Youth be free, Not Fake




Japanese T-Shirts and other products are infamous here for not making a whole lot of sense. What most people likely do is put whatever they want to say in Google Translate and think that’s good enough. Many things get lost in translation and you can end up with many raised eyebrows and cocked heads. I keep my eye out for ones that actually mean something. One of the recent ones that I’ve found is on this bag. Most of the students have no clue what they are wearing, and after I explained this one to the owner, he nodded in agreement.

It summed up what I had been thinking about that exact day. I had been talking with my sister and we discussed the usual worries and slightly irrational fears that comes with being young. The running theme throughout the talk was, “What should I doooooooooooo“?

We are caged in the idea that we have to know what we want to do. We have to have a plan. We have to have the right balance all the time. While I was traveling, however, the spontaneous moments were the times that changed my course for the better and great things happened when I least expected it. It is the social pressure around us that is pushing us to take the more conservative step instead of the leap of faith.

Mistakes go hand-in-hand when you are following your gut so you have to give yourself a little legroom when you make the not-so-right choices. There is no shame in admitting when you are wrong. We love to (and in a way, trained to) show the staged part of ourselves. We love the attention and the likes on our profile pictures, but perhaps the freedom comes when you embrace both the cringe-worthy and positive sides because that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes each of us beautiful and 100+ Facebook like-worthy in our own way.


Whims and Hot Chocolate

On the way to Nagoya:

I have small dreams. Dreams that come to me in an instant. It is the feeling of wanting to do something and going out and doing it. I felt the same in Bali. I feel free when I travel on a whim.

I did not have a reservation for the train and I was put in Car 5. The smoking car. As I was walking from the front of the train to the back, smells from the passenger’s food entered my nose. Nikuman, Obento, Dry Squid. I had one thought as I made my way to my seat: This is Japan.

If there is anything that I do not like, it is smoking. As soon as I take my seat, the man in front of me puffs a large cloud of smoke into my face. I could not stay there. Why would they still make smoking allowed on trains?

I felt at home at the space between the train cars, but I started to get restless after half an hour. I wanted time to go faster. I started reading the only book I brought with me: Danny Gregory’s, “A Kiss Before You Go”. It is a depressing yet uplifting narrative. I wondered how I would react to a situation like his.

After an hour I got tired of standing and decided to sit on a machine that was in front of me. I didn’t think it was allowed to be a chair, but my feet were screaming mercy. I was lucky to get a nice train man checking the tickets. He was quite the jolly looking fellow with the physique of Santa. He looked up and found me elevated. He had a mischievous look in his eye and grinned at me. I passed my ticket to him with a smile. We made a silent agreement that we would keep my conduct hush hush.

Two trains and two hours later, I made it to my friends house. The night ended with me meeting my great friends and getting back to hot chocolate with a mountain of cream on the top.