Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meet Me in Osaka!

As far back as I can remember, I've always been a Jack Jill person of all trades; I previously wrote about my parents pushing me into everything (and my lack of resistance, clearly) and I've always had a very broad spectrum of things in which I was both interested and good at. I hate explaining that to people because I feel like it always sounds a bit assholish saying "oh yes, I can do everything", but my intent is not to boast of my omnipotence, smile.

As a matter of fact, while I was into the Backstreet Boys, Hootie and the Blowfish, Tupac (since he never died), and Korn all at the same time, my dad told me I should narrow my interests (and this devastated me for up to/after ten years later, when he had no recollection of it and claimed that he must have been joking).

Coming up, my family did not have a lot of money and as such, I've never really traveled anywhere. I mean, besides up and down the east coast. My dad is from Nueva York, so multiple times a year we would drive up to visit my grandma, aunts, cousins, and childhood friends (which may include what is disputably my first long distance boyfriend, unngh). My New York cousins spent summers with us in North Carlina, and we'd travel the state. One year, we went to Florida and went to Sea World, Wet 'n Wild, and Universal, where one of my biggest fears was solidified. I was a fresh 23 when I visited Disney World for the first time, just months ago, and I probably appreciated it a lot more than I would have as a kid. Especially since I had to pay my way...lol. This is beginning to sound a little Everybody Hates Chris-ish; I love my parents and everything that I've experienced thus far. But, as the kid who was born a woman of the world, I am certainly planning on seeing more than I have. As a matter of fact, my aunt is encouraging me to accompany them to Egypt next year and I'm considering it.

Last night, I was watching an episode of a favorite show No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and he was visiting Osaka, Japan. My oldest maternal aunt, the only one of three maternal aunts currently speaking to me, lived in Japan for sometime before I was born. And every where else. Visiting Japan never really crossed my mind; I mean, when I got excited about going to Japan, I texted my best friend and she made it clear that she wasn't into Anime or Harajuku-anything; I did explain to her that there's more to a culture than two things but she told me that she's rather go to Darfur or Afghanistan. At any rate, I've never really been into anything Japanese besides food (and I'm talking homemade from my mother's Japanese-raised Korean students) and Pokemon, but the episode of No Reservations really rounded it out for me. The show is primarily about food, but he generally discusses a lot of cultural traditions and tourist-type things.

Having practiced Buddhism for a few years, some of the other things about the episode really interested me: the Kiso Forest and the spiritual(?) rituals relating to it.

I've never been on an airplane before. Or anything bigger than a fishing boat (and I'm not talking about a shrimp'n boat, Mr. Gump), I'm talking about the one that you row-row-row gently down the lake stream. I feel a little embarrassed telling people these things since people in my circle have, at the very least, traveled to a different time zone.

Anyway, I kind of decided yesterday that Japan will probably be the first on my list of international experiences, and that, if I am able, I would be interested in going by the end of next year. Of course, there are many factors that affect whether or not this will actually happen, but it's a goal. Sure, I'd love to visit Egypt and the many other parts of Africa, Italy, Ireland, and Greece. Those places all seem amazing too. I even think I want to go to Toronto sometime soon-ish. But something about Japan seemed incredible as a first trip.

What Can I say, I don't believe in doing things half-way; when I intend to do something, I have to make it a big deal. I guess we'll see what happens!

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