On my way home

The weather is sometimes not on my side. Occasionally the wind propels me and I hardly have to do anything. On other days it rains and it's grey and it's difficult to cycle. It looks like tomorrow will be one of those days..

It can't be helped (しかったない). It's the last day before I go back, and I have to get to the airport somehow. The bus company told me off last time (every time, actually) for bringing a bicycle with me as luggage and (once again) threatened to not take me next time. That leaves me with two options: bag the bike in Atsugi and carry it onto the train with me, carrying also my backpack and three fully loaded panniers, or cycle to the airport and bag the bike there. The latter option is by far the more agreeable, even if I get a little wet while doing it. At least it's warmer now since I'm in Kanagawa and it's the middle of May. The really cold days are behind me.

Tonight I did what I usually do on the day before going home: I took a casual stroll around town and eventually ended up at the riverside where I sat down and had a break. During other times that I've been back here my thoughts often dwelled on the past, remembering the good times, etcetera. But this time all I could think about was the future. Not forcefully though: at times likes these I just let my mind wander and let it pick a topic by itself, and it chose the future.

I ended up making plans and goals for what I want my life to be like in the next couple of years, and evaluating how my current situation compares to that. When I think about the past I often forget how much possibilities and connections are available to me right here, right now. I know where I want to go, but I'm in no hurry. I will patiently await the right opportunities.

In the previous post I wrote a bit about my eternal fight against time, and the realization that the second time you do something is also the first time you do something for the second time. The thought that struck me today was: I only hold first times in such high value exactly because they are scarce, and can only happen once. If I could do something and get that same first-time kind of feeling out of it then I probably wouldn't be blogging about it right now. It wouldn't be special. The fact that first times never come again is exactly what makes them priceless.

Some final, random thoughts to share:

  • Before the trip began I felt quite cynical and seriously questioned my ability to find and appreciate beauty on this trip. I considered myself cynical and skeptical about the environment still having an effect on me.
  • After the trip I can safely say that I've had moments where I looked out on amazingly beautiful scenery and all I could think of at those moments was: "words cannot describe how beautiful this is". I guess I'm not quite completely cynical yet after all.
  • I went out with a Japanese friend a few days ago and spoke Japanese the entire day. My Japanese has not improved since years ago, but it hasn't really gotten worse yet either. Just like my Dutch, it's at a stable level, never changing.
  • It's a lot more difficult to think mean thoughts in Japanese. If you're properly absorbed in the language and the culture then it's just harder (at least for me) to express those feelings. Although there's swear words like 'fuck' and 'shit' in Japanese, you'll never ever be in a situation in real life where you hear people use them. There's just no need for them.
  • I went to KFC today because it has a great view of the train station and because I loooove chicken. I distinctly remember there was always that one song being played there that I absolutely hated. Today they only played songs that I recognized and liked, and even a few from my personal top 500. Not bad.
  • I'm planning to do a post with some statistics on my cycling trips, and some advice. Maybe it'll be useful to other people wanting to cycle in Japan.
  • Dokkōdō


Posted in Spirit of Japan 3 , Thoughts