Slithering black snakes
guard doors at Nijo Castle
for hundreds of years.
Yesterday afternoon I had a very odd encounter with a women on the train. Now, I’ve had odd encounters in the past, but this one was a little embarrassing (for me).
I was heading to the dealership in Allston to pick up my car that was being serviced and was forced to take the train. The MBTA B-train is always packed with students because it runs straight up Commonwealth Ave toward Boston University and Boston College. As the train pulled up, I could see through the windows at what appeared to be a familiar face in the crowd: my friend and former MassArt alum Jennifer Feller. I smiled and she smiled back. I began moving through the packed car toward her and I was about five feet from her before noticing that the Starbucks cup she had in her hand read, “Taylor” in black magic marker. She continued to smile and I walked straight on by her to the back of the train––It was Jennifer’s doppelganger! I guess that can happen to anyone, especially when you haven’t seen your friend for close to two years. After retelling the story to my wife, she laughed out loud and said that I probably made Taylor’s day. Taylor if you’re out there reading this, Hi, I’m married.
I called Jennifer today to tell her this awkward story and she had a good laugh.
Eight years ago this week, 14 women from MassArt (including Jennifer) and the token male, me, embarked on a two week journey to Japan and China. We toured castles and temples, gardens and tea houses. We ate a lot of food and took a ton of photographs. Some people got sick, and some people got sunburns. We climbed a section of The Great Wall of China and got attacked by bugs. I signed a lot of autographs for school children in Japan––I was a rock star for about an hour.
While in Japan, I began writing haiku’s. Why haiku’s you ask? Since the time zone is 12 hours different than what I was used to, my inner clock was off and I couldn’t sleep. I would stay up at night dressed in my Japanese onesie taking self-portraits in the mirror or would write in my journal. The haiku’s were zen-like meditative moments for me. After visiting the temples and zen gardens in Kyoto, I felt very inspired. I became centered and one within my onesie. I hope I get a chance to return there someday.
Traveling and learning about different cultures has always intrigued me. Study abroad programs should be mandatory in all schools. You learn so much more than any book can teach you. I hope all my travel mates are doing well wherever you may be.