On what I walk to see...

"Objects do not have any intrinsic meaning- that meaning is conferred on them by us- and that different people, and the same person at different times, may confer different meanings on the same object." (Hammersley, 1989, p. 135)

Friday, July 25, 2014

A dream: Backpacking

On my way back from NYC to Taipei in April, I managed to get myself an extended layover (over 2 weeks) in Japan, landing at and exiting from the Narita Airport ... with a real luggage other than my backpack carrying my laptop, camera, two external hard drive, and essential documents.

I did an extensive though not as in-depth as possible trip in Japan. I went as far north as Kessennuma (氣仙沼) and Sendai, and saw work people put forth in the area affected by tsunami to rebuilt their cities and economy. I went as south as Miyajima in Hiroshima.  I also visited Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo, Narita, and stayed at 山中湖 Yamanaka-ko by Mt. Fuji.

Other than all the new experience (which will not be covered here), like in all other places on this planet, one consistent theme throughout the trip was the never-ending pursuit in search of a disability access and the detours I have to take to avoid stairs. lol

Moreover, a thrifty (necessary since I am selling all things off to pay my bills so as to get the book out) backpacker like me also would like to take the train into the Narita airport.  I did it with 3 steps.

1. I physically did a trip taking a tour from Narita to Narita airport to see whether there is an elevator going from the platform. I also walked all the way to the check-in counter to see how I might be able to carry my luggage, too heavy for me (though considered light by the others).
2. Since I had to get to the airport by 6-7 o'clock and the freaking hostel I stayed at was on the 3rd floor and without an elevator, plus less than "no service" provided by the owner, I actually troubled another guest to help me carry my luggage downstairs and stored the luggage at the locker of the train station the night before. This is because I won't find anyone to help me carry the luggage down and might not be able to get a cap 5 o'clock in the morning.
3. On the morning of the departure, I got to the station, got my luggage, took the JR train, arrived at the airport, put the luggage on the cart, wheeled it to the check-in counter, and checked in.

My body was a wreck and it took me weeks if not months to recover although ...

my dream since 2007 finally came true because I went backpacking  and I got myself to the airport the same thrifty way the other backpackers do.

Sure, a mental and physical handicapped like me should just stay home and be disabled. Yet, my dream came true. I went backpacking properly the way I used to do.

(This is cross-posted in Ratology Reloaded.)

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