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Fish for Breakfast and Onion Chocolate. Life on a Japanese Island. This is Awaji-shima.

Awaji-Shima. Small Island - Big Dreams.

JAPAN | Monday, 17 July 2017 | Views [226] | Comments [1]

“Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.” Edward T. Hall.

I have never been quite content to travel to a destination, take a snap shot and leave with just an anecdote and a fond memory. I want to know what it is like to be a local resident in the far off places I dream about. I want to know what it's like to LIVE in a place, not to just sample it. So for some, often misguided, reason I pack my life up, say goodbye to my loved ones and travel to another continent with nothing more than my airfare and one month's accommodation budget. The sadist in me wants to experience the ugly, the obstacles, the melancholy and loneliness that comes with the challenge of navigating a new alien world. I write about what it's like to be on the verge of a breakdown in a foreign bank after 2 hours of trying to set up an account, what it's like to get home after midnight because you keep riding the wrong trains in the subway, the quickening of your heart beat when you realise you may have made the wrong turn down a dark street, the kindness of strangers and the comedy of colloquial errors.

A Summer pounding the grimy sidewalks of NYC and a two year stint in Australia were not enough for me to have a life time of stories or to have earned the title of "Brave Person." I took my biggest leap this year and moved, typically unprepared and under researched to a country where I did not speak the language. I found myself employed by a Japanese Company and moved to Tokyo. 

Navigating the metropolis that is Tokyo can be exhausting. After a day of adhering to Japanese Business manners, assimilating as much as you can to the corporate traditions of a Japanese company and desperately trying to make it through the day without making too many cultural faux pas you can find yourself feeling somewhat burnt out. Refuge is usually found in a cheap, dirty Izakaya, slamming beers and fried chicken, smoking in a sea of Salary Men doing the same.

So it is now that I find myself alone on a little unassuming island in the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan -that I find myself ready and needing to share my experience. 

And that, I think, is what my strange desire to put myself in these awkward, challenging positions is about. Sharing. Whether it's earnestly entering a new community to try and engage, connect and share elements of myself and where I am from or whether it is to document and report on these findings to my community in my native home. I understand now - my restlessness is not so much about running away - but a deep inherent need to connect. 

So here it is: my "blog"*

*cringe

My "Travel Journal" **

**deeper cringe

Ok, a 'Comedy of Errors', endured and recounted by hapless Nicholson. I will try to explain what it is like to be part of a revitalisation project on a rural Japanese Island with next to no public transport when you can not drive and can not speak Japanese. I shall try and regale you with a beguiling story of life on Awajishima...or if not hopefully my rambling text will pass the first 20 minutes of your hungover Sunday morning shift at work between procrastinating and consuming gallons of black coffee.

Tags: art, culture, dream, expat, explore, island, japan, ocean, relocate, travel

 

Comments

1

Well done for making a start, Linds. I look forward to hearing more about Awajishima. I'm always looking for new ideas for my own writing & I'll learn from what you write. Well done!

  Andrei Sokolov Jul 17, 2017 3:39 PM

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