Turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so. And robotics.
~See Lemons Feeling Japanese
Random Observation/Comment #103: It’s hard to say goodbye, but I guess I never left – I guess I never have to. I’ve been reliving the memories for the past 2 ½ months and it’s been the most enjoyable moments in my life. Every morning in front of my laptop on the LIRR, I am in my writing zone with the classical music playing in the background. I close my eyes and try to piece together all the memories of my senses and emotions. I wish it would play like a movie, but there are all of these glitches in the audio, video, touch-io, smell-io, and taste-io departments (I know the technical terms, but this is funnier). There are scenes where it’s perfect, but I’m lucky if I get most of them with two out of five. I often remember the moments that I really tried hard to capture, but oddly, this clip from my past does not have associated feelings. It’s like my memory can’t concentrate on my senses and my emotions at the same time. For example, I clearly remember the few minutes of the sunrise as I looked over my camera recording, but the moment when the sun looked like a yolk dropping into this liquid sky, the senses are replaced with emotions and thoughts. It’s weird because I can then repaint the picture based on the way I remember feeling. It’s no longer the same picture, but it brings the emotions just the same. When I reread these entries in my old age, I hope I still have this valuable skill. I hope I can still roam the 4th dimension in my dreams – not in hopes to alter anything to cause a rift in the space-time continuum, but to be a spectator of an unforgettable part of my life.
I basically wrote an entry for every day I was in Japan. What a good idea. more »
Random Observation/Comment #102: When the “schedule” is set, you’re not allowed to make any impromptu changes. Even if you drink until 4AM the night before, you still must wake up at 8AM to attend a frozen-yogurt-making activity. Almost everyone I know would have slept in (which would be convincing enough to follow guilt-free), but every single drunken mess I saw the night before was outside on the benches (almost) ready to start the morning. That’s dedication.
It was a beautiful morning, but I wasn’t in the beautiful-morning-mood. I could have used more than 4 hours of sleep, but I didn’t want to offend anyone or show Japanese people how lazy Americans really are. I guess by waking up on time with a smile, I was poorly representing my background as a 21-year-old New Yorker on vacation. What I should have done was wake up at 2PM and raided the fridge for Tostitos and salsa while wearing argil business socks and CK boxers (that might just be me at Jake’s house on a Saturday morning). You could imagine my enthusiasm for making ice cream. They were lucky that I was conscious, let alone functional and social.
Random Observation/Comment #101: As the alcohol content in these little Japanese people’s blood stream increases, so does the frequency of slurred Jap-English phrases. I had no idea what they were saying, but it was fun trying to figure it out. Even if I did understand, I waited for them to draw a picture or make funny gestures for my own entertainment. Although this was a little mean, I actually remembered the words they taught me much better when they explained it in different ways. How could I forget the creativity of their charade clues? Good times.
Random Observation/Comment #99: Who the hell doesn’t want to fly? I’m a little afraid of heights, but I would still love to be able to make that party entrance. I mean, it’s not as classy as entering a party in your own mansion with three beautiful ballet dancers around your arms after being released from a private chopper, but I do think mine flaunts a bit less money. For some reason, I feel like someone judging my powers of flight would think to themselves, “Hey, if I could fly, I would probably do the same.” On the other hand, the Bruce Wayne entrance would get the response, “What a complete waste of money, you arrogant son of a bitch. I hate you because I want to be you.” It makes me wonder why envy works in such interesting ways – maybe it’s just the pure corruption and evil of money.
I felt the way a racing dog must feel when anticipating the starting shot to try and catch that rabbit flying around the track. “Ichi, ni, SAN!” and I ran with all my might off the grass covered ski slope. more »
Random Observation/Comment #98: I miss field trips. They made me so happy because I could be legally absent for a day. I was one of those losers who had perfect attendance throughout elementary, middle, and high school. My mom always said I wasn’t sick enough to stay home, and I never met bad enough friends to convince me to skip classes. Things were easy back then – I played with blocks, waited for naptime, ate some lunch, and talked to random people who became friends. As I grew up, the blocks had changed to books and computers, but then rest sort of stayed the same. Now, there’s much less time in the day, and everything feels so rushed. I’m blitzing through life when all I want to do is stop running. Can I ever take five for a breather? Oh yeah, field trips are cool.
