Flying over the great Pacific Ocean, I realized that this was going to be one of two things: incredibly amazing or chew-your-arm-off awful. The airfare was bought spontaneously; mine first and then his.  Bags were packed and we were shuttled off together to explore the Eastern side of the world. We were throwing ourselves into a place were they ate things that we had never seen; they spoke a language that neither of us could navigate thru and a land that we knew so little about.  It could end (if not tragically) than dramatically.

But we got lost in the markets of Tokyo, caught within the gates of the train terminals, aimlessly searched for our Ryocan as Kyoto rained down upon us. We got sick and sunburnt. We devoured every moment greedily; feasting on golden temples, the green of the forests and streets that our feet had never known.  We drank Sapporo in a little tavern (ordered by pointing at the glass of frothy beer on the menu & smiling) until we barely recalled stumbling back to the Ginza district where we attacked each other’s bodies passionately. We saddled onto the stools of a crowded hole in the wall restaurant where they served us the most amazing Ramen my lucky lips have ever had.  We laughed at our wild dance in the International district.

On that side of the world, we took a ride on the fastest train. We spent all of our yens. We chewed on odd pieces of meat that someone ordered. We walked for hours—stumbling upon shop after shop of guitars and kitchen equipment. We breathed in the warm flowers of spring. We were mesmerized by the lights of Tokyo and the strong, humbling presence of Kyoto. A day trip to Kamakura brought us to the great golden Buddha and a hidden village tucked behind a rock wall. We sipped on tea that warmed the coolness of the rain out of us. We counted all of the fat people that we saw. We stayed up late talking. We slept curled around each other night after night.

On that side of the world, we fell in love.  For good. It wasn’t tragic. It wasn’t dramatic. It was down right romantic.