mercredi 8 août 2012

Why do I like Japan ?

If you like something a lot, the chances are high that people ask you the same question over&over again. Why? What do you like that much in xx? How come?
I get asked all of the time, by everyone why I love Japan. By friends, by people on the internet, by my family, friends of my parents or even people I'm going to school with.
And this question always embarasses me a little bit, because why I like Japan is probably one of the toughest question to answer in my opinion.
People have so many reasons to like it, be it anime, manga, music, language, history, food, the coutry itself or you name it.
And actually I don't think any of these reasons are mine. Sure, I like the food, sure I like the country&am interested in the history. Sure I love languages, and therefore I love japanese language which is so interesting right. But I also love korean, russian and arabic languages. And I also love the food from these countries, which I find to be very beautiful too.
So what?
I tend to reply that the main reason is the music. Because after all, what got me started was the music.
But when I think about it, this is not really the correct answer, if there's one to why you love a country so much you feel at home there.
I'd say the reason is much more personal&this is precisely why it's tricky for me to answer to people. The reason why I like Japan is actually much deeper&brings back a lot of memories, that are barely known by my closest friends.
But we are on the internet, you're all my lovely friends and I think sharing everything is the key to a life without fear of being judged or laughed at.
I was a very unhappy child. Not the kind that would moan constantly or be hard to deal with. No. I was the child who would never go to birthday parties, who wouldn't really have friends at school, who wouldn't get on well with parents, who would think books are her best friends. I was that child. The child who writes at 8y-o in her diary : " I think it'd be better if I were dead".
I just felt lonely.So damn lonely, like no one could understand me, no one loved me or even cared and I had no appetite for life. Until I was 14, suicide was a daily thought. My life wasn't horrible, my parents were good parents, I had good marks at school... The problem came, I really think so, from the inside. I just felt lonely, something was missing terribly in my life.
And when I turned 14, something big happened and changed my life.
I discovered the internet, and I discovered that you can find anything on the internet, and among all those things, I discovered what I was missing.
The first song I ever listened to was Cassis by the Gazette. And the thought I had wasn't oh it's beautiful, oh it's interesting or how original! No the thought I had was I already heard that somewhere. Which was, well, impossible. And I had this feeling with all of the songs I listened that day. I was desperately(well not anymore) searching for songs on YouTube and I felt clearly, a hole in myself filling up.
It could have happened with african music or fado. But it didn't. It happened with the heavy yet so light&enlightned jrock&visual kei.
I know most people don't like it, I know most japanese people don't even listen to it, and I know that for the most this is only a genre, like metal or jazz would be.
But when I listen to a song, for example ame no orchestra by MUCC, my heart immedialy feels at ease. What had never happened to me before, when I was this lonely&sad child. I feel at home, I feel relieved and protected. I can listen to the same song over&over again, until I know it by heart, from the vibrato of the singer, to the latest guitar riff.
I've always said, since then, that I had three things to love in my life. Three things or entities that I loved more than anything. Books, musicians and God. For they are the ones to always be here for me.
Obviously, I then liked the whole thing about aethetic,appearance, way to behave and so on...
I can only compare it to a little boy dressing up as a girl in his bedroom, wondering if it's normal and then falling upon a beautiful tranny or dragqueen.
This is relief. I am not alone.
I believe I've always been connected to Japan, and meant to go there. Because in fact, it all feels natural. Though I am very french, feel very french; all of my most meaningful memories or most filled in with emotions are japan related.
My first love, my first best friend, my first penpals, my first concerts, my first travels, my first fantasies and then. this man who represents so much to me.
I've built myself around and with Japan, in spite of it being so far away.
How could I not like Japan with my past being what it is?
Life created bounds with the country that will never fade away, because the reason I am here now, writing this is, sure enough Japan. If I have confidence, if I did&do all those things like going to Moscow alone at 19y-o, sleeping outside for a concert, going to uni& facing my fear of public speech, being polite&loving always, not giving up on my dreams... well, this is because 6years ago, I realized that there was a place for me to feel at home, to feel understood and accepted.
I'm not an asian wannabe, I'm not an otaku, I'm not an avid manga reader, nor a brilliant student that knows everything of the Edo era.
I'm just a french girl, who feels good in Japan. It's not like I have chosen any of this.
I love people, I love the world. I have interest in any culture, I'm just not emotionaly attracted to every country, I'm just not drawn to every country like it is my second home.
I'm not desperate to go to Japan, I'm not focusing only on that. I love France, and I want to see&learn the most of it. I want to travel the whole world, I want to learn how to say thank you in all languages, I want to meet people from all over the world.
But I can't help it, every day my heart goes back to Japan, because I remember a nice talk I had with him, or a letter I exchanged with my dearest friend, or because there's a nice comment on one of my videos, or because I suddenly crave the onigiri from 7/11.
There are plenty of things I don't know about Japan, I am willing to learn them.
There are things I don't like. I am against the killing of whales&dolphins, I sometimes don't get why everything has to be so structured&organized(I'm french after all!)...
No one is perfect, but nothing&no one has to be perfect for me to love them.
Japan saved me, was and is my shelter even nowadays.
Everytime I am asked why I love it that much, it feels like I have to justify myself, and give a reason good enough. But in fact, I think things were just meant to be this way.
I went there, I traveled through 6 cities. I met with amazing people there, and during this trip everything wasn't perfect, everything wasn't pink at all. It didn't look like the dreamland to me. It just looked like Japan, like home. I felt secure&free. Japan teaches you a lot. It teaches you about being polite&respectful. About tolerance&smiling.
I'll always be french, always moan& will always fight&stand up for what I believe in. I am so damn proud of it, of being a daughter of the country of human rights. When asked where my home really is, I'll always answer France. But my heart will always wander in the streets of Nara, or maybe in Miyajima or in the suburbs of Tokyo.
If I had to explain it simply, I'd say France if my mother, and Japan the one that caught my heart.
Not the one I married, because there are too many potential lovers, after all the Earth counts many countries, and I'd like to have a chance to love every one of them.

