Luxury of any kind is shocking to me. After over a month and a half of sleeping on flimsy futons, and taking showers in places where i am unsure of the last time they were cleaned (but at the same time, quite certain it hadnt been for a while), and leaving various youth hostels and guest houses covered in bug bites… Tonight I sleep in a hotel. HOTEL. It is such a beautiful word, i truely think it is. A romantic word, full of cleanliness and glamour.
I feel bad for my dad because i feel so tired of traveling day in and day out, and i have a quiet and lethargic air about me. I must admit, even with the best company i could hope for, its very difficult to go from traveling alone to traveling with someone. And whats even stranger is that I am dealing with my temper in a much better way than i may have normally delt with it because of reading the books Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. Those old fashioned classics teach of patience, controlling ones temper, and exercising gratitude and kindness. So i do the best that i can not to forget that my dad is behind me following me to catch the train etc. Tonight i even wore 4 inch heels to restrain myself from bounding ahead too quickly 😉
Tonight we met up with Yohei and ate a fun dinner with him and some other former students of my dads, and then we went to Karaoke. You know, it was my idea to take my dad to Karaoke. I asked Yohei, and i told him is would be a fabulous joke, to not tell my dad and to just casually say ”so we’re going to karaoke right now, alright?” and make him sing. But the thought that i would have to sing never really crossed my mind. Stupidly! for i made a fool of myself tonight and i feel as if i was a poor embassador to America. I am so bad at singing infront of people that i dont really know! If it were with my friends, maybe my voice wouldnt have been that much better, but i wouldnt have been as timid, and confidence makes everyone look better. I prefer not to speak any further about this subject, as i have already tormented myself enough about it. I shall never speak of it again!
I feel so conflicted about Japan at this point in my trip. I have made some amazing friends and great relations and such, and there are aspects to the Japanese culture that really appeal to me. You could tell, if you read my first blog posts, that i was a bit love struck with the whole place. But as i scraped past the surface, i discovered things that i find to be very distasteful.
There are so many different lights you can shed upon Japan. Some think that a culture that has survived in such a way, for so many thousands of years, is an amazing, near-perfect thing to behold. And when you first arrive in this country its easy to believe that there could be nothing very wrong, and nothing that they havent thought of. Especially when you discover, after a hot shower, that a small square of the bathroom mirror just high enough for your face is heated to that it doesnt fog up. Figuratively speaking, that same mirror has cockroaches and ghosts haunting the walls behind it. I find it difficult to elaborate any more than that, for a few reasons: Its hard for me to reflect about a culture that i am, more than ever, drenched in and surrounded by. Maybe it will be much easier to offer a deep reflection after i return to the US. But also, i feel guilty for criticising. Who am I to declare my opinions on such a culture and people that have cared for me and helped me when i looked lost, and taught me local cuisine, and gave me directions? Especially when my culture has so many faults of its own. But every culture has faults and to certain individuals, some faults are more agreeable than others. I still need time to ponder, but i hope everyone can keep in mind, when i DO write my lesser opinons of Japan, that they are infact OPINONS. But also know that my opinons are much supported by my observations, and please accept my credible ethos on the subject. I fancy that i know a thing or two about Japanese culture at this point… and sometimes i love it, and sometimes it enrages me.
Lately i’ve been feeling as if i am living in a constant state of deja vu. Its bizzarre, and is beginning to really freak me out.
I have some random things on my mind that i would love to express, as long as everyone pardons my fleeting thought process and attempts to understand. Firstly, I am all up in my mind! By that i mean, after spending so much time alone I’ve really taken it as an opportunity to do a lot of thinking. I am so used to this that I find it difficult to pull myself out of this mentally preoccupied state and participate in the present happenings, like a conversation. My dad probably sees me being distant and quiet, and I am! But i dont mean to be. Maybe the interactions with him this next week will help me to transition back to American culture. But i worry that my friends and family with think im not as happy as i really am to be back home with them. It will all be very overwhelming to go home and suddenly be surrounded by people, and i hope i can recieve some understanding.
Ive been worrying a lot. I worry that I will never be satisfied. ”I cant get no!” Part of me thinks there is no reason why i shouldnt be satisfied with the Japanese culture, but im not. And im rarely satisfied by my own culture, or my own accomplishments & actions, or the actions and trys of boys or men that come into my life. Bottom line is, i want peace of mind and i cant find it anywhere, and that is why i feel unsatisfied. But i am working on my peace of mind, and i find a huge improvement in myself. I think i finally appreciate some things that i didnt appreciate enough before. Such as…. American culture, for instance? How about passion, human touch, the importance of the people that i love most ardently, the quality of friendship, laughing, the beauty in a healthy body, the pleasure of eating a good meal slowly, the wonder in a good haircut, and (one that is very important to me) that i dont have to be at odds with myself. I’ve begun to understant the actual meaning of ”inner peace”, and how its not easily accomplished, but is something that must be worked at very hard. Just like everything else that is good in life.
Its really late here, and im just starting to yawn and my brain is beginning to putt and sputter. I dont think i will re-read what i’ve written and i am sorry for that, i hope it made some sort of sense. Fukuoka tomorrow, and Nagasaki for a day trip. The fun i had tonight prepared me for the next week, and reminded my that i can, infact, laugh outloud. And make others laugh too.
sleep tight honey-bunnys.