Tuesday, 19 January 2016

AISHITE IMASU

"私の放浪の日  My wandering days
愛しています I love you"


Aishite imasu is 'I love you' in Japanese. And I do love you Japan. I love you for being able to momentarily satisfy my obsession with wandering around in unknown cities. I had high expectations for you because everyone who has had the pleasure to get to know you have told me how amazing you are. And I'm glad to say you have not disappointed. Like every stranger who has been blessed to meet you, I have fallen in love with you too.



For someone who is culturally inquisitive, your absurd culture has given me an electrifying 'culture shock' making my heart beat faster and blood rush through my veins more rapidly. The amusing awe I am left in with every turn I make, left face to face with something so different. First of all I have to say I have never been faced with so much food! People have told me Taiwanese food is amazing but I was left thoroughly disappointed, I found nothing special during my time there except for their wrongly shaped waffles on a stick (adults only).


Airbnb is definitely the way to go for someone who wants the full cultural experience. Real apartment living with close proximity to the locals so that you feel like a local yourself. A true exposure to how the locals live: what the rooms are like, the layout etc etc. And Japanese homes are tiny! So much so that everything is just so well thought out to maximise space. Limitations truly do bring out the creativity in people. Small homes but so beautifully designed!

Japan is also surprisingly clean! For a big city like Tokyo it amazes me how they can keep the roads so clean and in such good condition, especially when rubbish bins on the streets are such rare sights to behold. For people who aren't use to holding their rubbish around, it brought us slight discomfort when we struggled to find bins. I guess we take bins for granted and that's an interesting cultural difference.



I have been told prior to arriving in Japan that the people there are really polite. I arrived and at first I thought they were awfully rude for pushing me inside the cramped train carriages as I felt my soul leave my body. But this was what was culturally accepted. Then I was also disappointed with the lack of spoken words such as 'excuse me' or 'sorry' as they tried to silently weave themselves around me in insanely busy areas. It took a few days before I realised that these people are just extremely spatially aware whereas my spacial awareness compared to theirs was close to nil. They don't need to say 'excuse me' because usually they can make their way around people without bumping into them like modern ninjas, but because we're not very spatially aware, this is not the case for us.


'But that's the wonderful thing about foreign travel, suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most basic sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross the street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.' - Bill Bryan  

I have also come to realise that this was our first trip where my family are all adults. My little brother is 18, I'm 21 and my older brother is 27. And it's the first time we, the kids, are now the parents to our own mother and father who act like children. They do all the things we, as children, used to get told off for. Walking on slippery slopes on the side instead of taking the stairs, and playing on our phones during our meals. We are now the ones who plan and lead in these holiday trips and they just follow us and at times wander mindlessly like children. This is the thing about humans, it is some upside down parabola of maturity. Old people are just kids and it's pretty cute if not at times annoying.


On a finishing note, please enjoy these images. It was so therapeutic for me to go through them, cleansing myself from the superficial, materialistic images that overload this blog. Getting back in touch with what I first fell in love with, scenic photography, is such a beautiful nostalgic feeling.

6 comments:

  1. i love your photos :)
    please follow my blog : THE COLORFUL THOUGHTS

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  2. Beautiful photos !

    http://www.fruityandpassion.com/2016/01/is-chilly-out-here.html

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  3. haha, I would have thought that Taiwan would have some pretty awesome food, huh?

    I still don't quite get your point of spatially aware thingy there... are you saying that they are supposedly more agile than us and know better how to maneuver in crowded and tight spaces compared to us? and what is the relation of that to, let's say, saying a little "excuse me"?

    Yeah, I guess I can understand a little about being like a child the more we get older, perhaps it is human nature after all, that we come full circle in life, Louise *_^

    I love this Japan trip photos, they are quite different from the usual saturated and colourful bold pictures that one would expect of Japan. Yours here were treated with a sense of nostalgic and laid back sort of mood, pretty VSCO to me. Love them. Yeah, sometimes it is quite a refreshing break working on photography sort of blog posts compared to the usual fashion/beauty ones. I most definitely want to be able to travel more this year for LUMINNEJ. I hope this would come through for me in 2016 *_^

    Have a great weekend!

    With love,
    Jeann
    http://luminnej.blogspot.com

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