home truths

June 23, 2009

I need a haircut. Of course, this isn’t news to anybody who has laid eyes on me over the past six months. But I feel like this time it signifies something more.

My hair is the embodiment of all the unchecked and misguided behaviours of the past eleven months. It is a painful reminder of my awkwardness and utter inability to assimilate. It is the end result of what happens when you remove someone who has barely come to terms with his situation in his hometown and the spiritual connection he has forged with it, and place him somewhere that is more or less ignorant of all the values that have become so close to him over the course of his short existence. I hate to trot out all the familiar cliches of culture shock, and to be quite honest I’m not sure that that’s the problem here. Any problems I have encountered on that front can probably be attributed to my own apprehension. No, friends, this is a much more internal conflict.

Hark! The unrepentant tug of loneliness prevails! The blogosphere attracts the isolated, the mediocre, the desperate as if it were an immeasurable whirlpool of the kind you would only read about in the seafaring tales of eras past. Surprised? Neither am I.

I went to China.

The point was to escape the groove that I could feel myself settling into, and you know what? It worked. Although it was but a brief adventure, and it lacked the same sense of discovery that enveloped me the first time I went there, it gave me the perfect respite: anonymity, an absence of expectations, and despite the incessant hustle and bustle of China and Hong Kong, it also gave me some peace and quiet.

I often jot down notes to myself, intended to serve as lightning bolts of inspiration when it comes to actually writing something. Of course, as I’m writing them, I say to myself, “yeah, this is good, there is no way I will look back on this in a few weeks’ time and not know what I was going on about.” I don’t need to point out that it never works out that way. What in the hell does ‘A guide to better living in Japan’ mean?

So long, friends.