Mar 29, 2007

Seduced by Distance

"Is this your cup of tea?"
"If you weren't adventerous, you'd never see shit like this."
I've gone batshit insane.
I'm afraid of heights. But, there I was, on top of a concrete wall, creeping along ninja-commando style. On my right side, rocks and water. On my left, only some concrete a few feet down. If I fell, the close concrete would have been massively preferable.
Mr. Ecuador and I were trespassing at some sort of industrial fishing facility, and it was perhaps 11:30 or so at night at that point. We were bicycling around a lake near Japan's Inland Sea, and had gotten somewhat lost. The water blurred into the night in the distance, and bird disturbed the surface. Along the way, we stopped several times to check out things of interests- fishing platforms, staircases, bits of rocks, etc.
We eventually got home at perhaps two in the morning. I was sore from so much biking the next day.
Last night, I went out to Karaoke with British Girl, two students, and two of British Girl's visiting friends. I was in a somewhat expansive mood, and tried to speak as much Japanese as possible with the two Students and British Girl. Now, my Japanese isn't anything brilliant or coherent. I speak like a drunken monkey, for the most part. But, I was iin such a mood where I didn't really mind sounding like a moron, and I realized that British Girl's two friends couldn't understand me at all.
That was, seriously, awesome.
While I was able to make pronouncements to myself and exchange rudimentary things with my coworker and students, it occured to me that while I sounded like a drunken monkey, at least I could speak some Japanese. Meanwhile, the two visitors didn't even know how to get the little karaoke song selector thing to type in English. I was reminded of what a gawky beginner I was five months ago, and that I actually have learned something here. I have learned things about the language, the world, myself, etc.
I occasionally get frusturated with the job (I still like it, for the most part) so it's nice to be reminded, be it on a concrete ledge in the middle of the night, or being able to compare yourself with complete beginners, that my time here actually has been worthwhile. Combined with the mind-expanding niftyness that was Tokyo, I think I'm being seduced by being abroad...
I'm considering staying on.
I have no idea whether or not my company will want me around for another year, but I've been considering staying in Japan perhaps for another six months or a year. I'm almost halfway done with my initial year commitment, and looking back everything has seemed to have happened rather rapidly. I know there's more out there to see and do- I'd very much like to see and do it.
On one hand, though, I don't want to turn into a tumbleweed. I don't want to find myself eventually looking at thirty (oh, how old that seems!) with nothing nailed down, nothing stable. On the other hand, I figure that now is the time to do crazy stuff, to travel and learn new languages, to trek across the globe.
I have fantasies about circumnavigating the globe or trekking through weird areas. I think of such fanciful things as happening upon giant stone Buddahs in the jungle or walking or driving over the whole of the former Silk Road.
I know, I know- it all sounds very improbable and self-indulgent. But, I keep thinking... Wouldn't it be nice to try the Trans-Siberian Railway? Wouldn't it be cool to sail through the Greek isles? Wouldn't backbacking across the Great Wall be a good story, trite though it may sound?
I'm going to stop, otherwise I'll be given to histrionics. But, it keeps nagging at me...

Apparently I accidntally disabled comments on the last post. I did not mean to do that. I like hearing from you all, so if you wanted to add anything please do! Your words are made out of awesome!

Kori was the best part of Tokyo. I sort of skirted around that in the post, but holding her and gazing at the skyline was a big part of why I had such an amazingly wonderful time. Ok... I'm really going to stop now before I get too cheesy.

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