I rest my fingertips lightly on my glowing keyboard. time to meticulously carve out a blog post. 「久しぶり」 I say to myself, one of the japanese words I have down pat because I say it constantly. if only I said all japanese words constantly, I would be fluent by now. my year 2.0 in japan is beginning, apparently. I haven’t seen much from my bedridden state. the 31st of december 2014, I came down with a debilitating flu, rendering my body heavy and unstable.
I’ve scrolled through my instagram feed with varied levels of envy as people snap photos of their firsts of the new year. first food, first trip, first memories of 2015. I know my year will begin soon, I’ll catch up. I lay on my side and pull the covers up to my nose and imagine what is in store for me in the coming months. 2015 will be great, if I could just get out of bed. my spirits are high, this isn’t the end. I’m not kicking myself for not washing my hands enough during cold and flu season, because kicking would require energy I don’t have. to feel so weak and useless is so frustrating. it only reminds me to motivate myself to keep active so I won’t feel like this again when I reach 80.
lying awake at 4am stiff and unable to sleep, I think back at 2014. what an emotionally juxtaposed year that was. from aimless depression to near enlightenment. 2014 was concurrently the lowest of lows and the happiest and most content I’ve ever been in my life.
I went to Thailand with only the knowledge that a lot of people like to visit Thailand. What I also did not know was the “rules to traveling guide” (made up by some guy I met while traveling) lists “do not fall in love” as rule #1 (and also again as rule #3). as far as rules go, I am not one to follow any (not even my own). and as other sayings by other people who don’t like rules (or authority or being told how to live their lives) goes: break rules. wait, no, it’s like “rules are made to be broken” so, who cares about rules.
Yasunori Mitsuda – Secret of the Forest (Chrono Trigger OST)
film, grain, light, clouds, perpetual rain, images, ghosts, haunting, forest, wind, twisted branches, together, alone, calming, peaceful, green moss, brown wood, red stones, fallen leaves, wet ground, dusk, tall grass, 2 paths, steep slopes, breeze, secret, past, memories, exploring, future, spirits, resilience, stormy, brisk, last, adventure, cliffs, waves, darkness.
I decided something specific about my character awhile ago. I said to myself “as long as I am warm, fed and entertained” I will be the most patient, comfortable and agreeable person you’ve ever met. I was tested a year ago when I was in a commercial and had to arrive on set at 7:20AM and didn’t shoot my part until 7:20PM. I was sitting by myself for nearly 12 hours. however, I had a book I enjoyed, there was free food and later I took a nap on a chair. I also conversed with some interesting people as well. best 12 hours wasted of my life.
so, these first 2 weeks in Seoul were grumpy and sad because I was A) freezing 2) starving and d) couldn’t get organized to accomplish anything. now it all makes sense why I was being a baby. since the last post I have moved into a very warm room, recieved a package of things I can eat and my attitude has flipped for the best. I AM EFFING PUMPED! I AM IN EFFIN SEOUL, YA’LL!! I wish it didn’t take me so long to soak it in, but at least I’ve crawled out of the swamp of my own mind and shook it off.
I’m here. I’ve been here for nearly two weeks now, yet I’m still out of order. Have you ever tried to explain to someone an incredible vague dream that was almost too hard to put into words? Over explaining one simple concept just still couldn’t portray what you saw or felt while you were having this dream? The type of dream where you say:
“Then my friend appeared. but it wasn’t my friend, I couldn’t see their face. actually, they looked like someone I’ve never met, but in the dream I knew it was my friend.”
Seoul is a familar stranger to me. In combination with the other types of dreams wherein you can’t speak or hear a communicable language back and forth, that is what Seoul has been like so far. the vertical signs, the dark haired masses and small shops feel like Japan, but something is different. oh, it’s a whole ‘nother country and culture! I can’t help but compare things without accepting them first, but I’m still new at this. isn’t that what people naturally do though? compare and contrast what they know and what they begin to learn? everything I know about Korea is through pop music, dramas and vengeance films.
