Kuma-chan is in safe hands now. Hopefully it will be back in my hands before the 12th. Otherwise I'll have a big problem.
I left the Apple store around 20h30, prepared to have a quiet night by myself and Pearl-chan. I tried very hard to not check my phone for messages. I swung by Itoya, an art and craft supply store, which I knew about but never thought I would step into. Who knew I would start drawing? I never thought I had any desire to try an art. When we were little, Daniel, my youngest brother, was the artist. He was the painter, and a wonderful one at that. Whenever it came to anything artistic, I would say, "Daniel's great at that," and wander off to do something else. I didn't think I had a chance in doing well in it and I guess was therefore never interested. Perhaps it was my competitiveness that stopped me from trying and even finding out whether I liked it or not. Or maybe because it wasn't cool to be artistic and refined. In any case, I was a tomboy, as some of you may know painfully (for me) well.
Anyway, I wanted to buy a small sketching pad for when we go to Aomori, but they had closed for the evening. But as I walked through the streets of Ginza by myself at 20h30, I realized that it was the first time I had done so. Previously, I've popped out of the subway and gone straight to some stores and then rush right back into the underground, but I don't recall ever actually walking around in Ginza so leisurely before, definitely not by myself. I don't think my friends were the Ginza type. My godmother was always busy, so it was usually car to shop, shop to car, car to another shop and so on. One Christmas, Grandmama wanted to see the tree in front of Mikimoto, so we walked half a block and were shoo-ed back into the car so we could get to dinner on time. Well, there is always a first, and it wasn't so bad afterall.
My walk very quickly ended as it was closed and the entrance to the underground was two doors down. Starved and relieved to be finally going home, I get on Yurakucho Line and changed to Hanzomon Line at Nagata-cho. I got off at Hanzomon Station, at last.
Riding the escalator up to the exit of the station, I felt the familiar gust of wind that always hits me as I come out of the station (or that practically shoves me down the steps into the station). As I stepped out onto the street, which slants horribly from left to right and which I always have trouble walking on when I wear heels, I recognized some of the aromas that had escaped from nearby restaurants. I could feel the still-bearable summer humidity on my neck and realized that I was wearing too much (which is already less than I usually do at the TV station). Just a few cars passed by, and some men dressed in suits were quickly walking toward the station, looking like they finished work late and were wanting to go home for dinner. They were speaking in a mellow tone, not like some of the younger, rowdier shakaijin who need pints and pints of beer after work, having put in overtime or not. There were a handful of women walking away from the station, going home. Most of them wore summer dresses and skirts, which flowed quite nicely when the occasional breeze came by. Chiffon skirts must be in fashion this year. Sadly, I haven't been paying attention.
On the walk back home, I came to another realization--I was looking for a job in Japan mostly because I was afraid to face working in an all Chinese environment. Of course, the overall quality of reporting in Taiwan is not that great, but until I know what I'm doing and am doing it better than almost everyone else, I stand to learn a great deal back in Taiwan. If I leave Taiwan now, I will have accomplished nothing and almost nothing to offer. I have decided that I will not continue looking for reporting jobs outside Taiwan just to get away from reporting in Chinese. I'm not going to be a coward.
I'm going to tell stories, in any language that I have to. Right now, I'm going to do it by being a journalist.
I've come to quite a few realizations lately. Perhaps it takes being tested and completely stripped down to see these things sometimes. Perhaps it also takes a change of scenery. Perhaps it also takes a trip back home, any one of them, I guess.