Monday, March 07, 2005


by AJ/Skald

Sometimes it is necessary to leave that which we love... for a little while. Doing so renews our
appreciation. It helps us to remember what we have and why it is important. We once again
understand its beauty, power, and uniqueness.

So it is with me and Thailand. Coming to Japan has renewed my appreciation for Southeast
Asia. I am reminded that it is a special place for me... a place that rejuvenated me...a place where
I feel at home. Leaving Thailand was extremely difficult. I cried like a baby in the departure gate
and again on the plane. It was tough to leave Tip. It was tough to leave the eternal
sunshine, the eternal warmth. It was tough to leave the spices, the smells, the energy, the chaos.

Already I miss it terribly. What am I doing here? Why have I returned (yet again) to a cold,
grey, workaholic country? Why have I based such a decision on financial matters... on the goal of
making money-- something that always ends in disaster for me. Sometimes I must make the same
mistake three, four, five times before it finally sinks in. So here I am again--- facing the barrel of a gun called work... surrounded by GQ worker bees... sitting under a grey winter sky.
Its like I've moved from technicolor (Thailand) to a world of blacks, whites, and greys (Japan).
Not that its an unpleasant place. Everything here is, in fact, pleasant.

But theres also no fire or spice or dirt or... or... mojo. While I value the quiet and clean air.... everything is just a little too ordered.

But theres nothing to do at the moment but make the best of it. Im dead broke. The
impoverished have fewer options and I am stuck working here for a few months. If that time
helps to strengthen my appreciation for what I had, then it is time well spent. If that time fires
my determination and defiance, it is time well spent. If that time builds my savings and increases
my financial options, it is time well spent. If that time serves as a slap in the face and a kick in
the ass, it is time well spent. After all, if I was completely fat, lazy, and happy... what would I
write about!! From time to time it is valuable to confront what we loathe... to face challenges of
our own creation. Doing so keeps us in fighting shape... keeps us sharp....keeps us aware of our
priorities. These stints should be short-- but they are valuable.

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