When we got onto the 16 hour train expedition for the second time, I was committed to not getting sick. I was wearing sea-bands and took two motion sickness pills. However once I got off the train that caused my queasiness the first time I found out the further up the train you sat the less aggressive the swaying was. This resulted in me taking way too much medication for the level of motion I had to deal with, and put me to sleep for the majority of the way south. That is the reason for all the grogginess and incoherent babbling. Day 31 was spent in dream land.
Once in Tokyo, we made our way through the Tokyo subway/local train system to arrive at another of Kaz’s family friend’s home. They were beyond accommodating and took very good care of us. Not only did they provide us with some meals, but also went out of their way to drive us around town and provide some local knowledge.
I mention in the video that I felt frustrated that I couldn’t communicate the level of appreciation I had for their family, and how much they were willing to press pause on their lives to help us. I know I could’ve asked Kaz to pass along that message but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being a nuisance. I felt that cultural and language barriers were in full effect when we arrived and especially when we left (which is yet to come.) Not because they were offset by our presence but by my inability to connect with them directly. I felt like I was using them, taking advantage of their generosity and kindness. I felt this way because I had nothing to offer in return, nothing to discuss, and that frustrated me beyond belief. It has actually become a real anxiety for my traveling. If I’m in a country or space in which English is not used I now feel stupid for not being able to communicate with people on a basic level. That internal conflict manifests in reducing my interactions to varying degrees. I know it’s not possible to make that a reality without intensive studying and time but I wish I was a polyglot.