Random Observation/Comment #97: I love this hat. I love it so much that I will name it. My old stuffed animals (of which I obviously haven’t had sitting next to my pillow at home for decades) all had very uncreative names. I had bunny the bunny and chicky the chick chick. When I watched the South Park Christmas Critters episode, I felt like I probably named all those animals when I was five. Anyway, hattie the hat sounds terrible, so I think I’ll just call her “azimuth.”
Free time is lovely. There is so much you can get done, yet so little you want to do.
Random Observation/Comment #94: Are there really losers in a bar crawl? Properly, are you even likely to finish? I was having a good time just walking around with inebriated strangers, and picking their brains about traveling and career paths. Everyone has such an interesting story and outlook on life. Some of them I pity, while others I envy – this society is made of so much drama and complexity, I’m surprised I don’t have more problems myself.
The bar was overflowing with music, laughter, and dirty jokes. A classic Irish bar in the middle of Osaka? Where did they get all of those white people? Anyway, the mixed company was a relief from the usual slurs of inaudible Japanese tongue. This night fit any ordinary bar atmosphere, but I saw someone I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime again. How could I forget that moustache?
Random Observation/Comment #93: Brazilians know how to eat their beef. This hypothesis was confirmed when I met a Brazilian family Upstate that buys their own cow from a farm, and owns three freezers to keep her fresh for 6 months of eating. When the mother said, “I went to a farm to buy the meat in this soup,” I thought her “farm” was a Upstate saying for grocery store. When I asked how often she went, I realized she must have had 250 pounds of moo left in her freezers. I opened it pretending to find a drink just to make sure – Impressive.
My arm started to look like a proper sacrifice for my stomach pains. This odd glaze fell over my eyes as I pictured recipes over everyone’s body parts. People’s names blended into new dishes: Rodrigo soufflé, Mia Tenderloin, Richie Shish kebab. Even inanimate objects morphed themselves into savory meats. I imagined swimming in a pool of gravy and mashed potatoes. I think that would be like quick sand. The gravy pits would probably explode and form gaps that suck you into its bottomless pit of deliciousness. What would be the worst thing to happen would be if it was made from that crappy boxed mashed potatoes garbage and gravy without gravy master. I would probably cry. Surrounded by a mashed potato lava quick sand pit of doom doesn’t sound very appealing to me unless there are Idaho potatoes and garlic involved.
Random Observation/Comment #92: I’ve realized that “new favorite places” is just a quick infatuation. It’s like a really bad middle school crush that is purely sexual… maybe not. I think more accurately as love at first sight. After some time of getting to know her, you find out she’s a psychotic, ex-con drug addict with a huge debt and fake, detachable body parts (Not firsthand experience). It really takes a lot to become a favorite place. There needs to be that special quality – maybe a set of emotions that rushes back to your mind that leaves your body immobile. It’s something about the smell of the surroundings, taste of the air, warmth of the sun, or a feeling of freedom that just makes all the sorrows melt away. Sometimes when you go back to a place you claim as a “new favorite” you become disappointed at the lack of impact you expected. There was always something missing – always someone missing to complete that feeling in Japan. A sigh is appropriate right about now.
There wasn’t a lot of time left and I had so much to relive. I wanted to go everywhere again and retake all those pictures with new and interesting people. What I needed was a time machine, and all I had was a camera and 20GBs of pictures and videos. It would become useful in my recovering days after my trip, but at the time, I knew there were more memories to make. I had revisited Spa World for the pure relaxation and dropped by Den Den town to actually shop around for friends and family. After the waterfall massaged my back and I took a nap in the public lounge, I filtered through the exotic stores in the area. It wasn’t exotic to me anymore and for some reason I felt the same loneliness and seclusion I feel in the city.
Random Observation/Comment #91: It had only been 3 weeks of traveling with no idea where to sleep and full-unplanned days, but this was enough time for me to be thankful for a comfortable bed and a reliable place to keep my belongings. I long for such adventures, but I don’t know if this excitement is what I really I truly want. Maybe it’s all an excuse to run away from commitments in relationships, careers, lifestyles, and everything that governs my life. If I throw myself into a hole, will it help me make a ladder? (That made sense in my head – very gnomic).
This would be my last week of a laundry list of luxuries. Every moment needed to be embraced and enjoyed before returning to a routine lacking cute Japanese girls and a ridiculous number of vending machines. I knew I would miss a lot of things from Osaka, so I gave myself time to experience all of my favorites one last time. The names of a few girls popped into my mind, but I was reluctant to pursue. I felt these sharp stabs of guilt plunged by my own hand. It is all for the better.