Better That Way

Last August marks the 10th years anniversary of my relationship with my husband. Our marriage is still young (2 years to be exact and I am still not wearing my wedding ring) but turns out, we’ve been for each other for a lot longer. We are, obviously, far from romantic. For any anniversary celebrated, we’re almost arguing on the exact day. There is no dinner, flowers, presents, or even sweet words (I wrote some of course, but maybe it cannot be classified as sweet :)) Maybe, we’re not cut out for that kind of thing. It made me remember this trip.

In 2018, we had a trip to Japan on my birthday month. October, to be exact. I planned a lot of things on my birthday, including my first Shinkansen trip. I’ve been to Japan twice before, but I always keep my budget tight. I chose night bus and local train to substitute the Japan Rail Pass, thus made me never try the bullet train. We are a train maniac, so I thought this would be the perfect time to finally experience the Shinkansen.

The Japan Rail Pass is worth every penny in my pocket. The Shinkansen is wonderful and exactly what I’ve expected to be. Maybe it’s just a ‘Shinkansen’ for some, but it’s kind of special for us. Ask every testudo otaku (a term to call a train or railway mania) to explain their first Shinkansen and you’ll get it. My first Shinkansen ride was the leg from Osaka to Fukuoka/Hakata. I’ve been to Hakata station before and I dare say that Hakata happened to host the most beautiful train set I’ve ever seen. The trains were pretty and handsome.

There’s one particular train that stole my heart the first time I saw it. The sight of the gorgeous blue, Sonic. The Limited Express Sonic goes from Hakata to Oita, making several stops to some of ‘it’ destination of Kyushu Island, like the city of Beppu.

We spontaneously rode the train for the sake of the experience and I never once regret it. We rode the train for 15-20 minutes ride, roughly 7-8 stops, exiting the train, and went back to Hakata Station to get to our hotel. It was amazing, unlike the rest of the day, which was awful :))

We planned to walk along the river of Nakasu Island to find the Yatai (food stalls you see on anime, where people enjoy drinks with light dishes like yakitori) and get dinner. But unfortunately, I happened to be the only one who knows about that plan. My husband didn’t seem to feel to eat there and he forgot that I chose this place because it is my birthday (the birthday girl/boy kind of having the authority to choose what she/he wants). He also forgot that day, was my birthday. I’m not a typical person who gets irritated for that kind of thing. But I really hate it when my plan got ruined, especially when you walk 2 kilometers with an empty stomach :))

Though I had a bad experience there, I would love to recommend the place to you. The stalls, the river, the city lights, the smell of food, are all amazing (too bad I cannot enjoy it as a whole). It’s a place where you can hang out and enjoy the night with your journey companion. If you happen to go solo, you might as well find someone new. Well, who knows ;)

We went to 7-Eleven later on, decided to get back to our hotel and call it a day. So, this is the look of my 31st birthday meal.

To be honest, it was a remarkably memorable dinner. We ate on the floor with junk food and a lot of snacks. We chatted and laugh a lot that night. Looking back, I still feel that it didn’t look that bad. I don’t feel the need for a grand birthday celebration anyway.

Somehow, it gave me more perspective on disappointment and how to control my action towards it. 2018 is the year where I experience a lot of disappointment. Miscarriage, unanswered applied jobs, the adaptation phase after marriage, and whatnot. It still affected me a lot to this day, but I guess the courage to start again and trying harder are still in my odds.

My 31st birthday might not be as perfect as I’ve imagined it to be, but I happened to also check a lot of things on my wishlist that day. Isn’t that exactly like life? When you also focusing your mind on the things that you have done instead of only focusing on the things you’ve failed to do, I guess you can be more thankful about it. Life is better that way.

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