In 30 days I am leaving behind everything I am familiar with. all my friends, family, and the one person who loves me unconditionally. I am sacrificing security and comfort. I am trading it all to move to a country I have never been to, where I only know the popular dance moves and how to say “Hello! I love you! Really?”. I have a one-way ticket to Seoul, with dreams to be on billboards and magazines.
in this outfit, I am an unpopular 12 year old boy. but I am the type of 12 year old middle school boy who doesn’t give a shit, and wears what he likes. I probably read comics during math class and skip after school sports by riding my skateboard down to the pizza joint to play arcade games. girls probably like me, but I am too busy with my paper route and saving up for action figures to notice them. girls are gross anyway.
eat my shorts.
one of my biggest dreams of all time came true last Sunday (thanks to yukari~!). I saw Super junior Live in Japan. I was the only blonde haired white girl in the whole arena that I could see. I sat in the high up seats, but it was a small arena. to my left was a princess-type who barely reacted. to my right, an extreme fan girl who screamed and cried and jumped around. I myself, was right in-between those types. literally and type wise.
the show was nothing like anything I’d ever seen in my life. the stage went all over the entire arena. the lights themselves were their own show. it was like MJ’s “this is it” stage theatrics meeting a Korean boy band. trap doors, pyrotechnics, moving screens, color changing lights, shooting confetti, shifting stage mechanics, and flying harnesses. cute/cool mini-videos would play when they needed to change costumes several times. every single person in the audience had a special suju glowstick they did not set down for a second (I would later see fans on the train ride home and wave it at them and it created magical friendships between us despite language barrier). there was a really surreal moment when the show was finished… some stage lights stayed on, glowing on all the faces in the arena while everyone still had their blue lights waving. it was a gradient of heavenly colors. it got incredibly quiet. then slowly I could hear more and more tiny voices singing together–the whole arena was a giant choir or angelic Japanese girl voices singing a song I didn’t recognize.. but everyone knew it! it was going on for 3 minutes over and over until the lights shut off and everyone started screaming. a video played of cartoon suju members as vegetables. when it was over, suju came out dressed in vegetable costumes. it was ridiculous. the show continued for a few more songs, and they also spoke to the crowd. the show was 3 1/2 hours long, and it flew by completely.
When I first got in the concert, an older Japanese women stopped me in the crowd and was so surprised I was there. we spoke briefly, she had flown up from Australia, but was so shocked I even knew who super junior was. I stuck out like a sore thumb. if only I had floor seats so suju could have seen my beacon of light hair!
I had two moments with the fan girl on my right. she was crying after the first 3 songs. I was too, I couldn’t help it! (if you think I’m a lame-o for crying, take a second to imagine something impossible. then imagine that impossible thing happening in real life. it was a wonderful thing, boy band concert aside). I was just overwhelmed with … feelings. and not the usual boy-band love-sick goofy-girl feelings. like, imagining being them–the power to make girls scream and fall in love with you with just a smile, despite language barriers. it was so cool to be interested in something from another country, in an entirely different country. it made the world smaller. the moment I would become beside myself I would tear up. it was like I was staring into something so beautiful, I couldn’t even comprehend life itself. I think it was just happiness and pure joy welling up inside of me and it had to come out of my face somehow. at least I wasn’t peeing my pants.
so I tap the girl on the arm and say in the only Japanese I could: “me too! it’s okay!” and motioned to my eyes and we both laughed and used our scarves to dry our eyes. later siwon had his shirt off but it wasn’t projected on the screen. I tapped her again and shouted “SIIWWOONNN” and she was like “eh??” and I pointed and yelled again. he was half naked. we both looked at each other and screamed with the joy that comes with staring at incredibly ripped and naked korean men. it was glorious. although I couldn’t talk with the people around me, I was still so happy to be there with other fans. I do wish AJ was there to scream with me in English.
speaking of English, during one of their mini videos they had some lyrics on the screen. parts included “baby baby baby” and “lady lady lady”. rest was in Korean, translated to Japanese on screen. lastly they had “Shawty shawty shawty” (shorty) or, what it was suppose to say. it actually read “shwaty shwaty shwaty” which made me laugh. I might have been the only one realizing that was not even close to an English word. but no one cared. who cares. but I caught it.
Although I saw a great amazing show, cried a little, screamed a lot and couldn’t stop smiling…. THIS AIN’T OVER YET! I WILL SEE SUJU IN KOREA!! AND I WILL SEE SUJU WITH FLOOR SEATS!!! I WILL TOUCH A SUJU HAND! ONE DAY! my goals are slowly to be realized. this will be an expensive goal, no doubt. sigh. I better start learning some korean language.
The other night I was up till 5 am searching the vast internet about all the information I could find involving To-Y, a rare VHS/Laserdisc-only OVA anime from 1987 about a 16 year old reluctant pop-idol rock star. I found this clip on youtube again, and couldn’t stop watching it. I briefly posted it as a status update on facebook because I was so excited about it. One person I knew was awake. I quickly gushed to him about how much I loved this clip. His response was “that is a very specific thing to love”. It took me off-guard, but it made me happy.