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07 September 2016 @ 11:11 pm
"We make a funny doughnuts" - Written on a truck  
I'm laying in a box that's swaying gently back and forth.
I open my eyes to complete darkness and fumble for the light switch on the wall.
It's 5:30 in the morning.
An announcement sounds over the intercom, "Attention passengers, the ferry will soon be arriving at West Oita Harbor."

I've missed the sunrise! I'd really wanted to relax on the deck and take pictures of the sun coming up over the ocean. I grab my room key and pull back a curtain revealing a tiny stairwell and the closed curtain of the enclosed bed compartment next to mine where the lady I befriended last night and stayed up all night talking to is still sleeping away. I roll out on to the stairs and grab my camera out of my locker. Then I'm sprinting for the deck, hoping to catch the light of the morning with my lens. No such luck! The doors are locked shut. Apparently the typhoon came pretty close and the wind is too strong now to let people go out. Through the window I can see the deck is wet, but I can also see the pinkish glow of morning light on the undersides of clouds.


This is the kind of luck that follows me through the entire day.
Like, my whole reason for going to Oita is to visit the restaurant that my friend just opened. But it's closed the two days I'm there.
Or I bring two cameras, and the one that has full battery life breaks down while the one with almost no battery left remains good.
Or I miss the bus to the hiking trail and walk there instead, only to find that there isn't actually a hiking trail, it's just a little park on the hill, and I miss the bus back as well.
Or the hot springs I wanted to go to is closed by the time I get there.
Or my both of my friends decide to take me to the same place and I have to decline one of them with much embarrassment.


It's a weird trip, but it's good for my soul. I get to forget the daily hassle of using my mind, and use my body instead. I take a nap on the beach, listening to the waves, feeling weak sunlight filtering through the clouds and resting on my skin. I'm not reading letters and words, but I'm letting my eyes taking in new textures and sights. I feel the heat of natural springs and sulfuric steam blowing in my face. I get introduced to a dozen new foods I've never tried before. I walk 8 kilometers and feel my muscles stretching, my body responding to my brain's urge to Go. I watch animals being themselves and try a bit of that myself. I get caught in a rain storm and enjoy the feeling that despite being cold and wet, I'm safe, sound, and satisfied. And all of this is in the company of good friends.


If you're ever in Beppu, go to my friend's Vietnamese cafe: