Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blog Update

Zach is in town. Met him in Osaka on friday. Spent friday night wandering, went to Nara on Saturday. Nara is amazing. There are hundreds of small deer that are completely unafraid of people, if slightly annoyed by gawking tourists rubbing them. If they smell food on you they will run up and chew through your pockets to get it.

In Nara is Todaiji. This means East Big Temple. I dunno about east but it is big. Photos as soon as I steal them from zachary. It is either the largest or the oldest wooden structure on earth, I forget which but could believe either. Just a massive wooden temple the size of the IX-center in cleveland (okay thats an exageration but youknowhatImean). Inside is a big buddha.

When I say big buddha, I mean that one petal of the lotus flower he is sitting on is 5 times my size. This is one big-ass buddha, sittin there lookin' all peaceful like. Next to him are other statues, not as impressive as they are only 3-5 times Zach's height. Some of these things were fierce - samurai warriors, or ghosts, or something, but these statues were ready to kick some ass. Again, photos as they come. If you go to Japan, go to Nara. Karen, sorry we didn't go there. :-D

Then back to Osaka for more wandering and a night ferry home to Niihama. Spent the first half of monday sleeping and the second half showing zach what there is to be seen across this town. That includes both temples and a few shrines. Stopped at hardware store to buy the stuff I needed to wire Jackie's phone line. Guess I managed to learn a thing or two from my dad afterall. Took zach back to jackie's, joshka and david came down and we had a great big dinner that I cooked (ok, zach peeled the shrimp) and some wine and watched Lost in Translation. I loved that movie before but like it so much more now. The only scene I don't like is that failed attempt at comedy where the absurd hooker comes to his room. But maybe it really is like that? I dunno, whatever. The film is great. It really captures the I-am-a-foreigner-in-japan experience, as well as the more elusive two-foreigners-interacting-in-japan experience very well.

The next day was mountain climbing. Jackie was somehow misinformed as to the affair and thought we were going swimming (that was perhaps due to vague instructions on my part?) so was a little confused in her bathing suit and flipflops when I explained it would be about a 2-hour hike to the top. She and Trisha hung back and walked in the river whilst zach and I tore up the big ass mountain and were rewarded with an amazing view. I had been up there before, but it was completely cloudy and I couldn't see anything. This time, I could see Niihama far off into the distance, fading into the sea. I got Z to take a photo of me looking off the cliff onto the city for my farewell shot in my final report. Again, will post shortly.

Today, zach explores niihama while I work. It is report writing day and my boss is looking over everything I have written. Lots of red ink. A combination of "tell your honest feelings about this year" and "egad you can't say that!" ensue. She knows I have been frustrated here, probably she reads my blog (hey there boss), so she is surprised to learn that I plan to do JET after this. She tells me most of the jets she knows are kind of sad and aimless, spending their best years doing work that isn't really anything but a delay of real life. I tell her it's good money and a chance to travel and she tells me that if I can't find meaning in life at home then I am not going to find it by leading an upscale lifestyle in Japan. I cannot help but agree. Her concern for my future is half touching and half sad, because I know she has her own regrets about her youth. At any rate I appreciate the empathy, being a whiney oaf and all.

Am finally starting to get the twinges of "...and then?" that I always knew would accompany my encroachment into The Future. Graduation in less than a year, and then? I guess grad school in english, but does that even interest me? I guess it does. Web design? Interesting for now. Meditation in a zen monastary? Ha, why not.

How are some people just interested in living life and others not? How do some people pick things and stick with them for 80 years, while some of us can't make karate practice twice in a month? Whatsit in me that makes me so damn unsatisfied and unsatisfiable?

Life is a mystery to me, but I am not altogether interested in solving it. Does that make me a bad person, fundamentally? Just the ultimate end of my fatal laziness, perhaps? Odd. Such emptiness. But they say that finding emptiness is difficult - perhaps I have an advantage?
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or events to differ materially from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid $3,000 from third party (IR Marketing).
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