torek, 08. november 2011

Brewed For Good Times

Kirin beer, of course. As I promised I went to Japan to drink a beer. Just to drive crazy the Nipp-otakus in other parts of the world. It doesn't matter that I really HAD to go to Japan (well, it could also be China, Hong Kong, Thailand, any nearby country for what it matters, but Japan is still the fastest and cheapest way. It was nice to be the only round-eyed on the ferry, I drank my beers before the ferry even left Busan and went to sleep, to waken up by the cleaning lady in Japan, all the passengers have already disembarked. It was my fastest trip to Japan, in subjective terms of time. Another good thing was that being the absolutely last there was no waiting in the queue at the immigration. I had the Immigration and Customs forms already filled and the lady officer was not at all surprised when she saw that I filled "Planned stay in Japan" with a zero. "You are here only to extend the Korean visa?" It was put like a question, but it was a statement. I wasn't sure if this was a good or a bad sign, but I confirmed. "Than fill it in on the "Purpose of visit" line, please." Just like that? And I put like that, my purpose of visit is to extend the Korean visa. "Thank you, sir, have a good time in Japan." Again, I wasn't sure if she was mocking me or it was just an automatism. But I didn't really cared much, I was already nervous about my return to Korea, if here was so easy the troubles are almost for sure waiting for me in Busan.
It was almost 8 AM, two more hours before check-in for my trip back. Since I travelled very light, no laptop this time, only my study notebook, socks and a shirt (and two boxes of cigarettes bought at the Busan duty free shop, a real deal, at almost half price), I decided to take a walk on the Fukuoka streets.
The weather there is a bit warmer than here, but the morning streets were in the same misty sadness mood as I was. Looks like the depression is still holding a strong grip on me, even if for most of the time I seem to function as a perfectly normal social being. Well, normal... you know...
 

 

The city was just getting ready for the day. Only few poeple on the streets, but the traffic was getting heavier by the minute. But so different from the not so distant Busan. Yes, Japan is another country, but is also another galaxy. The most impressive is the sound of the traffic. It's so quiet. And no honking, no impatient drivers. I wonder if attitudes like this are possible without all the other behavioral drawbacks that make Japanese so... different.
On my way back I went to visit some of my "friends" in the port. They have mostly already gone, only one was still sleeping.
 

 

The day brightened a little, so did I. And I bought that damned Kirin beer and drank in at 10 AM. And ate one onigiri, with tuna. My favourite, with one exception. But I suppose I will never again be called by a little girl to "please, come and take more of my onigiri". I wanted to go to Iwanuma, to Nagasaki, to Tokunoshima. At 11AM I boarded the ferry and went to sleep.
 

 

 

In Busan, to my great surprise, were no troubles waiting for me. And to avoid any troubles at the Jinju bus station in late evening, I decided to stay in Busan for the night, in my favorite hostel, The Blue Backpackers, conveniently placed just on the way to the Intercity Bus terminal. Few beers on the roof, some talk with a tourist couple from Poland. At first it looked like they are travellers, what not, with the last year spent in travelling in Laos, Kambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China, etc... and they finally came to Korea, their last stop before going back to Europe. They asked me for tips where to go and I mentioned the nearby Gwangju with the tombs, Bolguk temple and Seokguram Grotto with the stone Buddha, National park Jiri san and the Hae In temple with the precious Tripitaka Koreana... and they were rolling their eyes "Please stop, no more Buddha, we've been in buddhist countries for the last thirteen months and we're sick of all the Buddhas!" Christ on acid, what's wrong with you? Next time you'll travel to Africa and ask for places where there's no black people? You'll go to the North Pole just to protest because there is too much ice? Tourists! But... let them be. They are far away from me, I'm home. Everybody was happy to meet after just three days, little Guryun was so happy that he bowed to me on his knees, but when I reached out with my arms he jumped in my hug.
Home.

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