samedi 4 août 2012


I'm baaaack! Hurray!
Let's clarify this, I'm not that happy to be back from Italy, but to be back on the internet. I had no computer for the last week, which was quite annoying, especially since I have this post to write about my recent trip to Italy.
So here we go!

With a friend we chose to go to Italy for this summertrip, thinking it would be completely appropriate for the season&also our states of mind. I have been wanting to go to Roma since I first saw the Lizzie Mc Guire movie(please tell me I'm not the only one). That means quite a number of years right?
Unfortunately I guess all those years of waiting kind of raised my expectations a bit too high.

We went to Venice first, which is the city I liked the best.
Venice is a very magical place. During the day it is very beautiful, with many little streets to wander in, lots of building to admire the amazing details&decorations, lots of nice little hidden restaurants...
But to me, it's only when the sun has gone down that the city reveals itself, by dressing up with shadows and ghostly atmospheer. Venice is so magnificient and mysterious by night that I think sleeping the whole day to actually only discover it by night would be a good idea.
It feels like a village with the huge&imposing venetian architecture, the sea is everywhere, but it's very different from a city on the seaside.
I really liked the city, that is weirdly enough, almost completely empty of tourists by night, which is, let's be honest, quite nice.

 Second destination was Florence.
 I must say I was a bit skeptical beforehand, just because this didn't look like the kind of city I would like. But it was on the way to Rome, and close to Pise to where we were wanting to go. I ended up liking the days we spent there, not so much the city, eventhough it reminded me a bit of my hometown for some reason, but I missed the presence of the sea, it was very dry&hot. Nevertheless it's a beautiful city to which I'd probably go back, but defnitely not in summer. And definitely with a bit more money too.

Now into Rome, apparently one of the most beautiful cities of Europe.
It's a bit hard for me to write what I think of it, because I wasn't in the best conditions to appreciate it first of all, but also because to be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment.
I was expecting so much from Rome, that it just didn't make it to my visions of it I guess.
The city is very dirty, the people are not really friendly nor polite and eventhough there are beautiful monuments(which I was so moved to finally see)the city has a lot of potential that is not used.
I guess there are cities you just don't overly like, right?

We were supposed to go Napoli, Pompei&Ischia but my friend had to go back to Paris, so we cancelled Pompei&Ischia and just spent a day in Napoli, waiting for the flight that would take us back to Paristhebeautiful.

All in all, this trip was amazing, obviously, every trip is a great chance&opportunity and I'm grateful that I made it, finally, to Italy, but this is definitely not one of my top destination, as I really loved Germany and Hungary better for example. I found the people rude&unfriendy which really annoyed me, since I like talking&sharing things with total strangers, thing which was completely out of question there. But obviously some people were very kind, and obviously some of the things I saw during this trip were just breathtaking, like the Coliseum or Burano.

So that's it for my little rambling over Italy.