Subject: I Crossed the Ocean Just to See You Again

12 June 2016

Dear R,

I haven’t written for weeks… because I was working on seeing you again and I did. 🙂

So a few weeks ago, you’ve decided to go to Japan. But one day, while you were still in South Korea, you asked me if I could go to Japan. I didn’t take it seriously but I eventually felt that you were serious. You told me to check the visa for Japan. You even had dates in mind and the city  where we can meet. But I told you that I don’t have the money to buy the plane ticket and I told you how difficult it is to get a visa for Japan. I’ve always thought that going to Japan is similar to getting a visa for any country Europe – in short, close to  impossibility. As I’ve always been, I was explaining to you how complicated and tedious the process for me is. You said that I just don’t want to see you (in a cute and sweet way, of course) and so while you were asking me questions on how I could get a visa for Japan and while I was checking on websites for information… I convinced myself that I should give it a try because you sounded like you really want to see me and also because… I really want to see you. So the following day, I decided to get some documents.

19th of May  (Thursday) – when we talked about going to Japan on June 2-6, 2016

20th of May (Friday) – I decided to get my birth certificate from the City Hall. It’s not convenient getting a document from a government office and this is what I hate most but I did it. I had to endure hours of waiting in long queues. I also went to my banks to get my bank certificate which I am not even sure if the money there would be enough to have my visa application approved, I did it anyway. On top of these, I still had to go to work. And then you called me, you said that maybe I should not apply for now. Just when I got those that I need and just when I was feeling positive about going to Japan, you changed your mind because you don’t think you could pay for my plane ticket because you had a problem with your insurance and you might need your personal money for health emergencies (you’ve been having the numbness on your arm and legs), plus you don’t want me to pay for the visa. But then, I told you that I would still do it. I don’t mind paying, who knows? I might be able to use the visa.

21st of May (Saturday) – I went to the nearest travel agency which will process my visa application. I had the requirements (almost all – I wasn’t ready for the itinerary and the photo but I was able to complete them on time). It was a long wait. The people who were there looked intimidating, I mean it’s more likely for them to get approved than me. Some are applying with their partner or with their family or friends. I was applying alone (although my sister and her boyfriend were nice enough to come with me to the agency for support.. LOL). And so, I was able to talk to the consultant and she helped me complete other forms, she also asked some questions and then she advised me that they will notify me within 7 – 10 working days. SEVEN TO TEN WORKING DAYS!!! It was mentioned on the website that it usually take 3-5 working days. After hearing it could take that long, I thought to myself, “I’m fucked.” If I get the notification (lucky if I get approved) in 7 working days, that would have been on May 31 and if it was 10 working days, June 3. But I didn’t feel really worried about it, I was feeling positive that it won’t even take longer than 5 working days.

26th of May (Thursday) 13:55 – I received a text message from the travel agency telling me that I could pick up my passport and that I could only see the result upon  pick up only. Since I was at work, I thought I would get it the following day. My whole day was a mix of anxiety and excitement.

27th of May (Friday) – I went to the agency with my friend and while I was waiting for my passport, the Japanese guy who was holding it and writing something on their forms, looked at me with a serious face. Now it made me worried. But when he handed it over to me. I saw the visa and he explained to me that I could use it for blah blah blah.. I wasn’t paying attention to him.. hahaha all I wanted to do was get my passport, stare at the visa and book my flight. I sent you a photo of me holding my passport and you were impressed that the travel agency/embassy was quick enough to process the visa application.

