Have you ever realized that you have been overlooking something beautiful beside you for a long, long time. Yes? Its subtlety may only allow you to admire the beauty just in time.
One winter morning in the beginning of 2016, I was on my way to a chemistry lab in which I conducted experiments to synthesize new materials. I was driving on a too familiar road that I travelled twice every week. That particular morning on that particular length of the road, I noticed something I did not know to exist on that route before. Something glowing on my left and once I saw the view, it beckoned me to pull the car over and take out my trusted Canon Rebel T5i to snap some pictures. It was a satisfying spontaneous photo session. The camera managed to capture golden sunbeams being scattered in light, fine morning mist. A run down shed in the foreground and faint silhouettes of trees on the background balances well.
It’s a pity now that there’s a big concrete building blocking this view from the road. I have been wondering why I have overlooked this beautiful view for a long time. However, it’s in time for me to catch its beauty.
Even though the country’s development is being slowed down in almost every aspect, visiting the land is still much a pleasure as confirmed by an interview with a stranger on a train.
It’s the beginning of May and the day’s hot and humid. Noon just passed as I embarked on a long train journey from Bangkok to the rural north of Thailand, the so-called land of smile. On the train, an attractive young, carefree-looking German lady which, after self introductions, became my interviewee reasoned that travelling to Thailand was a pleasure. “There’s a variety of delicious foods, travel expenses are cheap, people are friendly and it’s relatively safe compared to its neighbors”. As a person who spends most of the time in Thailand, I find blessings in those comments. At least, the tourism industry is still not plagued by the disease of political turmoil.
After 6 hours and 490 kilometers on the tracks, I said goodbye to the train as it departed for the next station, slowly crawled its way further north in loud clanking noises. The scene must be more than familiar to those who live along the tracks as the train has done the exact same thing, travelling with more or less the same speed and producing the same sounds for more than 3 decades.
Where’s the place that sparks your childhood imaginations and ever calls you to visit your whole life?
Where’s the place in a far-away land you need to go to before you leave this earth for good? A mountaintop, perhaps?
“A wise man will climb Mt Fuji once; a fool will climb it twice” – Japanese proverb
It’s been just 3 years but it seems like forever. From the day I left the summit of Mt. Fuji, my ‘foolish’ adventurous spirit promised that I would somehow visit that place again in this life. After a bus trip from Tokyo to the so-called ‘5th station’, it’s walking all the way to the top. Beautiful, unearthly scenes unfolded before my eyes along the way up. It’s the place that fueled the fire of my childhood imaginations and actually climbing it felt like climbing Mount Dream. After a cold and violent storm, watching sunrise at the summit was like catching a glimpse of realms beyond that of human beings.