And they lived happily ever after…

– or –

of English romanticism vs German realism

It is early September, and since my last update I have left Japan to return to Europe. This being 2020, I had to sign a document at the border that I am aware I will likely not be permitted re-entry due to a general, Covid-induced foreigner’s entry ban. This added a bit of drama to my depature, so please excuse the fairytale analogies.

  • I am endlessly grateful to the wonderfull people I have gotten to know in my time in Kyoto. Thank you for accepting me so openly in complicated and scary times, never growing impatient with language or cultural barries, and simply being open and caring people!
  • I can confirm that even after looking at more than 50 different temples and shrines (and looking at one particular shrine almost 50 times) I have not one bit grown tired of the clean esthetics of Japanese artwork and traditional architecture.
  • Riding the Shinkansen is cool. Did anybody ever question this?

So much for a romantisiced view of my time in Japan, but I promised some German realism, it’s time to deliver. My time in Japan has often felt like a fairlytale. Not the kind with the dragon and the castle, but the kind with a quest into the unkown, personal growth, and invalualbe treasures at the end. And while happily-ever-afters are only found in fairytales, German fairytales traditionally end with the highly accurate phrase:

Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, dann leben sie noch heute.
(literal: Unless they have died, they are still alive today.)

I can confirm that I am still alive, more so than before.

And in good old Austrian tradition, I conclude:
Japan, I’ll be back.

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