The Sakura season in Kansai, Japan is slowly coming to an end. The petals drop to the ground and all the tourists (a LOT of tourists) and locals await another year to sit under the trees and celebrate the coming of spring. Although the weather has been quite cold, it’s a great feeling to finally think that the winter and all of the crazy ups and downs in the temperature could finally be over.
I have two new jobs, making three in total. I would like to blame that for my absence on this site, but it is only partially true. More than being tired, it is my attitude of “I can’t be bothered” when it comes to writing a new post. Procrastination is not one of my greatest traits, but I don’t hate that part of myself. I try to not be upset these days because otherwise I will only be fighting an endless battle that ends in frustration. A friend of mine told me that I must try to embrace it and accept who I am rather than forcefully try to make changes. Slowly with that awareness, those traits can leave like a dream.
In the meantime, I’m currently enjoying sitting down in my favorite organic cafe’, listening to something that is a mix of Japanese jazz-rap-fusion and find my mind traveling to different places.
A great many exciting things happened this week. We welcomed a new addition to the family: a heater. We were growing in desperate need of one because the temperature here in Japan had suddenly dropped.
With a lot more reasons to stay inside, I have been thinking and slowing down a bit more. I am still sick and I love these lazy days where I stay in and drink tea all evening.
Yesterday, I visited the organic cafe’ in my area for the fourth time this week. I feel as if I could go there every day and not get tired of it. You would feel the same way I am sure.
I will list some reasons why, and if any of you have a place similar to this, please let me know.
1. The music is different each time I go. The woman in charge plays the same artist throughout the day, but a different artist and genre everyday.
1. The atmosphere is cute and cozy. The seats are all different with the only thing in common being that they are all comfortable. The lighting is good and doesn’t strain your eyes.
1. It is close to the station and from my house it takes less than ten minutes to walk. I just walk down the hill and I am there
1. Don’t get me started on the food. She changes up the menu everyday. Mutsumi serves mostly organic and vegetarian meals with a plethora of tastes and spices to please the palate. When you come in the smell of the ingredients hits your nose right away.
1. Though Mutsumi is friendly and always has a smile on when I come in, she gives me my space when I do my reading or projects. Welcoming, yet distant in a good way.
I just love this place. If anyone happens to be in Nara, Japan I would highly recommend it.
Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak, surrender to them.
This was one of the lines that stood out to me as I read Demian in my favorite organic cafe by the station. Today could have gone down so much differently than it had. I would have woken up, gone to class, wave to the guard at the supermarket, arrive at work, make small talk for five hours , and come back home at 7:00 pm as usual. Every work day is predictable. It would have been the same Thursday, except that I ended up not going to work. The cold weather and the coughs from the people on the train finally caught up with me and I came down with a cold.
It has been awhile since I took a sick day. I tend to be more productive on days that I take off rather than days that I have off.
This morning I did some cleaning, and in the afternoon I went out to draw.
With some walking around, I passed a restaurant with the door to the kitchen wide open. I saw the cooks hard at work, making dishes and washing dishes. I was standing outside looking at them for ten minutes wondering if I should go and ask if it would be okay to draw. Finally after mustering up the courage, I explained that I sketch as a hobby, and wondered if I could draw the kitchen. They agreed and I thanked them. The unfortunate thing was that when I sat down, I realized that I had forgotten my watercolor paper. I dug in my bag and there was nothing I could use except the back of a notebook. It turned out to be a blessing I disguise. I was pleased that the universe pushed me to try something new and break out of my tight shell a little bit.
As I was sketching, one of the workers came out and got a peek of what I had sketched. He seemed pleased and went back inside. A second time, he came out with some hot tea. “It’s cold out here, isn’t it?” And went back in.
That man made the drawing experience so much more of a joy. He came out about three more times to make small talk and showed me a lot of kindness that made my week.
A lot of elderly gentleman who were getting ready to hike up the mountain also introduced themselves. As serendipity had planned it, they were also sketchers and invited me along with them to their next sketching event.
If only everyday could be like these. I was sick and I was exhausted by the time I got home, but I felt alive.
Today, I ended up not going to work. Instead I find myself at my favorite cafe at the end of the day listening to my favorite kind if music and reading my favorite kind of book.