Tuesday, August 15, 2006


After a whirlwind of traveling for 12 days non-stop in China, I came back to Japan and spent the following 3 days paralyzing in heat and mosquitoes bites. I'm not sure if it's age that's catching up on me or the fact that I've spent too much time in well developed countries i.e. the states and Japan, my time in China this time was a lot more exhausting than I thought.

The fact that I flew in from Japan must have somehow affected my tolerance for lack of order and people's poor public manner. The heat I could take, the packed crowds I got used to quickly, and even the flying trash in the middle of the road I'd learned to ignore, but in China, there was one thing that I couldn't stand - noise and people's loud-speaking manner.

Oh, and the service attitude. Hang-zhou has somehow gotten a lot worse this time. Or maybe I've just been too pampered by the excellent customer service in Japan.

But other than that my time in China was great and well spent, a little too spent in terms of the number of hours for walking in heat.

These days I wonder if my body functions a lot faster than my mind. Or that my mind simply can't process all the things that I physically experience. This is the problem with traveling so much in such short amount of time. Everywhere I go, I collect receipts, tickets, pamphlets, and brochures, and I write up my own travel itinerary and a budget list by the end of the day. I intend to use these things to retain memories of all the precise little moments and thoughts taken place during the trip. "I need this ticket in order to remember which train I took" or "This receipt will help me remember what dishes we devoured over dinner last night," I told myself. But the fact is - when the trip is done, I never have time to sit down and go through all the pieces of papers collected for a fascinating travelogue. And most of the reason why I don't have time is either my next trip has started or some important next stage in life has begun.

Years ago I thought maybe when the next winter or summer break comes, I'll still be able to retrace all the precious moments and thoughts gathered during the previous trip and write up a nice travelogue or some few pages of summary. Yet when the next summer break comes, I again pack up my suitcase and fill my schedule till there's no room for regurgitation. Reminisce still comes, but only during the down moments of an over-night train ride or a 12-hour plane flight.

I'm beginning to feel that this may be how the rest of my life is going to pan out. Perhaps this is why people eventually end up writing a memoir when they finally get old and have time to sit down to retrace, recollect, and recreate. And that's also why memories already read more interestingly than real life. Even at this very moment as I'm writing up this entry, my memory has already failed me. Imagination and beautification begin to take place, and nostalgia takes center stage.

This is why I don't believe that the dan-dan-men (dan-dan-noodle) that my dad had when he was young, down in some dark alley in the middle of the night, really is all that much better than the "real" dan-dan-men from Si-chuan these days. But nostalgia will always convince him that it was the best dan-dan-men in the world that has long been lost. Nor did the Sapporo beer really taste that much better back in the 60's compared to now had it not been his first time drinking it accompanied by great summer heat and fresh sashimi.

Although I'm not sure if I want to wait for that long for my well-fabricated memoir to come to the world. The struggle with never-enough-time and failure of memory will always be there, but my mac powerbook G4 and blogger will also be there to remind me of the importance to write.

As well as to keep taking pictures, even though my iPhoto is still exploded with 25000 pics. I better do something before my iPod explodes next as well ...

So much overdue in life.

梅ちゃん at 9:26:00 PM



Post a Comment