Friday, May 10

Japan Solo - Shinjuku, Tokyo

For the third and final instalment of my Japan Solo blog post, I will be wrapping it up with a little bit of Shinjuku, Tokyo and some of my deranged rants. (You can find the first two entries of my trip here and here.)

I am 37, it should be too early for mid-life crisis, I should believe. I have a job which I enjoy, a family to love and to be proud of, I live in one of the most desirable city in Asia, but it hadn't stop me from wondering if I would be better off somewhere else. Some places where I don't have to raise kids in a competitive rat-racing society, where living is about enjoying the moment, at a pace where we can all stop and smell the roses. Where I can sit and watch the sun goes down without feeling the guilt that I had wasted a day being unproductive. Most bizarrely, I wondered if I would be better off living a totally different life from the one I am having right now.

And with all these questions boggling in my head, I travelled to Shinjuku, Tokyo. Staring at the intimidating Japan subway network, I thought the best solution was to consult the information counter. Perhaps, the lady working at the information counter wanted to play a prank at me misunderstood my intention and gave me the wrong direction.

After more than an hour on the train (Shinjuku is supposed to be only 30 minutes away from Yokohama), Shinjuku was no where to be seen and realizing the scenery of my journey had taken on a more rural landscape, I quickly disembarked. After checking with another station's information counter, I was sure I had been misled.

I went to the correct platform and board the correct train. I had been lost for more than an hour. Now I know why there are plentiful of drinks and food vending machines on the platform, because there will be people like me who was lost, thirsty and hungry!

Finally, I reached Shinjuku Station, the busiest and the most complicated station recognised by the Guinness World Book of Records.

Once out of the station, I was greeted by the kaleidoscopic floods of people, cars, building, signboards, etc. I visited some shops and Isetan departmental store for some work-related window shopping and the psychedelic amount of consumables were a little too much for me. I couldn't believe I would say this, but just after three hours in Shinjuku, I felt I had enough. I was overdosed. I desperately wanted to get out, to a place with less congestion.

It was my last day in Japan. I had prefer the quiet, peaceful town of Narita to the florid city of Shinjuku, for it reminded me too much of my own country. As I reclined into my spacious seat in Business Class, flying back, I thought to myself, "Maybe there really is a place out there, somewhere, that would be perfect for me, but it can never be perfect if I am not surrounded by the love of my family."

And speaking about perfect, it was perfect time to return. I was missing home; missing the smell of my kids and the warm body of my husband. Although, I hadn't figure out much of my life, it had been a worthwhile trip - a solo trip that I would never forget.

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