Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pre-Japan Thoughts (and Worries)

More than 13 years ago, I fell in love with a country that produced a lot of my favorite TV series, or should I say, animated series. To say I was a big fan of anime was an understatement. I still am by the way, I just happen to be very picky nowadays. When you've seen a lot, you tend to look for fresh and edgy material. My excessive fondness of anime and manga ultimately led me to embrace almost anything Japan related. The language, the culture, the people, the place... I wanted to move there and work. Of course things don't always happen the way you planned, sometimes it's just not meant for you, and sometimes, you change, you grow up. I no longer have that desire to work or stay there for a long period of time. But going there for a visit never left my bucket list. As I write this, I am a sleep away from fulfilling a life long dream. I am finally coming to Japan.

I should be happy and excited, right? Right, but there are these last minute hurdles and threw apprehension, frustration and even sadness into the equation. Obviously, I don't have to explain the positive side of this mixed emotion I feel, let me explain the negative side.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I noticed my monthly period got prolonged than normal. When I saw no sign of stopping, I consulted a gynecologist. Apparently, I've got this hormonal imbalance going on, I am now on medication, the bleeding has stopped, but my (internet) research tells me I should expect to bleed soon. In fact the past days, the symptoms of PMS had manifested in me --the annoying occasional cramps. I hate it. I can imagine the discomfort it would give me while exploring a foreign country.

Then there's this weather situation, extreme weather situation. I thought typhoon Santi (Nari) was a concern, apparently not, it's on its way out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but a new storm is threatening not just my travel but Japan itself. Typhoon Wipha is forecasted to enter Japan by October 16 (I'm leaving Philippines the 14th), how great is that? What makes this really frustrating is, usually storms move in a one quadrant direction (at least in my amateur sky tracking experience), but Wipha's track is shaped like a boomerang, it's moving northwest then at some point it'll move northeast? And I'm like, is this some kind of a big joke? 'Cause it's not funny.

Remember our disbelief when Typhoon Peping (Parma, 2009) after pounding north Luzon, made a u-turn and made a second landfall, bringing more damage than it already had?

The truth is, it's too early to tell. It's just forecast, a prediction, the storm can still change its course right? But it's a scientific prediction and my pessimistic side is getting the better of me. I hate it. No I don't want it to go towards the Philippines or anywhere else, just dissolve or go in area where no casualty will occur. Sounds like a long shot eh? But hey, miracles do happen, so...

Another thing that's making me a little bit sad is the fact that I'm traveling solo. It's not so much of a big deal, it's not an issue of independence, it's just that I didn't actually dream of going to Japan alone. I shared this dream with some of my closest friends. I was looking at my 2004 pocket journal and saw a note I left in March 28, it was a promise I made with a friend, that we'd go to Japan 2 years from then, and like I said, people change. Priorities change over time, she's still wanted to to, but she's in a different situation now, and Japan would just have to wait until such time when circumstances are leaning onto her favor. I also wish I could bring my parents, but I can't fend for their expenses. My dad wanted to come with me, but there was a problem with his birth certificate and getting an authenticated document from NSO took time. The visa policy of Japan had eased, Thailand and Malaysia got exempted from visa requirements, I wish they included Philippines from this exemption, it would have been a different story if it were the case.

I hate to admit it but, yeah, these worries and sad thoughts are kinda overshadowing my excitement. I still have not packed my things, somehow it doesn't feel real anymore. Nevertheless, I'm still pushing the trip with much anticipation, and while I am no longer expecting for things to go perfect on my first visit, I will try my best to have a blast. And even though I haven't even touch down Japan, I know for a fact that I will definitely go back.

No comments: