Eye Candy from Shibuya

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Found these when I was walking around the Shibuya Tokyo area.

First: Very cute cellphone straps and magnets that are in the shape of every kind of food.

Second: I went past a cute noodle shop and this caught my eye. YES NOODLE STORE IM HAPPY.

Third: An Italian restaurant that I saw. It was over-grown with plants. A new gardener is in need.

Lost in Tokyo

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Morning:

When the WIFI is gone and I am left by myself in a different city, my mind panics a bit. Not panicking in the typical sense, but I  never know what to do with myself. I want to open the fridge to brainlessly check to see if anyone liked my status or saw my blog post- but I can’t. There is no fridge.
 
I sketched my breakfast this morning which consisted of sandwiches and lukewarm hot chocolate. It is difficult for me to draw food- especially warm food. I did not mind in Singapore or Bali because I had no appetite whatsoever. In my natural habitat however, I am infamous for pigging out. It takes great willpower on my part to draw then eat.
 
Today, I will attempt to find Tokyo Tower or Sky Tree. Before that, I want to go to Shinjuku and Shibuya because it seems to be the thing to do. I hope to not get lost. The problem is that I have no internet. I am alone with my thoughts and left to doing things the old fashioned way.
 
 
Noon:
 
I was pleased when I got handed free samples of new snacks and crackers on the street. In Osaka we only get tissues and fliers.
 
I walked around all morning and I found myself in a famous Shrine in Harajuku. It was nice to listen to all of the different languages. I have never seen so many tourists in my life.
I bought a little good-luck charm for a friend. The women selling them did not look happy to be there though. They should buy some of their own items.
 
When I left, I went to go draw in front of the station. A woman approached me asking to sign my name for world peace. She handed me a trinket and asked for a donation. She did not seem to speak Japanese or English. I told her in both languages that I could only give a small amount. After I signed my name, I gave her 100 yen and she looked  displeased. 
 
Coming back, I wandered around looking for a place to eat lunch. As I was walking, the thought went through my head, “I hope to make a good friend”. I continued my search and in the corner of my eye I spot a kebab stand. The prices looked fairly reasonable, and I liked the idea of sitting outside on such a beautiful day. 
 
I ordered and made small talk with the worker. I found out that he was from Morocco and is currently working at random cafes in the area. We continued to talk for an hour after that and we agreed to meet again after he finished work. 
Later in the afternoon, we grabbed a couple of drinks from the convenience store and chatted in a local alley.
 
What he observed about Japanese people is that they are competitive and do not like to talk about personal issues. “Everyone wants to be better than everyone else, showing off their pictures, bags, or clothes- they don’t know how to be themselves.”
 
We talked about life and how to live.
He told me that we each have a mind and a heart. We listen to both at different times and when we have conflicting emotions, that is when the heart and mind do not agree. At those moments we have to learn to make the best choice. 
If you do not feel at peace about something, leave it. If you forget about it, you will feel better.
It was a lovely talk and I hope to see him again. Thank you Man from Morocco for making my day.
 
Evening:
 
After doing a little bit of shopping, I drew my dinner and dozed off in a cafe’. The sofas were like marshmallows. 
 
There are many people in Tokyo. Everywhere I look I see swarms of ants. The good thing about riding the trains in such crowds is that you could fall asleep and you would not have to worry about falling over. 
 
The first day is over and I will start working tomorrow. I am looking forward to it I am praying that I will be able to find the meeting place. Wish me luck!

 

Bullet Train Rants

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Is thinking too much a good thing? Does it sort out your brain or does it clutter it up more?

I am currently riding on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Another adventure sounded refreshing to me, but this time I am venturing out on business and not pleasure. The man besides me just pulled out alcohol from his bag and is about to take a big swig. 

Whenever I travel, my mind goes blank and I find myself thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. It will be good to spend time away from home even though it will be a short trip. I don’t know what to expect and I will go there with an open mind and try my best.

I am glad that I have the smooth sound of the train moving along. It is relaxing and I feel myself dozing off. I only pray that I do not oversleep and miss my stop. The sun is starting to set and the view I see from the window is beautiful. I hope to see Mount Fuji on the way before it gets dark.

Sentosa

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I usually name my paintings after I paint them. Before I start, I never know what I am going to paint. I examine them afterwards to think of a name. This was one of my earliest paintings and I did not have a name for it until I came back from Singapore. I visited a park area there with attractions and beaches called Sentosa. I found out later that it means “Tranquility” in Malay. After looking at it when I came back I saw peace in it and decided to call it “Sentosa”.

Don’t go down that path.

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People tell me that the reason that I have a positive persona is because I have not experienced the harsh reality of life yet.

I never know what to say to those kinds of comments and I find my self apologizing for not having enough bad experiences. While it is true that I have lived a fairly sheltered life, not everything is easy. The internal struggles I create for myself can be suffocating. I often beat myself up for where I fall short, and become my worst enemy. Negative comments from others fuel it, even if they are slight.

One quote that I find comfort in is this one:

All bad events can benefit you and your future.
When I went traveling this past December, I was by myself for the first time. I started to feel alone when things were not working out the way I expected them to. When my mind started to go down that path, I told myself, “No, this is for my own good. Something great will come out of this”. Within ten minutes after having that thought, I made a friend and that event changed the course of my entire trip.
Not allowing negative thoughts into your head is very important. Even though good things might not happen instantly, don’t worry. Positive thinking becomes habit after awhile and you will find yourself attracting terrific experiences.

The Eternal Spring

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Right now in Japan the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It’s absolutely beautiful and the feelings around are very pleasant. It is sunny today, and the light that hits the cherry trees makes me feel like I am in an eternal spring, leaving the bitter cold winter behind. This special window of time lasts only two weeks. It teaches you to appreciate the little time that you have and make the best out of the natural eye candy.

It is the most beautiful to me when they begin to wilt. Of course, it is not a happy thing to see them disappear, but it makes one feel peaceful at the same time. When the petals start to fall, it looks as if it is snowing in the spring time. My heart hurts as it asks this beautiful season to not leave, but it must. It is sad, and I really don’t want it to go. I want to live forever in this one space in time, staring from the train window at the white trees. 

Catnapping in the sun, reading a book under a tree, sketching in the evenings as the wind blows in your hair. I just want to soak up each moment. I can’t explain it in any way other than, it is just the best feeling in the world to find something to love.

 
This ends my rant from gazing off from the train while on the way to work.