Writing: It’s nothing special

 

I spent all day writing yesterday, and with the joy of the fulfilled task, relief came.

I fell how the knot I’ve had for days in my throat started to loosen up as if the stories had been there just waiting and instead of setting them free, I had only been piling them up.

I am free I thought, but then the need for writing stroke again.

New stories came from nowhere. Some were good, some were sad, others ridiculously funny, but they all were in need of a home.

I think I might be able to build them a little house, where they can be happy.

After all, there’s nothing special about writing as Ernest Hemingway said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”

The girl from Ipanema: walking down the street

 

 

A summer day I was walking down the street when I saw her. A woman so beautiful that could stand traffic, and yet so unaware of it (her beauty) and the effects she was causing on people. 

She was walking blindly to the desire looks she received from men, and the hateful looks women shot at her. 

And as she was walking, the slinky movements of her hips were hypnotizing pedestrians and drivers. I even saw a mesmerized couple of guys walking behind her. 

They were not harassing her. But it was obvious that the poor guys have lost their souls to the rhythm of her movements. 

I am just grateful there were no traffic accidents. 

And I couldn’t help but think of “the girl from Ipanema” and that some people are really gifted with beauty but as this beauty is nothing extraordinary for them, they do not hold themselves with pride or arrogance. As ironic as that might be. 
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Breaking up with your employer

 

Not a while ago, I quit, what many would call, a dream job in Japan. But there was still something missing in my life. Do not think for a moment, I am ungrateful to my employers, on the contrary, I was lucky to work with them. But it was time to move on. In the last e-mail they sent, I was asked if I’ll ever come back. So I replied as honestly as I could, I told them that they’d find someone else, better than me, because they deserve better. But I also told them they could always call me and count on me. And yes, we could still be friends. I will always be there for them. 
I know comparing quitting a job with breaking with a boyfriend, might sound disrespectful for some people, but in Japan, where work ethics are still very traditional, getting a job is a life-time-commitment. In other words, in Japan, you just don’t get a job, you marry your job. You read that correctly.

You marry your job. Your job is your priority number one. And you immediate supervisor becomes your mother/father, to whom you’re obliged to obey. No arguments. Your boss’s word is final. In a traditional Japanese company, there is no room for “I.” What matters the most is “We,” the group, even to the cost of your well-being. 
This is an actual cultural fact. When you get a job in these islands, you stay with the same company for life. You give them your life, and in return, the company looks after you. And although this has started changing during the last two decades, I was fortunate enough to experience this unbreakable bond, that still exists, in the Japanese Business world.
In other words, quitting was not easy. But, I was lucky enough to see, to live and, to experience this cultural phenomenon in order to transmit to all of you.

The city: The old towns

 

I love leaving Tokyo, and then I realize, I’m a contradiction, because in my twenties I dreamed of living here, and now that I do. I dream of leaving.

I dream of living somewhere quiet, empty, solitary and why not? Remote. Because, I love arriving in old towns, where life seems to run at a slower speed than our beloved and turbulent Tokyo.

I love walking in its empty streets discovering its glorious past while learning, and imagining it alive. But to be honest, I don’t dare entering in the abandoned houses because I fear a grumpy spirit might find my curiosity an intrusion and let me know its displeasure with a well-deserved apparition. So, I play it safe and don’t risk it.

I also enjoy the contact with nature, its immensity, intensity, and beauty that always dazzle me leaving me asking questions that will never be answered.

I love leaving the city but then when I come back to it. Its rhythm, energy, and magnetism pull to me it again. And decide that I was never meant to leave the chaos after all.

Did the world end yet? 😫

 

I have heard so many times the world is ending that it is getting exhausting. Seriously..! Don’t you maniacs have anything better to do than scare us all?
And to make things worse, I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to freak out properly, you know?

That’s how busy I am.

In Japan, we have North Korea trying to nuke us, and then we have these “experts” in numerology and Bible that have finally cracked the exact date of the “end of the world”.

Let me put this out there

If the Maya didn’t get it right, neither will you, ok? So stop the nonsense.

So, pick up the pieces of your life, clean yourself and gather strength because we have to keep facing the same things we have to face everyday.

The world still spinning, we still here, we gotta give it our all with hope and courage.

Ark Nova: When goodwill and faith travel

Art makes us think, inspire us, and move us to do things for other people. And I humbly think I felt all those things together when I saw Ark Nova,  an inflatable concert hall created to support affected areas by earthquakes. An inflatable concert hall..!

 

 

And fulfilling its destiny, Ark Nova has been in Fukushima for a couple of years, but now it is finally in Tokyo to keep spreading its message of goodwill and faith in humanity.

 

And it (Ark nova) seems to bring peace with it. It surrounds it all with calm and serenity

 

If you have some time to spare, please go to Tokyo Midtown, it will be a great experience. And no worries, there is no way to miss Ark Nova

 

Lunch with myself: Learning to live in the present

 

For a hyper person such as myself, who always wakes up with a to-do list every morning living in the moment is a challenge..!! 

Oh boy..!! And to make things worse, I have a great memory..! So if you ever told me the story of your life, I will probably remember it the rest of my days. 

So ask to my brain to live in the present is a challenge, almost a mission impossible. 

But I am slowly learning to trick myself into living the present. Mwahahaha..! (This is my evil laugh 😝)

And how am I accomplishing this great conquest? 
Well, I am starting for taking myself out for lunch. For no reason, or whatsoever. And believe it or not, as silly as it sounds, those moments with myself make me slow down, appreciate my time and somehow find inspiration. 

You probably should know that I like talking to strangers.

That’s right..! I randomly talk to strangers 

So now that you are here, tell me: How are you? Everything ok? 😉

China town: A walk on a Sunday afternoon

 

It was Sunday, I was alone at home so I decided to take my camera and travel to China town in Kanagawa-ken, where I used to live few years ago. 

