Published: February 8th 2009February 8th 2009
We love Starcraft at the dorm. We play it constantly now that we're on break.
Warning: Koreans are notoriously good at Starcraft (it's true). Be careful if you ever decide to play one. You will lose.
I've been on Spring Break since about the 19th of last month, and I don't start school until April 8th. The last few weeks have been ages coming and going, a big difference between the seemingly speedy passage of the days of school last semester. I haven't been doing much lately at all...staying up really late, becoming nocturnal, partying less than during the semester, playing a lot more video games (I love Diablo II) and reading quite a bit. I've also been exploring vigorously on my bike, riding for two or more hours in one direction starting from my dorm and seeing what I can find. I've seen some amazing places - a secluded, dilapidated shrine built before WWII in the middle of an upper-class residential district; a mountaintop flattened for use in agriculture, on top of which it seems that all that exists are the fields at your feet and the hazy mountains in the distance; a bamboo forest where there are supposedly pit vipers, but really there are just an abundance of extremely friendly cats eager to be pet. Exploring alone - just my bike, the wind in my face, and familiar songs playing on my iPod - is
North Kumamoto City
Taken from on top of a mountain (I'd call it a hill in Montana, but it's a mountain here) I found whilst exploring.
calming, somehow. It brings my center around back to itself, even though I never noticed it was off kilter in the first place. It wells up nostalgia of backpacking in Montana with my friends or brother, roughing it for a few days just to get away from people
. The fact that the weather has been around a balmy sixty degrees Fahrenheit lately with little rain has made this February in Japan seem like April or May in Montana, and with that feeling comes the ever-returning giddiness that Spring brings with its budding flowers, soaring birds and promises of renewal. I've made a special playlist on my iPod that consists of all Spring-ish songs: stuff by the Gorillaz, Interpol, the Streets, Wolfmother, The Pillows. I've also been working out lately, for the first time in my life. It feels good to exhaust myself with weight lifting, or as mentioned before, exploring on my bike for hours, pushing the peddles as fast as they'll go up and down hills. It feels good to be sore the next day. It feels good watching my muscles bulk up a bit, which is especially surprising since I've been so skinny my entire life. It gives
Kumamoto Castle I
Taken from the grounds outside the castle proper.
my ego another boost that I've found very effective at bars and clubs when talking with people, and not only when hitting on women. People seem to recognize an inner confidence that isn't forced, and are attracted to it. It's a good feeling.
I'm looking to get tickets to a Pillows concert sometime soon, but I don't know how to buy tickets in Japan; in America, you can just jump onto ticketmaster.com and buy them like that, even print them off from your own computer. But in Japan, I've noticed that you either have to call the people with the tickets, or physically go to a ticket office, both of which are activities a bit too intimidating for me to want to try right now. I'm also looking to get up to Fukuoka and/or Nagasaki sometime soon. Hiroshima as well, Nara too, probably. Tokyo of course, but I'll spend a week or so there wandering around, getting lots of pictures on my new Canon EOS Rebel XS dSLR. I love this new camera...it does everything I ever wanted to do with my old point-and-shoot camera, but it could never do for me. $650 well spent.
I also have
I think it was a camellia...
a girlfriend now (woot), though it took me about five months to actually decide to date anyone at all. I told myself in the very beginning to flirt a lot but not to date anyone early on so as to keep my options open; but then after a few months, I had a realization that in the end, if I am dating someone, it's just going to end in tears since I'll be leaving, maybe to never return. And even though I'm dating a girl now, it is inevitable that we're going to break up, and it is inevitable that it will be a sorrowful day. I won't only be leaving Japan that day, I'll be leaving behind all of my friends, and a girlfriend on top of that. Now the question is, do I keep myself stony and cold and not get too attached, at the expense of a thriving, truly living relationship? Or do I dive in head first into this thing and feel really alive for the next five months, and end up being torn apart inside in the end? Arguably my life philosophy at this point is more receptive of the latter option - that is,
to live fully in all aspects - pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness - because, in the end, I could die tomorrow, and I certainly wouldn't want to die with regrets that I didn't do what I felt like doing at the moment (whether that means getting blind-drunk on a Tuesday night, punching a concrete wall, flirting with a girl at a club, or reading a depressing book).
Anyway, that's that. A good rant at four in the morning. Peace and love.
There are more photos below