I leave home and make my way to the main district, I need to arrange papers, and to sign others. I haven’t arrived yet, but I know all this will take me hours, as bureaucracy always do. It is cold but sunny so the streets are not as silent as I initially thought.
But before I arrive at the office, I found these beautiful leaves of striking colours waiting for me as if wishing me good luck. I love their colours, and contrast. I take pictures, and I start thinking that my Japanese journey has taught me to adapt, to understand (or at least to try), to listen, to be happy in the moment, to treasure the opportunities, and never to eat while walking even if it is an apple 😂
And above all, my Japanese journey has taught me to change as these leaves do with the seasons. I have lots to thank for it. And, as these beautiful leaves, I hope my own colours has become stronger and more open to change than before.
Some days life gets to you, some days are harder than others, some days seem worthless and dry. On those days, you feel like you should just stop searching for that sparkle that makes you feel alive. And then without any warning, you come across the most beautiful of skies.
And then you realize that there’s more in life than just you, and your problems. There is also beauty, hope, and thousand of blessings crossing your path. Every breath, every beat of your heart is a sign that you are fine and that whatever is bothering and upsetting you now will pass. The journey is hard at times, but there are also good times. It all depends on us. Are the clouds bringing rain? Or are they here to bring us joy?
I turn around and I see the time “5:55.” I have managed to sleep a few hours, and yet they are not enough. I need to recover my strength, but my eyes are already wide open, and when my eyes are open like this, there is little I can do but to let the motions of the day start. “The routine” drags me out of bed, and takes me to the bathroom.
I look at myself in the mirror and the mirror stares back at me smiling. I go back to the room, and I see my body lying on the bed peacefully sleeping waiting for me to return to it. Maybe, I am not awake after all.
Tonight, it started raining suddenly. And in the blink of an eye, the sky broke into thousands drops that showered us all, making us shiver and looked for refuge in the busy streets of this metropolis. I ran trying to scape it. But it was in vain, my clothes resembled the wet streets, and my shoes got heavier than the asphalt with every step. Unbelievably, there were couples taking pictures of themselves in the middle of the chaos. At times, it seems like love is not only blind but creates a fortress that shields us from adversity.
But tonight, although, I’m not alone, I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Why? Well, sometimes that how life goes. But then a drop of rain on my cheeks reminds me that the rain has always been a good omen for me. It announces changes. Good changes. And against all the odds, the rain is bringing me hope in this cold night. The rain is telling me that trying days are ahead, but it all works out in the end. I just have to be patient and not to succumb to past ghosts. And I hope the rain brings you peace, comfort and renewed faith in your future.
I walked in the dark alleys of the city thinking of nothing else but my troubles when I saw a little store illuminated with bright yellow lights.
I got curious and made my way towards it.
And to my surprise, I discovered that it was not a store, but a shrine, a place of worshiping for Radha Krishna. He is Krishna, and she is Radha. But they love each other so much that their names became one. How romantic!
It’s said that their love wasn’t physical but spiritual. Their love was pure and unconditional. They were one soul split into two bodies.
The airplane took off leaving Tokyo; taking me with it, and my expectations about Taiwan. I had done my research. I always do, I mean since I am an obsessive-compulsive reader, it’s not a surprise that I read everything I could possibly read about Taiwan. But what I hadn’t done were hotel reservations, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, this traveler doesn’t like making hotel reservations. Before you condemn me, hear me out, because I have valid, if not, strong reasons to not make hotel reservations
1.- I want to go to the places, where tourist doesn’t usually go; and don’t want the travelers’ websites to tell me where to go. I want to discover my journey on my own. 2.- I want to search and look for the city treasures as soon as I land. 3.- I want to get to know the locals and talk to them; not as a customer/tourist but as one of them. And nothing better than getting utterly lost to do this 🙂 4.- I love the adventure.
I know this might sound illogical for some people, but one of the reasons why I learned some much other cultures is that I always tried experiencing the country as one of them, not as an outsider but as a local. And arriving at a hotel makes it difficult for me to achieve this.
I know, I know this might sound strange for some (ok maybe for most of you), but it works for me. However, I have to admit that I regretted my decision when it started to rain; and the heavy drops began pouring on the English man, who bravely accompanied me in this adventure and me. He needed refuge and candidly asked me “Where did you say we were staying,?” he asked hopefully.
And it broke my heart to answer “I haven’t made any reservations, remember?,” I said awkwardly.
The disappointment darkened his blue eyes making them as gray as the sky above us. I could literally see his hopes shattering with every drop of rain that fell on him. And the sting of guiltiness pierced my heart.
Yes, I felt guilty.
But as always lucky was on our side, we found a warm, dry shelter for our tired souls and hungry bodies. We found a hotel within walking distance that promised us the experience of our lives at a reasonable price. Once the English man recovered, we started exploring the city, getting lost together in the tropical night of Taiwan.
The English man smiles, and I felt the universe in my heart.
Taiwan was a long overdue expedition for me. Its history and culture have always attracted me with a magnetism I can’t quite define with logic. And the opportunity to visit this fascinating place, presented itself when I least expected it, as a gift from the Gods themselves.
Taiwan’s history is longer than I imagined, it was a surprising realization to discover that agriculture was developed 3,000 years ago and that the aboriginal occupants of the island presented more than one unshakable obstacle for the forays at conquering many tried.
In Asia, the calendar indicated the beginning of autumn, but not in the tropical Taiwan, where there’s sun, mango ice cream, and tea everywhere to ease any discomfort its everlasting summer might cause to its visitors.
According to legends and myths I came across, Taiwan was created by the tears of a goddess. And its women were born from the ashes of bamboo trees. However, whatever its origin, there is something undeniable special here, and lucky us, the Gods have blessed this journey.
I wake up earlier than usual, and I record a video that I can’t wait to share with all my online friends. I save it on my computer. But as I’m running late, I can’t edit now. I take it with me hoping to work on it while on the bullet train.
Once on the bullet train, I open my laptop, and my worst nightmare has become true, the file is nowhere to be seen. How could it be? I checked the video before leaving the house. I pressed play (you can only make same mistake twice. OK, maybe three times but this time, I checked, and I pushed record)
I could only find the photos I took after shooting the video. The photos that still mocking me.
But as I did a good job with these pics, I want you show them to you.