I didn’t see any of the standard tourist sites in Kobe except for Chinatown; I was here for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house that was closed for renovation when I was last in Japan, just outside of the city. I had a marvellous time: the aforementioned house which was beautiful and nearly empty of visitors, charming carpentry tool museum, secondhand bookshop, artist studios under train arches, a whole room to myself in a converted old doctor’s clinic, local shotengai looking for tsukemono, onsen day at a 70s hotel over in Arima, lots of cable cars.
I gets weary, sick of tryin’
I’m tired of livin’, feared of dyin’
But ol’ man river
He just keeps
I miss the feeling of going somewhere and living a life expectant that tomorrow brings surprises and pleasures, sunsets and joy. Lately I have been collecting chestnuts and wearing a big check coat, sitting on a bench and staring at browning leaves and crisp blue skies.
One day I’ll write about all the trains I’ve travelled on, and where they’ve taken me.
Travelled down to Hualien to visit Taroko National Park. I was still ill but determined to go since it was the sole reason I was there. In my fuzzy sick state I didn’t realise I had booked a solid hike and the temperature never dropped beneath 28c, but there were moments of perfection on the way up. Greeting the mountains when you’re at their height is a feeling I’ll never get used to.
I fell ill just before I left for Taiwan so most of my time in Taipei was spent coughing in a daze. Things I saw and loved: dogs, queer gfs showing me around, mountains, 20th century architecture on Dihua Street, night food markets, repurposed old factories, a socially liberal Asian city.