Bright lights. Billion people. Beautiful buildings. Busy roads. Breathtaking sights, yet boiling commotion. Is this not the recipe for a get-away in the Expedia brochure?
There are days when people look into their lives and realize it is the time for a quick break. I was at that point.
The Christmas holidays were upon the lad, yet there was no real celebration with others for him to partake in. He had to work in a foreign country that does not celebrate this Christian holiday. His birthday loomed in the forecast. The walls of his quaint house seemed to grow smaller as each day came and went. The disappointment in outcomes that were in his control pounded his morale at every loss. Life wasn’t in a storm, just overcast with a little drizzle and no real sunlight popping through the heaviness of the clouds. As the boy read from The Book each morning, he could see that sometimes valleys intersected the highs of life like a pothole on 5th Avenue. He realized that it’s how you attack life’s situations that make you who you are.
Therefore, it was time for him to take a break!
A hard-fought loss found him packing his bags silently in the back of the cold room. He knew he could do a little better – the sign of a true competitor can always make improvements. The door shut behind him, and soon the lad was boarding a train bound for Tokyo.
The train sat like a loaded baked potato full of chives and tired people. His eyes faded in and out as the people around him slumped with a bad case of the lizard blink. The hum of the train pierced the quietness.
“Shi-bu-ya stay-shon next shtop” awoke his attention, as this was the final destination – downtown Tokyo.
The doors slid open, exposing this new world just a step off the train. His eyes jittered from the bright lights to the masses of people walking around him. This concrete jungle bustled with drama as his Japanese-accented brain screamed “Welcum tu Toe-Key-Yo!”
The lad walked the streets in amazement, with his head on a swivel and a suitcase dragging behind him. Where was he?
Sometimes in life, you meet people who are truly a blessing.
For him, it was an extension of his home… something he hasn’t been able to visit for a while. The friends greeted the lad with that soulful joy, which only certain people in this world exhibit. After a quick “catch up” session, the adventure was underway.
An unexpected birthday party (for me!) thrown in a steakhouse. Boat rides down stream that vividly displayed one of the most massive cities in the world. Huge fish markets traversed. Fresh- caught sushi devoured. Ancient temples explored. Old markets shopped. Famous movie places crossed. Downtowns trekked. Bikes ridden and trains caught.
In their off time, they devoured huge portions of homemade food, satisfying the lad’s barbaric desires for American home- cooked meals. That weekend was a true energizing get- away, a true adventure, and a true story of friendship.
For a city that houses 34.8 million people – the lad and his friends successfully conquered it in a weekend. Almost.