5 June 2011 § Leave a comment
I was browsing on Facebook through pictures I’ve been tagged in over the past four or five years. Feelings of nostalgia, all that. Actually sort of missing teacher’s college (never thought I would!). Reflecting on the past few years. All those feelings that sometimes happen when you look at old pictures. You know.
And then I looked at some of the pictures I was tagged in today…
…and I remembered how cool it is that I’m here. Oh, I forget all the time.
I try to make everything feel normal. Like I said in my previous post, I enjoy the comfort of familiarity. Things begin to feel regular, routine. But when that happens, I also forget that this is where I always wanted to be after I finished university. Right here. In Japan. Living and teaching in Japan. I’m torn between this desire for things to feel quite normal and this desire to always be a little bit amazed by the fact that I’m here. A happy medium would be nice; life seems to boring with the former, too exciting the with the latter.
Having just been looking through old pictures, and then immediately after looking at pictures from being out last night, it felt for a moment like looking at someone else’s life. It’s still sinking in.
5 June 2011 § Leave a comment
One of things that makes it easier to live here is familiarity.
I went out last night for the first time in ages. It was a good time. Started off at an art show with my friend Nadine, to see some photographs that our mutual friend Laura had on display. It was a fundraising event for Tohoku earthquake relief, held at a small Mediterranean restaurant downtown. It appeared to be well attended! They had a lot to offer, between the various visual art displays, performance arts, and live painting. The theme was “Monster” and the decor and artwork all suited this.
Outside, they had live graffiti art.
Inside, among other works by other artists, my friend Laura’s beautifully creepy photographs:
In the basement, more art, including this band, “Union Trouble”:
I had seen Union Trouble play before, back in March, and had met their keyboardist on a few occasions before that. Before they went on, a couple of people did a short improv show – I had seen them perform a couple months ago with their improv group, “The Pirates of the Dotombori”. It was fun! Amidst all of this, I ran into a number of people who work for the same company as me. It was a popular place to be.
We headed on over to a cafe/restaurant/bar afterwards for a pizza slice and a calzone. I had met the owner of this place a couple months back; he’s from Kitchener, Ontario and his menu reflects that. A decent selection of pizza, wraps, calzones, desserts, milkshakes, sandwiches, and appetizers (including nachos, which I’ve found aren’t that common, and which I miss sharing with friends at the Merch). On top of all this, they even have smores on the menu. I was happy to see that.
And then on over to a small bar a couple streets over, where another teacher was meeting people for her birthday, and where I’m holding that poetry reading in a week from Tuesday (!!!!). It was a good time with some good people. It was very encouraging to hear that a random teacher who I’d never met had heard about the upcoming poetry reading through someone else, and was thinking about coming out. I think it’s gonna be a great night! The rest of last night ended with a nice walk back towards home and good conversation with my friend Stephanie.
It’s a lot of little things that happened last night that make this place feel more comfortable. Running into friends and acquaintances, seeing that band I’d seen before, or those comedians. Sometimes Osaka seems too big for my liking. I’ve said before: it’s grey, it’s concrete, it’s hard to feel close to anyone at times. Familiarity helps.