I can adequately sum up my time in Australia by using one word…
I can’t even accurately recall most of my time in Melbourne because it was largely a blur. I feel terrible because I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to catch up with.
But my trip served a far greater purpose than I expected it to – the realisation that Melbourne will be the city I spend most of my natural life in. That may seem like a fairly easy decision to come to for some people, but since coming to Kyoto it made me think about other places in the world I would like to live. It’s a surprisingly short list, upon reflection, but one I’d like to attempt to complete.
I can’t honestly say when I’m coming home, but my gut feeling is that it’ll be sooner rather than later.
There’s no apter quote than Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – “There’s no place like home.”
There’s every chance that my circumstances/situation might change, but while I’m sitting at this keyboard and typing these words, that’s how I currently feel.
I snapped back into Kyoto life pretty quickly. That is to say, drinking to excess often with a variety of folks. Here are some highlights from my first week back.
I’m not really sure to make of this…
Firstly, buta means pork or pig in Japanese. But ‘U’ is pronounced ‘oo’, but the other two ‘O’s in the title look like a pair of boobs. So… pig boob parking?
One of the biggest things I indulged in while I was back in Melbourne was coffee, so I went out of my way to find more coffee places in Kyoto. I came across one near Fushimi Inari called Vermillion. I kind of feel like I should set myself a challenge – walk/jog/run to Vermillion every day, my reward being great coffee, and then walk/jog/run home covering about 10km in distance.
They also happen to have some really nice sticky date pudding…
Another day was spent going to no less than three festivals in one day.
First up, the Saiin Music Festival. I managed to get to it last year too and vividly remember a cover of John Denver’s ‘Leavin’ on a Jet Plane’ which hit me so hard in the feels I had to lean against a wall to stay upright. This year I tried to watch a performer known as ‘Guitar Panda’ but completely misunderstood the directions. For the sake of clarification, ‘Guitar Panda’ is a rock’n’roll outfit that largely consists of a guy playing the electric guitar while in a panda suit. And this particular set was going to be played on a train ride between Arashiyama and Saiin. Regret doesn’t quite sum up how I feel about missing that event.
But I ended up at Cafe Front, where a good friend of mine was supervising all of the day’s happenings there. Cafe Front looks like it hasn’t been touched since the ’70s, or perhaps even the ’60s. I’m not great with estimating interior design decades, so I’ll let the picture do the talking instead.
Later, on my way back to Kyoto, Nakamura-san contacted me and told me to swing past a local festival that was taking place.
This event was held at an abandoned high school. It was lterally an event being held to celebrate the neighbourhood, from what I could understand.
That kid had some serious skills, for the record.
And last, but not least, I checked out the same light-up festival I went to last year around Sanjo Kamogawa.
And then another night of my first week back consisted of an all-you-can-eat/all-you-can-drink Taiwan-themed night at a local bar near my house, which led to karaoke, which led to extremely drunk wandering home and a 4:30pm wakeup the following day.