Another Day Older

So as many of you probably already know, I turned 31 on Thursday. While maybe not as exciting as turning 21, or as monumental as 50 it was still a fun year marker. After all, I now live in Japan and have a bunch of new friends out here so it was a very different experience from any of my other birthdays.

Once again I am forced to announce that the people I work with are just lovely. Having known me for a whole two weeks they bought me a cake for my birthday, and then we went to a bar for food after finishing work for the day. They really didn’t need to do this, and even though I’m not really a big birthday person I really appreciated the effort they went to.

The day after I visited another friend in Zama, where we spent the day walking around a nature park and became slightly confused by the myriad of pathways. Fortunately as they were all giant circles in one form or another we were not forced to build a rudimentary camp and survive off the local wildlife when we could no longer escape.

There will also be many photos of this wonderful place just as soon as I have wifi for my phone again. Unfortunately my tourist sim card has run out so I need to sort out a more long term solution, but now that I have a bank account all is possible, so you can expect a mid week update on this post with all the pictures once it’s done.

Forests are very interesting places.

We feature them in so many of our stories and typically they are rather magical places, homes to a great variety of creatures and fictional beings. They are also very polarized places in our collective minds. Either they are wondrous and contain the secret to defeating evil kings, sometimes loaded up with magical items or just sage advise from mystical beings. At other  times they are evil dark places, holding only death an misfortune beneath their haunted leaves. Princesses are poisoned, killed or lost in them. Wicked creatures lead travelers off the safety of the path to become lost forever, while others are homes to powerful but evil magicians who are a little too trigger happy on the curse front.

And I can really see both points of view. During the day time it was a wonderful place to be, full of life and joy. The sunshine filtering through the trees and dancing across the floor as they moved in the wind. There were some really wonderfully bizarre creatures too, easily mistaken for something not of our world for its weirdness. Then when it slowly became darker the trees blocked out what little sunlight remained entirely, the birdsong would echo ominously around the woodland and without clearly marked paths it would have been very easy to get lost there.

This leads me to the conclusion that a lot of our fairy tales were probably written about the same places just at different times of the day, which really goes a long way to show you how important perspective can be when you form an impression of something. Now it feels like I have accidentally stumbled into some sort of morality story, but I suppose worse things have happened from a tangent.


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