火曜日, 9月 07, 2004

I didn't realize how much I loved Kyoto until I left it. Sure, every time my brother and I ventured into Osaka, we found it too crowded, too disorganized, too superficial. Returning to Kyoto was always like taking off the high heels at the end of a long day. Now that I'm in Taiwan, though, I find myself walking on the left side of the road, trying to orient myself around a river that isn't there, hungering for the best eel in the world, listening for the creepy clip-clop of wooden clogs at midnight, and waiting for a glimpse of an ancient culture that doesn't know it's dead.

However, if you'd asked me in late July what thought about Kyoto, I'd say that Japan was getting on my nerves. It was that last miniature garden that pushed me over the edge--I wanted to scream and swim to America. "Purple mountains' majesty" trumps "delicate mound of white sand that symbolizes the insignificance of man". Though I still dream about a nice, hot unagi donburi, there are days when I just want a good chicken quesadilla. However, Kyoto's beautiful bus system beats Boston's ghastly subway any day.

Boston's not a bad city. Sometimes, you can get on the T and climb above ground to cross the Charles at just the right moment, when the sun gilds the waters and that belt of gold trembles before you. But Park Street is the next stop, and you're once again in the darkness.