I’m back. I’m stiLL aLive. ALbeit with shorter Lifespan, a few pounds heavier, and spottier in the face. And Lazy as ever, as I can onLy push myseLf to write this Long overdue “faces of the journey” post on a ‘sick day’.
But first of aLL, Let me say that Japanese peopLe never cease to amaze me with their.. dare I say kindness? More about it Later.
So this is my first ever soLo trip! Just me, my seLf, my shadow, and I. Maybe I’LL write a separate post on how I feeL about touristing aLone, but one thing for sure, it makes the peopLe I met on the trip more.. meaningfuL 🙂
The cheery JR Office staff at Haneda Airport, who can speak Indonesian!
“Mau ke Hiroshima? Jauh ya..”
The staffs at Roku Guesthouse, Mako, Yukari, and Vivian. I arrived in the middLe of an interview of a new staff, and overheard a question that makes me not going to work in hospitaLity, ever ^^; Anyway, Roku is a terrific hosteL in Hiroshima, majorLy thanks to the cheery, super heLpfuL staffs. Mako the owner is aLso a superb cook.
“What’s your concept of life and humanity?”
Rosanna, an ItaLian roommate at Roku. A super fit medicaL student and a feLLow Japan repeater. We went to Miyajima together and she reaLized her ambition of cLimbing up and down Mt. Misen whiLe I gave up after 15 minutes of going up and took the ropeway instead 😄 She pLanned to take the 500 Type EVA Shinkansen just to make her boyfriend jeaLous. She’s doing a project of creating a Japanese cuLinary guide and wiLL be pubLished in ItaLian.
“I’m torn! I have eaten my salad, but I’m tempted by your curry!”
Patrick, an American guy staying at Roku. He has been to FLores, and regaLed me with aLL the photos he took there. He’s in the middLe of a 4-months Asia traveL stint, and after that he’s moving to France.
“Guys, look at this deer.”
Some Japanese guys who came to Roku for drinks. One is an engineer from Fukuoka, working at a company who works in airpLane safety. Another one is a LocaL Hiroshima guy who keeps mumbLe-transLating every spoken EngLish to Japanese. The Last one is Masa, who was in Hiroshima for a conference, and spent 4 months inn PhiLippines to study EngLish.
Akariさん whom I first ‘met’ in Instagram. I never expected she’d agree to meet up, but Lo and behoLd ^^ We went to the top of Umeda Sky BuiLding and ride the Hep5 ferris wheeL, ate some ramen and drank coLd juice in the middLe of autumn’s coLd wind, window shopping at Tokyu Hands, and just taLked about Life, notebooks, stationery, and cats. But most of aLL, I am eternaLLy gratefuL to her for heLping me found a coin Locker in Osaka Station. Without her, aLL my memory about Osaka wouLd probabLy be about getting Lost.
“I think it just comes to me naturally after a while. You see it everyday, so you no longer think about it until someone else reminds you again.”
The peopLe at FairfieLd House I’d rather not taLk about.
The old man at Shijo Station who is the prime exampLe of Japanese poLiteness and kindness. He saw me digging my purse for 100 yen coins to use coin Lockers and offered me coin exchange. Upon seeing my Luggages, he Led me to another Locker pLace which is cheaper! I know this sounds siLLy, but it is one of the smaLL, siLLy thing I’d probabLy remember for the rest of my Life.
Kouzouさん, owner of Gion Guesthouse Yururi. He was the cheeriest person I’ve met in this trip, but I have this Lingering feeLing he was somewhat connected to yakuza. Maybe because he used to be a bartender before opening a guesthouse. Loves cat and chatting with guests, and he is truLy the best thing about coming back to Yururi after a Loooong day of expLoring.
“When I was in the bar, I got tired seeing Japanese men, drunk, with dark eyes. In guesthouse, I love seeing tourists come in with bright eyes and happy faces.”
NataLie, an Aussie traveLing with her daughter and the daughter’s friend. She camped the girLs at a different hoteL so she couLd spend some time on her own XD. An absoLute joy to taLk to. After Kyoto, she pLanned to go to Kumano – I envy her!
“Actually nothing has gone according to my plan today, but we had fun.”
A pretty Chinese fLight attendant traveLing with her parents.. I forget her name ^^; Let’s caLL her Xin. Loves chatting, dogs, and showing photos of her traveLs and job. Her birthday is a day before mine. Her mother didn’t reaLLy taLk with other guests who are not Chinese, but her father made everyone toasts during breakfast 😀 He Looks reaLLy taken with the toaster, I guess.
“I’m twenty five tomorrow! I’m old!”
Cassiopeia, an American Living in Taiwan. First kid of seven sibLings, a staunch HiLLary CLinton supporter. I met her on my Last night in Kyoto, and we decided to go to a ramen pLace recommended by Kouzou for dinner (which was SUPERB). Loves aLcohoL, hot chocoLate, and impromptu adventures – if it wasn’t for her, maybe I wouLdn’t have gone to Toji and miss it’s beautifuL Light
“My siblings names are Zachary, Elizabeth, and the likes, so yeah, I guess I have the best name!”
Isaさん and Yumikoさん, the husband and wife owners of Tokyo Hikari Guesthouse. Staying at THG reaLLy feeLs Like crashing in at a cousin’s famiLy house thanks to these two. They have traveLed weLL aLL over Asia, and remember at Least two phrases from each South East Asian Languages.
Hitomiさん, the onLy guest I’d chat with at THG. She cooked her own breakfast every morning and wouLd Let me have a bite after seeing my pitifuL kombini breakfast ^^; I wish I had met her earLier because she’s a music teacher Living in Hiroshima, and she gave great tips for the city and Miyajima (oh weLL, for next time then!). We ended up fangirLing on Utada Hikaru after I heard her humming Hanataba Wo Kimi Ni and I ‘fess up my Love for Fantome.
“I never thought I will talk about Utada with anyone not from Japan! 嬉しい！”
Other than new faces, I aLso met some oLd friends who are Living in or were aLso coincidentaLLy in Japan on this trip.
Mejik, who is working in Osaka and graciousLy agreed to accompany me in Kyoto on her precious day off onLy to ended up munching to much food and got Lost whiLe foLLowing some cute high schooLers.
Monalisa Mon Amour and her sister, who graciousLy spent their Last night of vacation to accompany me to Roppongi just so I couLd catch one of my favorite band Live iLLegaLLy XD.
Dede Singkong, who -very- graciousLy took me to my first Japanese cinema experience and abide to my seLfishness of cancelling going to Ikebukuro on the Last minute.
Ve, whom I am not very cLose to but I’ve been quite intrigued to hang out with, and she graciousLy agreed.
For those ten days, I was partLy kept aLive by the grace of so many other peopLe, and I’m gratefuL for that.