I've been thinking a lot about my time in Japan. Many memories have filled my head, some things that I did for the first time, some things that were simple but had infinite beauty, and some things which can only be described as mind-blowing, such as training with Hatsumi-soke in Noda. Here is a random selection:
My first night of sleeping on a futon. Waking up in the morning to the scent of tatami mats.
My first Japanese earthquake. I was lying in bed, having a dream about watching a woman have a violent fit. I woke up to find the room shaking, and for some reason I thought the best course of action was to deal with death by going to sleep.
Managing to order food for the first time. I went into a place and asked for a random Japanese dish. I didn't know that I was in a Yoshinoya, a chain which pretty much sells just one dish, gyudon, which consists of marinated beef on rice. I managed to get a bowl of gyudon, and it tasted fucking amazing.
Eating at a Kaiten Zushi place. Plates of sushi were floating around on boats in a miniature river. Surreal and awesome.
One day realising that I was speaking Japanese. People told me that this would happen to me, but I couldn't see how it would be possible. Yet, one day, I was speaking Japanese.
Playing with Japanese hand held hanabi(fireworks) in Odaiba.
Going for a Hanami(cherry blossom viewing) picnic with some friends. There were hundreds of people in the park, and some were old. There was a group of old people sitting near my friends, passing a karaoke machine around, singing old Japanese pop songs. I hate old people. I particularly hate Japanese old people. Fortunately I had a ghetto blaster, a cassette tape of The Teaches Of Peaches, and a samurai sword. It was a winning combination. I was able to play loud, semi-pornographic music, without anyone daring to look in my direction...