and go experience a larger variety of foods and night life. I’m contemplating whether or not I should stay at a capsule hotel. It will happen one of these days, but I’m not quite sure I’m ready for such a big step. I need to learn to walk before I can run. There needs to be a head start before I can make that leap. I should climb a hill before scaling a mountain. The familiar path should be taken before looking for shortcuts. The fruits must be ripe enough to pick. I think you get the point.

They told me to call back at 10PM tonight to see “what their in the mood for.” It seems appropriate to mockingly place the Erics’ claims in quotes to show that I see through their bullshit… but what can I do but shake my fist in their general direction? Fart in their general direction (Monty Python)?

~See Lemons Not (Able to) Plan

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