 

 

And the energy hasn’t changed at all 

 

Maybe it (the energy) has increased. 

 

 

 

 I also made new friends 

 

 

And before I went back I stopped by the police box (koban in Japanese) 

 

 

It was a lovely afternoon indeed. 

 

My multiple personalities worry about me: Have I gone mad?

 

I woke up worrying about my blog, the likes, the comments, the stats, and the growing page, in other, I was becoming obsessed, and full of myself. 

 

The narcissist part of me, Yone-narcissist, was smiling and telling me how great and smart she was.

 

I can’t stand her. I’m sure you won’t either. She needed to go..! and she needed to go fast..! The sooner she leaves, the better I would feel. 

 

We needed to find a cure. And to cure sudden sickness we need strong medicine, so I decided to spend a day without Internet.

 

First, Yone-chan, my inner child, resisted. And although I explained to her it was for our own, she burst into tears. That’s when Yone-Oni showed up. Because everytime Yone-chan is hurt Yone-oni comes to the rescue. Yone-oni is a natural protector, despite her bad temper. And I was expecting a fight with her (Yone-oni), when she started crying, as well, saying how bored she would be without the internet.

 

I tried to convince Yone-Oni promising her ice cream and having a lovely walk in a park, Some of my other personalities started smiling encouraging Yone-Oni to accept the deal, at least fourteen of them seemed to agree. 

 

Then I told them we would buy ourselves a nice book. 

 

“Another one??????” all my multiple personalities shouted all at the same time 

 

“But this will be different” I replied

 

“Different??” they asked 

 

“Yes, because this will be a book for us to enjoy. To have fun” I said.

 

That’s when my multiple personalities stared at me, all the same time, they seemed truly concerned.

 

“I’m serious” I told them defensively 

 

But they all just stared at me as if I had gone mad.

 

“Are you ok?” asked Yone-Oni with real apprehension in her eyes.

 

“I promised you, I’m fine” I said

 

“She delirious” they all said in unison.

 

Then they all rushed around the house.

 

One brought me a blanket to keep me warm, although, in Japan, September is still quite warm.

 

A group of cheeky ones decided that the best for me was to take Oji chan’s soup (I will tell you what Ojichan’s soup is in another post) then they started “cooking”

 

I don’t remember Ojichan’s soup having so many vegetables 😐 in it. But what matters it’s their good intention. I guess. 

 

Another group of my personalities decided I needed music, so they played one of my favorites melodies. 

 

Another one decided I needed a cuddle, and another personality said that what I needed was kisses on my forehead, another said it (what I was needed) was getting my hair brushed. 

 

They still fighting. So, I haven’t gotten either a cuddle, kiss or my hair brushed. 

 

 

The house was becoming a mess.

 

Groups were discussing how to calm me down just in case of a breakdown.

 

.
They were all talking, and I was about to explode, when we heard a sound in the door.

 

“It’s him” they said, and they all run to hide and to look their best

 

Even Yone Oni was putting lipstick on.

 

“What?” She asked defensively. 

 

He came through the door with such a lovely smile that even Yone-Oni melted down. 

 

“What a stunt..! We have done great” said Yone-narcissist smiling happily at me.

 

“You” I said “That’s it. You gotta go” 

 

I unplugged the internet, and it will remain this way until Yone-narcissist goes back to sleep 😊

North Korea: Japan’s nightmare or South Korea’s lost brother

 

In the last weeks, North Korean missiles pass across Japanese territory, which you as can imagine, it’s concerning, scary and alarming. In other words, we are living in fear.

Since I can remember, North Korea has always been a difficult subject in the region. It is like having a little cousin, who has an endless tantrum.

But, in my experience, South Korea see the North as the missing brother at the family table. When you meet South Korean people, you would expect them to hold a grudge against their North Korean siblings.

But to my surprise, there are always warm words from the South Koreans, as if the North were a long lost brother, as if they (South Korean people) were longing the moment they (South and North Korea) could be reunited once again.

Why is then all this missile shooting about?

I, sadly, think that Kim Jong-un has lost his mind. Just think about it, he was raised not to think but to obey and fear his father. And when he (Kim Jong-il) died, the power fell onto his (Kim Jong-un) lap and with it, his father’s legacy (Kim Jong-il), his unsolved business, and a starving nation. In other words, he (Kim Jong-un )is scared and overwhelmed. That’s why he is behaving like a trapped animal because he feels that way.

 

Please, do not think for a moment, I am defending him because I am not, I am trying to understand him (Kim Jong-un).

 

But I have to admit that Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, put a string on our, already damaged, relationship with North Korea, when he decided to change article 9, the article that prevents Japan from entering into any armed conflict. In other words, Kim Jong-un fears that Japan changed its laws so we can “legally” go and get him. He (Kim Jong-un) is paranoid. And as any paranoid person, he is just responding to his fears. No matter how unrealistic they (fears) seem to us. For him (Kim Jong-un) these concerns are real.

 

But Kim Jong-un probably doesn’t know that we, people who live in Japan, strongly opposed to it (the change of article, 9). We still do. We don’t agree with it. But the Japanese Government little listens to the population.

 

Perhaps, Shinzō Abe is not the leader Japan hoped for after all.

 

And to make things worse, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, makes dangerous statement such as “North Korea is begging for war” which only helps to fuel the fire that it’s already burning.

 

Nikki Haley, Shinzō Abe, and Mr. Trump forget that millions of lives are at stake here, when they decide to talk big and to make changes in their international relations’ approach.

But it all depends on our perspective of the issue, so to finish, I would like to leave you with this question: Is North Korea, Japan’s nightmare or South Korean’s lost brother?

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