Friday, October 12, 2007

The Love Affair

I had this love affair. I had one a couple years ago.

It was with Paris. The city, not the girl.

And I had another one earlier this year. With Japan.

Maybe love affairs with cities are essentially more meaningful, more romantic in a way, than love affairs with men. Because the end of a love affair with a man brings about all those bad feelings, but a love affair with a city is much more ideal.

Maybe I am delirious......

A friend I made on the trip, Miss Megan, reminded me of what I'd written. I thought I'd post it again.

my love affair..... with japan

my maternal great grandmother traveled a good amount for a woman of her time. born in nova scotia to british parents with a bit of french blood, she traveled the entire eastern seaboard all the way to cuba. i believe she went to europe as well. she was such a beautiful lady. so proper in her photos.

and here i am.

6 AM. purple glitter stockings. veuve cliquot bubbling in our brains. 3 new girlfriends on my hotel room floor digging through clothes. laughing about the flight they'll be catching in a few hours. thinking of our private karaoke time with our 15 best new japanese friends. wow....... attention!

uv protection everywhere. fingerless gloves. face powder. umbrellas. way more on it than we are in the us.

tokyo airport. how is a place that important in travel so organized and so quiet? its sort of uncanny honestly. they don't make obnoxious announcements on the PA. makes traveling so much nicer!

cute lacy footie socks that are somehow sexy. secret padding in the ball of the foot keeps those little ladies walking in heels for miles and miles.

the only white girl on a train and bus to kyoto. the splendor of the silence. no one talks on their phone, they only text. much more polite. when i was with the girls, of course we turned heads and people ran up for photos. but alone, the people were more subdued. they'd look @ you, but then look away. i think they wanted me to feel not like an outsider. if i gave a smile to a man when i was alone, my gosh, he was so startled that i'd caught him glancing my way he'd almost trip on himself. so humble. what a change from california!

real honest to life geishas walking around shopping. they are at least a foot taller with their platform flip flops and amazing hair. they are so perfect. i feel so lazy compared to them. i'd love to be a geisha in all actuality. being a lovely hostess, all made up, tradition..... i struggle with being independent yet yearning for the traditions. when a man was a man and a woman was a woman. a great part of if sucked, yes, and i've fought hard to try to gain respect and whatever semblance of equality there is in the workplace..... but honestly in my personal life, i don't REALLY want to change my own tire or open my own door!!!! wasn't it easier for the older generations in a sense? men courted you properly. women dressed better. i miss that stage show i think.

visiting a buddhist temple. praying where others have prayed for 1,000 years. tears in my eyes. walking the grounds. japanese schoolgirls in their little sailor styled outfits. they give a big smile. soba noodles and a hot ginger drink in solitude outside the temple overlooking a cliff.

back on the bus. standing room only. going with my gut that it is indeed the right bus. kyoto station. sad to leave. but the ride back to osaka, wow....seeing smaller towns, rice paddies, people riding their bikes through the fields. the mountains look like Oahu. i can see why the japanese feel so good in hawaii.

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