Japan: Wanting you so bad, it hurts

Have you ever wanted something so bad, it hurts and it consumes your every waking hour?

I do. And this is my damnation:

my beautiful Japan
(pic not my property)

I never knew how much I wanted to go to this country, until the time when my sister called me last night to tell me she was booking tickets to Tokyo. Her best friend and travel buddy has planned a six-day sojourn, and since they knew how crazy I was for this country, had asked me if I wanted to join them.

Are they kidding? Of course, I want to…!

…except for the fact that I am still broke due to the unplanned Korea trip and the various implications of a grown up life that reeked of bills and pure suckiness. My sister was generous enough to tell me that she can advance for the payment of the ticket, but I have to wing my way to gather enough funds for my bank statement (a visa requirement) as well as the expenses to be incurred during the six-day trip.

A sad reality that I am certain I have no way of finding.

I have always believed that if it’s meant to be for me, it will find its way to land on my lap. Case in point? the Korea trip that I never saw coming.

Yes, it sucks that due to the past abuses of my countrymen, Japan had made it quite difficult for ordinary Filipinos (read: minimal bank account but gargantuan traveling dreams) like me to go to a country that I have loved for almost half of my life.

So imagine my surprise (and my sister’s) when I told her that I am passing up for this trip. I told her I couldn’t afford it. And it’s the truth–I don’t have enough money to fund this trip. And it will be grossly irresponsible of me to drop everything, forgo paying bills and insurance and leave my husband to deal with the possible mess that I will make should I choose to go.

In the end, the grown-up and sane cynical in me had to muster enough courage to say “no”. It’s the right decision I know, but it’s tearing me to pieces. And quite frankly, I know that this will haunt me for months until the time when my sister boards that plane and take that trip to Japan. The agony will not be over until the Cathay Pacific plane brings her back to Manila from her blissful six days gallivating on my city. Call me crazy or melodramatic, but it’s like being a spectator on a really cool party that you’re not invited to.

My sister, bless her heart, knew I was torn and sad and envious. She tried cheering me up by saying that the trip will not be same without travel-crazy, over-eager me. I know she meant it, and made her promise to buy me tons of Japanese fashion magazines, clothes and make-up. Oh, and the various flavors of KitKat if possible too.

I know my time will also come — to finally see, in person, the lights of Tokyo, to ride the shinkansen, to ogle in person Jun Matsumoto’s various posters announcing his weird endorsement for a brand of mascara, to meet them amazing Japanese, to taste sushi at Tsukiji. TO JUST BE FREAKING THERE.

So, like a good onee-chan, I will lend my baby sis the copious notes I’ve been saving for years, my so-called bible for the inevitable trip to Japan. I will brief her on the importance of getting the JR Pass, why she must go to Shibuya and why she should really try to go up the Sky Tree.

I know my time will come. Japan will wait for me.

(The funny thing is, I started crying after my phone conversation with my sister. I was that sad! The hubby took one look and maybe felt immense pity that he bought me a pint of ice cream to make me feel better.)

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