Jet Lag’s a Bitch
My body’s been committing mutiny lately, deciding that four hours of sleep is plenty for a growing web developer. Yesterday, I woke right the hell up at three AM, and tried every home remedy for insomnia: warm milk, reading, quiet music. Nothing worked, and a horse-doper’s measure of opium was starting to sound like a viable option. So after a few hours of lying around, I finally gave up, got dressed and hit the gym.
Walking back, I was struck by just how alien Massachusetts Avenue looks first thing in the morning. It’s oddly serene when it’s not overrun with SUVs, soccer moms, and bleary-eyed commuters. Though I suppose it’s fair to say that anything would look surreal before six in the morning, especially when you’re a bit starved for sleep. Of course, having just returned from nearly two weeks in a foreign country doesn’t help.
Writing this post has been a struggle. I’d planned on doing daily write-ups while I was over there, but reliable internet access was surprisingly elusive. As a result, accurately summing up nearly two weeks in Tokyo, an incredible, wonderful city, has been a touch difficult. It’d be difficult to convey everything I felt about the city: Hell, even in the middle of the trip, I spent a good deal of time thinking about how we actually go about representing our experiences online. I was standing in this beautiful park across from the Imperial Gardens, snapping pictures away dutifully for Flickr, king, and country. After a few minutes, I realized just how inadequate those pictures would be as mementos. The too-warm November sun, the cool relief of the fountains’ spray, the smile on my face as one of my favorite bands clicked into rotation—all that’s lost when you try to distill that moment in a photograph, a journal entry, or a blog post.
Tokyo’s a beautiful city: I got dragged into the heart of darkness, and found it pink; I attended one of the worst design conferences ever; it was the first time I’ve traveled in a country where I was in the cultural and ethnic minority; I ate some frighteningly incredible meals; I was floored by some flat-out gorgeous architecture; I visited one of the most beautiful museums ever. It was a vacation of superlatives, and I finally realized that I don’t have the words to describe it.
So, yeah—I think I fell in love with the country, and I’d love to go back someday. Until then, I’ll be leafing through my Flickr photo album, and trying to put things back into context. Hope you enjoy.
It’s good to be back.