An Introduction

In February, I purchased this domain.

I had modest dreams. I was going to write about my travels.

Yes, there are a million Japan travel blogs, but mine would have been different. It would have been unique, because I am willing to admit that sometimes the best food while traveling comes from the convenience store. Often there is no hidden gem of a restaurant with kind locals, warm stories, and delicious comfort food, as seen on TV. There is just a sleepy town where all two restaurants close at 18:00 and you are left calling a taxi to drive you 30 minutes, through the dark and narrow mountain roads, to the nearest convenience store.

In those 30 minutes, in the backseat of the taxi, you hate yourself. You hate your poor planning that lead to a late start. You hate the train delay that you didn’t quite understand, made on crackling and fizzing Showa-era speakers. You hate yourself for not talking to the driver enough. Should you talk more? Maybe he just wants to drive. Maybe he thinks you’re an idiot for taking a taxi to the convenience store.

As the taxi crawls quietly through the night, the forest on one side, a dramatic slope on the other, you notice the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. He is old. The headlights of a passing car briefly illuminate the side of his face. He is really old. You start to worry about him. He should be at home. He should be asleep on the couch, with half a can of beer sitting in a puddle of condensation on the coffee table and the baseball game blaring from the TV. He shouldn’t be driving a taxi at night.

You should tip him. You should plan better. You should stop spending your money so recklessly on taxis or you’ll have to spend your retirement transporting idiots, too. You sigh, looking nervously at a navigation app on your phone, trying to orient yourself in a pantomime of control.

At last, the taxi pulls up to the convenience store. And in that moment, in the cool glow of the LED bulbs, your transgressions are vindicated. Each step takes you further down the aisle toward the fridges full of domestic beer and cheap bento. You grab a bag of chips. It’s the weekend! You’re allowed to have a little fun! You earned this! Relax! You came here to relax, remember?

Another 30 minutes in the back of the taxi. Maybe you talk to the driver, maybe you don’t. Maybe you sit in silence, holding your cold beer, bag of chips, and lukewarm bento, finding new ways to hate yourself. Pebbles and dirt form a cloud behind the taxi as you move closer to your hotel room and the onsen. You were supposed to be resting in a face mask right now. What a stupid night! No, let’s say you talked to the driver. Let’s say you both had a laugh. Just kind locals and warm stories, as seen on TV.

But I digress.

I purchased this domain because I wanted to tap fingertips to keys and really wrangle some words into thoughts, to move away from tawdry threads on Twitter.

Join me in going back to basics, going back to blogging.

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