Thursday, 17 December 2015

"First time"s list in Japan and Taiwan

In no particular order. Just ones that popped up my mind first.

WWOOFing. Picking apples from a tree that was a storey high. My legs shook at first but the sight of rows and rows of apple trees and their sweet natural scent wafting up higher than a storey high put me at peace.

Picking pears while singing.

Picking chestnuts full of spikes with my two favourite people at Ogurayama Farm: Towa-kun and Tama-chan. ありがとう,和君。You don't know how thankful I am for your kindness.

Received a present (black cat plushie) from a boy named Towa.

Towa is also my seven-year-old Japanese boyfriend who only acknowledges me at home and is two-timing me with this other seven-year-old girl at his school.

Accepted a ride to Shinano-Omachi train station from a guy I met at the Shinano-Kizaki post office. Our conversation was fueled by his broken English, my broken Japanese and Google translate and it was one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a while.

Shared a room with 3 other people who didn't speak much English. One time we were having so much fun using drawings and google translate!

Went to onsen (hot spring) that was on a hill and then coming back down to the foot of hill through a series of slides. #ONSENisLOVE

Ate 蝉(cicada) molted skin that was hanging off a leaf on the apple tree.

Peed in a bush after harvesting apples for 2 hours. Heh.

Washed my clothes on my own (I'm so going to get judged by this).

Taught Singlish to non-Singaporeans and it was so damn difficult to teach. Made me realise how precious and interesting Singlish is too.

Going to a beach alone. In the fall. Experiencing fall. And experiencing the peaceful quietness of the beach when you're not there with anyone else but yourself.

Went clubbing and danced in a circle with good friends and friendly strangers.

Lying on a bed, making small talk with a guy whom I've first met earlier that morning, with our mouths stinking with alcohol. His eyes were twinkling prettily in the dark room. I wasn't feeling butterflies in my stomach. We know we have nothing for each other 'cos four hours ago he was flirting with foreign girls in the club and I was vomiting in the toilet just 50 metres away. Just happy with the fact that I've made another friend and that happy things can be so simple.

Attending a Halloween party and then realising in shame that we were the only ones who didn't dress up. Formed our circle and started dancing when no one else was. Pulled strangers in Halloween costumes into the circle, cheered, laughed and danced like we never had.

Attending a Halloween party that was boring at first but became fun after getting high from strong zeros lined up in their tiny silver columns of a fridge in a nearby 7-11.

Got high from alcohol for the first time. 142 yen x 2 and I'm good to go.

Got my hair stroked as I fell asleep by a guy who I might not see ever again. A guy whom I now know I was only physically attracted to because my heart aches less now. And egoistically sad because I'm sure it was the same for him.

Ate somen out of a pot because it was that good.

Ate sushi that was made and served traditionally right in front of me. Ate them the traditional way: with my hands and sashimi on tongue bed instead of rice. Before I could react, they melted in my mouth and nourished my tongue. One of the best foodgasm I've had in my whole life.

Had meals on a long table every day with farmers and farming-lovers like myself. My inadequate writing abilities cannot convey the comfort and joy of a warm meal in the cold night of Nagano's late September after a long day of farming under the sun.

Couchsurfed with two really kind ladies and their cat who never let me touch it.

Got invited into a kind old lady's house. Thank goodness it didn't end up like Hansel & Gretel.

Received a souvenir from kind, amicable strangers when I was lost in Haruka.

Ate ikura and rice for breakfast in a cosy dining room of a tiny two-storey house in Yokohama after a short-trip at beautiful Enoshima on the previous day.

Saw Mount Fuji and the sun that rises and sets beside it every day. It's the same sun we have here but why do I miss it so much?

Pretended I was drunk and kicked the guy I was physically attracted to off my bed. Until now I'm not sure if I regret doing that. Okay nope, I don't regret it.

Got confused by physical attraction and liking someone. I was so close to kissing him then but now he disgusts me a little.

Went on a road trip with some of the kindest and most generous people I've met in my life. Fucking thankful for humanity.

Met a good-looking person of the opposite gender and my heart didn't pound when I was talking to him.

Never thought I'd do this because I used to laugh at people who did this is secondary school. I bloody created a non-official family tree. With angmohs (non-Asians). Gosh. As of now I have 2 mothers (1 bisexual female British and 1 straight male British), 1 2-foot tall Nigerian father, 1 Italian older brother, 2 older sisters (1 French-Muslim and 1 Romanian), 1 Belgium-Italian younger brother and 1 Taiwanese life-senpai who cannot fucking stop referring to himself in 3rd person. Still, I love them all.

I also now have a Tokyo mum and two Yokohama aunts.

Went to a cat cafe. Thrice. Went to a rabbit cafe, once.

Vomited from drinking alcohol for the first time.

Witnessing a doctor-heli rescue. (Always thought it was just a drama!!!)

Picked up a language (well, kind of) in a short span of 2 weeks. Farming environment is best learning environment.

Sat on the back of a lorry full of rice sacks and feeling the wind run over my face and through my hair. Laughing 'cos I couldn't feel my face.

Cycling on the roads of Shinbashi to catch the sunset at Rainbow Bridge and failing to do so but was still happy as fuck 'cos I CAN CYCLE NOW.

Being in an environment/setting where I was the only Singaporean.

Sending postcards from a foreign country.

Walked half an hour just to get to a secondhand shop. But shit, secondhand shops in Japan are so damn awesome.

Boarded and alighted planes alone. Even made some friends with my flight neighbours.

Asked a stranger to do me a favour by claiming one of my carry-on baggages as hers 'cos I bought too much souvenirs.

Argued with a flight attendant about how it doesn't make sense that I cannot bring an airport-provided shopping bag up an airplane.

Waited 20 minutes for a densha (like MRT train) to arrive.

Feeling thankful for the public transport service we have in Singapore for the two months I was in Japan and then feeling envious about Taipei's cheap and efficient MRT.

Fed and touched sheeps. Which felt like walking carpets.

Ate goat milk ice-cream which should not be for sale.

Slept in a double bed with 3 other people, all but one of us smelling like alcohol and expired milk.

Took the first train home after dancing non-stop till 4am at a club and then sleeping on the bed of my roommate who left our room.

Being away from my family for more than 16 days.

Letting the prettiest and most well-groomed guy I've ever met trim my eyebrows and a beauty college student cut my fringe.

Crying on a train platform in front of my one and only eonni because I really didn't want to leave Japan and all the friends I have there.

Exchanged contacts with strangers at a club.

Received a letter from a senpai who was on the very same airplane and left his letter in the plane magazine at my seat. Felt like I was in a drama hahaha.

I think there are many more that I left out. Will keep updating this when the wandering memories pay a visit back to the main frame.
But most importantly, for the first time, I traveled alone. Became friendlier and more opened than I've ever been. Did things that I never would have done in Singapore nor if I were with my friend(s). Had a hell of a good time.

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