Postcards from Japan – Part 3

Posted: November 29, 2010 in graffiti living
Tags: , ,

After the Fire Festival – bizarre and I did get singed – I had no accommodation,
and so have spent the night three ways in order of most time spent first
1) homeless, 2) in a newsagents! and 3) in an internet cafe after some
very kind Japanese guy showed me where it was – with the language
barrier I actually thought he was going to murder or mug me, so just
shows how wrong you can be! In a few minutes my time is up here and
as ive used the cafe as a place to sleep rather than surf, I thought
it made sense to actually reply to your email especially as it was so
entertaining, then im off on a round trip to spent tonight in a
buddhist temple. I need sleeeeeeeep!

I’m still in Japan, and yes I have a notebook to scribble in, which is
good for my sanity considering that I left my alphasmart at home! Doh!

Japan is obviously not the way I imagined it since I was little (ie.
it is real), and there has been extremes of good and bad experiences
(more in my feelings than in anything that has actually happened of
course… travelling is stressful and exhausting, especially for a cat
who likes his own company a little bit too much for his own good), but
I definitely still want to teach here. Infact my plans for when I get
back consist of finding ways to come back to Japan (applying for the
JET scheme, becoming a hitman for the Yakuza etc… I have a long coat
and the look and everything afterall!)

I am currently in a hotel (thank god!) in Hiroshima (here for 5 days),
having spent most of my time in Tokyo and Kyoto so far in hostels and
what I can only describe as the Bates Motel of Ryokan (traditional
Japanese accommodation) – instead of being greeted by Geisha I was
greeted by a seedy old man with an attitude problem 🙂

Was ill for most of my time in Kyoto – it really isn’t a good idea to
have a cold etc in a country where it is ok to piss in the street but
completely unforgivable to blow your nose in public! Anyway, I
showered and bathed for about 2 hours and then went out to play.
Explored Hiroshima properly today, and plan to make day trips to
Nagasaki and Beppu.

Visiting the peace park here was a bit of a pilgrimage for me – I
take it you know all about the paper cranes as a symbol of peace thing
and the story behind that, well when I was in Leeds I attended a
Samurai event at Royal Armouries and at an Origami workshop made a
paper crane and left it in the peace garden there.
This is a couple of years ago now, and all of those cranes were sent
over to be put in the Peace Garden in Hiroshima, so finally after all
this time I am catching up with the crane that I sent before me! That
said, the crane I sent has by the looks of things gone (they get so
many I think they move them). I spent most of the day on the verge of
tears (and rightly so – Peace Memorial Museum, Atomic Dome, and the
math of 140,000 dead in one instant). And it was a bittersweet moment
to realise that the crane I sent had long since gone, as I;d
entertained some bizarre notion of being able to see it and bring one
circle to a close. (But no, I’m not a writer or anything hehehehe…
you should see some of the things I have scribbled in that notebook!,
I oscillate between being a 4-year-old going WOW at everything, and a
teenage goth having a panic attack!).

I return to Blighty on the 8th of November. I don’t know what I’m going
to do for the remainder of my trip after Hiroshima – I’m torn between
bumming around the country on trains (sleeping on them overnight or
ending up on park benches etc) and going back to Tokyo to re-enact
“Lost in Translation”. As for when I get back home, my inner 4 year
old has the following to say: “Fuck that! I don’t wanna! Getting a job sucks
ass!” I don’t know where my inner child got such a potty mouth but you
get the idea 🙂


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