I travel. I travel often. My passport receives stamps, my mind memories and changed hours for take off. Though in the end, what is the hardest is letting go, saying good bye, and trying to memorize what once was called home.
I’m sorry I have been quiet in this mekka of mine. The past days, and weeks, I have enjoyed “final meals” in my favourite restaurants, taken long sips of coffee from my favourite cafes, crossed the same bridges, and repeatedly thought “this is the last time”.
Below is a short video I have been working on throughout the year, about Japan of course. Attached is a short “love letter” filled with memories.
Cheers to Japan, to which my flight left twice at 5 am in the morning because I, for the first time, missed my check in by 5 minutes.
Cheers to Japan, where I struggled to not get lost and maps at first were dauntingly big but rapidly replaced by iPhone apps; cheers to Japan, where google maps account for nothing on mobile phones.
Cheers to Japan, where my grades dropped and stupid things were needed and cheers to Japan, but only when I got back up again.
Cheers to the nation where Line conversations accounted for a million silly stickers and cheers to where photo machines come with weird school girl uniforms, and cheers to where a eighteenth birthday ended up as a memory in the form of a small sticker with three pairs of over dimensioned eyes.
Cheers to Japan, where everything from noodles to pizza was eaten with chopsticks, and where culture would nestle itself into not j-walking anymore and hiding samurai swords inside of beds. Cheers to Japan, where one of the greatest struggles was to find a private cafe to sit in, and cheers to Japan where French music with melodic Japanese smalltalk was the only thing heard, and cheers to when life tasted like a overpriced cup of coffee and work. Cheers to the crazy nation where the people with even the most ripped jeans and shoes still wore designer bags. Cheers to Japan where shopping was out of control, and thank god my shoe size was not common. And cheers to Japan, where every second hand and vintage store resembled a treasure casket.
Cheers to Japan, where four hours on a bike meant dark evenings and “please better see me from within your car”, but where the deers were dauntingly cute. And cheers to Japan where peace parks meant gajins and restaurants oysters and forever orange juice. Cheers to Japan, where talkative Mexicans remained talkative and rooms disorganized. Cheers to Japan, where the best cities ranged from Hiroshima to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, and wherein they all taught me what fallen atom bombs do to cities, how worshipped shrines are freezing, how rooms with K-pop playing are tiny, and how street crossings range in size and capacity.
Cheers to Japan where I did not cry yet waived goodbye to a second family during a mundane monday morning. Cheers to Japan, where all the seniors graduated and cheers to Japan where budgets are out of control. Cheers to Japan where I changed but how I did not know how. Cheers to Japan, where I promised myself I would answers any job offer to come back with only one thing, and cheers to Japan where I left with grand suitcases in the same weight as my memories.
Cheers to Japan, to where I made myself a promise to never miss a flight to again.