Kotoya-san and I met near the tail end of winter in an old tea house by Lake Ashi under awkward circumstances. She stood on one end of a wooden platform raised a foot from the ground, cleaning supplies in one hand, face mask hiding her expression. On the other side, separated by an unlit fire place with a worn kettle and a ring of rocks, were four Australians girls alternating between trying to explain to Kotoya-san in increasingly louder, slower, and broken English that me taking their picture would take far less time than for them to first remove their shoes as they were being asked to.
In a conversation with a friend the other day, I remarked how I felt oddly “at home” during my short visit to Japan in all its glorious neuroticism; a nation of rules, propriety, and arbitrary rituals. Completely unlike the “Bahala na” vibe of rural Antique,… Read More
Subarashii (すばらしい) // Mid-afternoon, Shinobazuno Pond, Ueno Park, きょわ素晴らしいです “I wish there was more green around here,” my spontaneous explorer friend and food buddy for the day remarked. “The gardens back in Argentina or Germany always looked greener”. Looking around I couldn’t agree more. Concrete… Read More