so a friend of mine, who travels the world on the daily, hooked me up with one of his friends in Japan. while i was hesitant at first, his enthusiasm to meet up with me sparked my interest and i really just wanted to spend a night out in Tokyo. i mean that’s the point of traveling – to meet people, to hear their experiences, and get a new perspective on life. we ended up meeting in the Roppongi area for dinner at Gonpachi, the famous restaurant where one of the scenes of Kill Bill was filmed.
while i did not know this person, i learned a great deal about him over dinner. he was the talkative type so there was never a weird silence or awkwardness. he’s American, but he’s been living in Japan for the past 5 years. as much as i was telling him how i enjoyed being in Tokyo and soaking in all the culture, he definitely gave me another view of the country.
for example – Japan has the luxury of being too safe. safe as in people can count their money in public without worrying about being robbed, young school children can ride the metro without fear of being kidnapped, or a person can lose his/her wallet and have it miraculously returned all in tact. is it a luxury though? or a blessing? while i get where he was coming from, being from Detroit and growing up with essentially nothing and seeing crime everyday, you would think the Japanese people live in a bubble. but the question is, are they grateful or oblivious? so grateful that their country lives by kindness that they return it to others or oblivious to other countries’ struggles and flaws? or both? question unanswered.
nonetheless, his striking points throughout the night made me think, and not every conversation i have with people these days do that. i think we talked about almost everything – relationships, family, careers, history, preferences… it’s crazy how one conversation can change your view on the world ever so slightly. i’m really glad i built up the courage to meet him, on top of having the courage to fly to Japan solo. never did i think i would do such a thing, but you can definitely surprise yourself when you just want to jump the gun and just do it.