Tripping in Asia

It has been a while since I returned from my trip with a lengthy title. It was hard to me to put this trip in words. The majority of the travels was done alone. I was in every sense free. I was free to waste and splurge at the whims of the moment. I stalled and rushed in accordance of my desires. There were times when a moment was so blissful, I turned and wished for a familiar face to smile back at me. It was a great trip, a trip of poetry that has yet to become of words.

Some moments have no words. Moments where I lived in the content and forlorn knowledge of its passing.

I remember walking in Gion between the upscale drinking and dining establishments. Rushed by was a woman in white makeup wearing a lavender embroidered kimono. Men turned to photograph her. Later I learn I had encountered the mythical event of a geisha rushing between appointments. It all felt so ordinary and expected.

I remember eating my 20,000 yen meal. A kaiseki traditional multi-course meal. Feeling mildly stuffed and heated. I remember walking out and she, my 50-something-year-old server, bowing profusely as if my meal had saved her entire village. He, the old man whose job was to stand by the door, stood and watched me walk away for as long as the road would allow him.

I remember casually looking out the Hikari Shinkansen train and seeing Mount Fuji. I was only certain of it being Mount Fuji after the lady beside also took a photo.

I remember the sight of the snowy mountain and the sound the snow made when it came falling down from the tree branches behind me, while the lower portion of the body sat submerged in the onsen. Afterwards, I recall the chatter of old ladies over ice cream cones while I drank Hida milk in the resting area.

I remember seeing my 30,000 won hweh being brought to my table. Unrecognizable globs of seafood recently dead. The octopus tentacle thrashing in the sesame oil. Later noticing the other black creature was also semi-alive, its pores opening and closing on the plate. I spent the next hour sitting in a coffee shop soothing my stomach with an abnormally sour hot lemon tea.

I remember my jelly body being scrubbed raw by the odd smelling lady with permed hair. Few more dips in the bubbling waters, then I lay drinking sikye on a straw matt.

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I can’t put it into words. It frustrates me. It is a memory. A moving image that plays over and over in my memories. The moment of existing the tram, being hit by the sight and warmth of the setting Milanese Sun, and Duomo. A moment when life slowed and every element suspended. When I bathed in the moment: the sounds, the light, the chatters, the stoney road beneath my feet. I still feel it yet it excites and hurts to remember. The moment is shortened, elements fogged. Those moment replays, the words float in and out like a rebel. I can’t capture them. Can’t catch them and lay them neatly.

A Toast

I once toasted to creating regrets. To know that those infinite possibilities of living are available, but in that moment only one can be lived. To know that we don’t miss places or people, we miss moments. That perfect confection of our self in the moment, the people who strolled through, and the place we happened upon. That will never be repeated.

A toast to regrets. Moments of melancholy. The drifting grin of nostalgia.

I made a plane out of stone.

I always did like staying home.

I wouldn’t mind staying home for a while. Sit with no schedule. Place with no intentions. Take with no caution. A place to set my toothbrush.

These days, there is a constant dwindling feeling of fatigue. Entertainer in me has left. I want to be in peace and be without a map. It is not that I am fed up of travelling, but I am counting down the days. Even counting down the days until Milan.