I lied when I said I wouldn’t let you in when you decide to come back. Because I will, in a heartbeat, without a second thought. Always.
APRIL 10, 2015 (2 years!! I know right?!)
For the first day (of our first overseas trip together), my cousin and I, along with my parents, went to Heiwado to buy groceries and pass time while we wait for our uncle to arrive from London. Heiwado is a good 10-minute drive from home, my favorite mall when I was a kid. Back then, a place was considered heaven when it sells toys and chocolates, has an arcade and McDonald’s. Well at least, to the 12-year-old me, it was.
We roamed around, ate lunch at McDonald’s and bought snacks.
Japan’s Mister Donut is way on a different scale than Mister Donut in the Philippines!
Japan is a treasure chest for souvenirs. The choices are endless. Just look at the colorful packaging of those sweets (and those are just ‘ordinary’ sweets you can get from the grocery!).
Kinokonoyama (the green box) and Apollo (the red box) are my all-time favorite Japanese snacks/chocolates. I love how they have these DIY snacks, where you can customize your chocolates in any way. Kids, or even adults, will definitely enjoy them And you can easily find these and more in grocery stores.
After that, we went to Namco Land. I am an only child and was a little lonely playing with the grown ups (well except for the times I went with my childhood, but very Japanese, friends) when I was younger. I always longed for company, someone close to my age to play with. So, when my cousin was born, I knew we had to go here together one day. And here we were, finally!
There really isn’t that much in Namco Land, just the usual games you find in an arcade and the UFO catchers.
Yet, a small bucket of tokens can still bring you joy, laughter and bonding time with your loved ones, if you know where to play.
After finishing a bucket or two of tokens, the whole family went to Staminataro, an Eat-All-You-Can restaurant we always go to, for dinner. I don’t eat much and I don’t usually get to eat my money’s worth in a buffet, but I enjoy going around all that food and picking dishes for myself (even though I don’t finish them most of the time).
Oh you know, just me pretending to grill meat for everyone.
You can’t go to an All-You-Can-Eat restaurant, without taking your fill of delicious, mouth-watering meat and partnering it with Japanese rice!
There were all sorts of desserts to choose from – ice cream, cakes, puddings, etc. But I settled for cotton candy, which I made (yes, they do have a cotton candy machine!).
Okay, it’s a little weird (and sad, to be honest) to be reminiscing about kisses at this time (12:45 AM), but I’ve been going over my ‘642 Tiny Things To Write About’ activity (??) book and came across a topic about kisses. And so I took a quick trip down memory lane and edited what I wrote last year. Expect that I will be posting more from the book soon!
What makes a first kiss special is the innocence, and not knowing what to expect aside from the ideas we have from fairy tales and movies. There are no kisses to compare it to, and sometimes, I wish all kisses were like this. It would have made the world a much easier world for my heart.
I had great expectations for my first kiss. I imagined fireworks and butterflies in my stomach, all the grandeur and cliche that comes with it. It was supposed to be a beginning of another chapter in a love story, a spark of wildfire, all consuming. But mine, ruined everything.
I don’t know if it was the place (in a bowling alley, right in front of the window where people pass by), or that we were surrounded by friends, or maybe it was the timing. Perhaps, I was surprised at the sudden gesture. All of a sudden, the boy who I thought was the one (I was only 15 then), became a thief. Someone who robbed me of something special, something I could never take back. And I disliked him for that.
You can guess what happened days after that.
After the first kiss, who you do it with matters more or else, all kisses will just feel the same. But the thing is, you don’t always know which kisses are the best (and unforgettable), until you lose them completely. Until you are left craving for more, just craving and out of reach.
Just like half of the the kisses had, the last one was driven by alcohol, loneliness and wishing he was someone else. Fingers tangled on hair, hand resting in between the warmth of your legs, and mouths devouring. It was sweet poison, really, with a hint of bitterness and guilt. To be in a moment, but be completely lost in another memory. In another person, a ghost of the past, you will always look for in everyone else. But his hands were not the same, his mouth was different. In the dark, I could imagine a difference face, try to breathe in a memory, and yet the feeling will never be the same. He will never be that person. Now this is the second worst kind of kiss. The kind that leaves your heart hollow, hungry and lonelier after.
I would be lying if I say I no longer hope to taste his mouth again. But if it isn’t him, I hope it will free me from the shakles of the past. I hope it’s the kind of kiss that will light up lanterns down my crooked spine and sew back stars in my soul. The kind that will make me forget about the boy I couldn’t let go of for so long and welcome back love in my life again. It doesn’t even matter where it will be, or if we’ll be surrounded by friends or strangers, as long as the person is right this time.
1. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. You don’t have to be both.
2. Be kind, no matter what happens. Life can be dark and cruel. So be the light instead.
3. Always choose happiness over sadness. Laugh more than you cry. Life is too short to let sadness get in the way.
4. Appreciate the people who make you smile, who try to reach out even when you pull back and who still stay despite your worst. These are the people you should hold on to.
5. Be thankful of the little things, as much as the big things.
6. Stop missing people you shouldn’t missing. Hide those boxes filled with old love letters and journals. It’s time to stop re-reading old chapters.
7. You don’t have to pretend you have it all together. You don’t have to pretend you’re strong and indestructible all the time. It’s okay to be weak. To break down and cry when it gets too much.
8. There will be other people’s works that will be better than yours, and that is completely fine. Do not let this discourage you from doing what you are passionate about.
9. Practice. Practice drawing fingers until they stop looking like twigs. Practice painting galaxies. Practice writing until words spill comfortably like ink.
10. Love your body. Love your scars, your imperfections and your insecurities. You are beautiful.
11. When you are hurting, always remember that there are a thousand ways to heal. A million reasons to be happy. The pail will not last.
12. An ending can be a beginning of something better.
13. Be patient. You will love again. You will leave this country and find a job that you love. Some great things happen late. Everything will make sense in the end.
14. Don’t let anger consume the light out of you.
15. Don’t build your walls too high. It is okay to be honest and vulnerable in front of others.
16. Trust carefully.
17. Spend time with your family. Hug them, kiss them. Answer their long distance phone calls. Unfortunately, you don’t get forever with them.
18. Speak only of words that heal. Of kindness and truth. Words are like knives, so wield them gently.
19. Forget the boy who has forgotten about you. Forget the boy who only knows how to break promises. Forget the boy who does’t know how to plant roots.
20. Do not walk on fire for people who can’t even meet you halfway. Learn to walk away from toxic people.
21. Befriend your ghosts, your memories and your fears.
22. Forgive the grudges, the misunderstandings and the little things that make your heart ache.
23. Detach yourself from material things. Invest in people. Invest in discovering new passions, in tasting delicacies and in discovering new places.
24. There will always be people worth fighting for. There will always be a reason to wake up every day. So keep holding on.