|Ah, the Manchester rain on my commute work, as per.|
Sorry, couldn’t resist. There’s been a dearth of content so far in September, with me posting just once with Monday Medley #7. I even missed the date for Medley #8, so that will be coming a week late on the 18th. I’ve been in Japan since the 31st of August, finally landing back home in Manchester on the 11th. The day after was spent recovering from jet lag and general fatigue while working from home, but I’m now fully recovered and back at my desk.
I thought it was pretty likely that the first two weeks of September would be empty content-wise, which was why I did All-in August, where I posted every day for the whole of August, which pretty much destroyed me tbh. The trip to Japan was planned to help smooth my brother’s transition as he has now moved there for a year, despite never having visited before and not speaking a word of Japanese. Despite these fairly major hurdles, by the time we separated after a week, him to move into his accommodation and me to spend a few days alone in Kyoto, we were both pretty confident that we could navigate Japan and Japanese culture well enough to get by, which I’m quite proud of.
I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll have a fantastic time; he’s sharing a house with other international students: one American, one Greek and one Chinese, and they all seem pretty chilled out. They’ve bought a football and already had a kickabout, so I think they’ll be fine.
The trip itself required us to spend some time doing less of the touristy stuff than I would have liked, instead making sure that we understood general restaurant and pub etiquette, knowing how to take the train, subway and bus, and figuring out some cheap and easy meals for him to make. It was also somewhat marred by constant illness on my part, and a cold my brother caught from me halfway through. I was coughing when I went away and coughing when I came back. No matter how wonderful Japanese medicine claims to be it was no match for whatever bug I have.
As a result, we didn’t always make the most of our time in Japan. There will be a whole load of blog posts coming your way very soon, but some of the fondest memories I have of the trip are of the two of us sniffling in pyjamas, eating instant noodles of a unidentifiable flavour while attempting to comprehend Japanese game shows. My brother and I are close, texting every day and talking often; he’s my best friend and I won’t see him for a year. That’s going to be tough, so I’m really glad that illness forced us to stay in sometimes and just have fun like when we were children. We had deep conversations about where we see our lives going, our respective partners, and spent one night when neither of us could sleep rapping and singing the old pop songs (think 2010 FloRida and 5ive Keep On Movin’) that we used to sing in the car on long journeys.
Sure, I may not have had the perfect travel blogger holiday; he doesn’t even know I have a blog (and he would never let me live it down if I told him) so I can’t exactly ask him to take thousands of photos of me standing in front of a waterfall. He already judges me whenever I take a photo of my food. It may not have been perfect, but I got to spend time with my brother and explore an entirely different environment – and that was pretty great.