Epilogue

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The delegation consisting of a woman and a man visited New York before Japan. Many naive ideas at that time went by the wayside, and just like when you break a mirror, even after shattering our ideas, we gathered the shards with bare hands, cried over spilled milk, and mixed it with blood.

Never start choosing accommodation with the idea that you’ll pick flights “later” and somehow fit them into your chosen dates. We paid more for the flight to the US back then than for any other long-haul flight to Asia. Checking today’s prices raises the question of how we managed that…? We did.

Since then, we start with choosing flights, buy some up to a year in advance, and then devise the itinerary itself. NY was easy in that we spent all our time in one place. The need to travel between cities was eliminated, but even in The Big Apple, we got a taste of communicating with people unfamiliar with English. We visited Chinatown and Koreatown in Manhattan, but the biggest problem with the absence of English was at McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, places deeply American to the core.

So Japan was our second choice, just like Geralt’s the right one, and although this is an epilogue, our regular trips to Asia have only just begun, as well as increased interest in their culture.

What fascinates me the most is their politeness, which they consider an absolute given. They would bring shame upon themselves and their entire family if, for example, they stole something, so often you pass by things that people here would take just because they can, in the spirit of the motto “he who does not steal, steals from himself”. They can too, but they let it be because stealing won’t help themselves and will harm others.

Despite all the positives mentioned in our articles, I still wouldn’t want to live in Asia. The neighbor’s grass is greener only until you start living next to it, and especially in the case of Japan, it’s necessary to realize their different approach to tourists vs. immigrants. Suddenly, you’re not a welcome visitor, but an uninvited stranger culturally unconnected with the Japanese.

So Andy and I still plan to maintain our guest status, knowing when the renowned third day is approaching. Every journey should have its end, that’s the only way to truly appreciate it.

-mj-

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