Saturday, June 30, 2007


There has been a request from the audience that I talk about what happened in Japan. Since the audience around these here parts are pretty small, I try to do audience requests when they come up. So here goes.

This sounds kind of silly to say, but it was really different from China. As someone I met in Japan said, if you're Chinese you're always a native son. But that's really not true in Japan. In Japan, you're just a foreigner, whether your ancestors are from there or not. So I didn't really feel that sense of coming home, except when I did. It's kind of hard to explain, things were made to fit me. I wasn't all that short for the first time ever. I was short, even in Taiwan. The food sometimes made me feel at home. The taste of things, things that I remembered from childhood. And all the pachinko parlors, stuff like that. And of all the countries I've been in, Japanese men are by far the hottest I've seen. Particularly in Kyoto, but, ahem, I digress. But there really wasn't any sense of kinship or brotherhood, for lack of a better word. I wasn't really expecting it. But, still.

Overall though, it was a different place. I might be half Chinese at this point. At least my viewpoint anyway. I always think about the cheapest way to do something. Which involved many visits to convenience stores when I wanted to eat. It's really cheap to eat at 7-11 or Lawsons.

I saw a ton of temples and stuff in Kyoto. Kyoto really is a beautiful place, very clean, and kind of laid back. Tokyo was a giant city, I didn't mind it. I can do big cities these days, but it's hard to navigate one if you're not a local. But 各有千秋 as they say in Chinese. Also, if I go back to Japan, I really want to know some Japanese, I felt like kind of a jerk not speaking the language and everything. So that might be my next project. I would like to go back some time and explore Japan a bit more, China too.

The only thing is, Japan is a very quiet place, at least in public places. Even if you're surrounded by people, it's almost like you're alone.

I hung out with this pretty cool Japanese guy in the hostel in Kyoto and this girl from Hong Kong. And we spoke Chinese (Mandarin), which was funny since Chinese isn't any of our first languages.

There are of course lots of other stories about Japan, I'm just having trouble processing all this stuff, plus having some reverse culture shock. I certainly met some interesting people and saw some interesting things. I'll write about them in more detail later.

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