Yet, I still did not buy the ticket. We were discussing about whether I should go or not to Japan. You think it’s going to be expensive for me. To be honest, I am not even sure if I have enough money that will allow me to survive Japan. I’ve been watching the prices of plane ticket to Japan. One airline has been consistent with their price, it’s not cheap for me but it’s the cheapest that I’ve found. I have money in the bank but I had no intention of using it but I had no money at hand for this travel BUT I really wanted to see you and it was my dream to go to Japan. There were days when it feels like you’re trying to convince me not to go to Japan. It was heavy on your part that I would be spending for this trip because you wanted to buy the plane tickset for me. I fully understood your point but I have explained to you that I  am willing to pay for my ticket and that I am going to use the money in my bank to spend in Japan. We have traveled together before and I told you that I am not really a luxurious traveler. I am fine with just walking at the park, staying in affordable hotels (because you hate places for backpackers hahaha – only because you want a quiet place), I even said that I am okay if we will just look for a CS host and I don’t eat at fancy restaurants. But knowing you, you want perfect things when you’re with me and since Japan is quite an expensive country to travel to, you were a bit worried since you cannot support everything when I’m with you. I have tried to convince you every time we talk about it that I’ll be okay. You told me that you want to see me but you also told me your reasons why you think that it’s impractical for me to go there. You thought that I’ll be staying for only a few days and we’re not prepared for the things to do or places to go to. But you told me that it’s my decision, if I want to go, then we’ll meet.

Since I got the visa, we’ve been having the same conversation everyday until the…

31st of May (Tuesday) – I couldn’t decide because it felt like you don’t  want me to go to Japan and I was worried that if I would go, I’ll just be a burden for you. Maybe you won’t enjoy Japan because I’d be with you. Although I was unsure of what to do, I made sure that I have advised my bosses at work about the possibility of my trip. I thought it’s just 2 more days before the planned trip and I still haven’t bought my ticket. So I went to the website, filled out the form, including my card details and then I stopped at the button for payment and then I called you. I called because I wanted to hear from you that  you want to see me, that you want me to meet you in Japan but we started again the same conversation we had for days. You even asked why did I even pick Nagoya to meet you (FYI, it was you who mentioned that but you couldn’t remember that I even had to send you a screenshot of our chat 😜). You sounded,  again, like  you’re convincing me that it’s going to be a bad idea for me to spend the money. And maybe because I was getting a bit frustrated and sad and confused on why you don’t know if you really want me to  go there (You were already in Japan at that time – in Fukuoka) or not, while we were talking… I was looking at the monitor but was not in my mind and then I clicked on “payment” and then suddenly my heartbeat pounded so fast and I was waiting for a pop up to ask me if I’m sure of what I did BUT INSTEAD, after a few seconds (because of the crappy internet)… it said CONFIRMED. All I was able to say to you was… “I think I just bought my ticket.” Then I told you my booboo and your response was… “SO COME TO JAPAN.” It was really crazy. Since I’ve met you, I’ve had lots of new and random experiences, most especially in traveling. They have been the best so far and I can’t believe that I just did another one.

This was my first time to travel to another country by myself and we’re not even meeting in Nagoya. We decided to meet in Kyoto and stay there for 3 nights then to Osaka for a night and then finally to Nagoya for a day before I leave Japan. It was scary for me but it was one of the greatest experiences in my life.

I thought I was lucky for a lot of things: getting all the documents needed for a day, getting my visa approved in a short period of time, getting the same price of plane ticket ever since I’ve been watching it, and then there was this young Filipina girl who was seated beside me on the plane. I was really worried about how am I going to meet you in Kyoto because I had no idea how to commute in Japan. I was told that the Japanese rarely speak English and the railway system is really complicated and EXPENSIVE. This girl was very sleepy and when we landed in Nagoya, she was still asleep. I thought I should wake her up and maybe ask her a few things, maybe she knows Nagoya, or maybe not so I have decided to wake her up. Luckily, she has been living in Nagoya since she was 13 years old. She would be taking a bus at the same terminal where I could take a bus for Kyoto. She is fluent in Japanese so she was my official translator. She helped me with filling out immigration forms, getting my data sim, ordering food, exchanging my money for yen and most of all, getting my bus ticket. She had to take another bus so we said our goodbyes. So, I was supposed to take a bus and stop by another terminal to take another bus but the terminal I was told of, when the bus driver got to the terminal… I was advised I should stop by another terminal because there I won’t have to wait for 30 minutes.. just 5 minutes. 🙂 I took the next bus and when I got to Kyoto station, I was trying to figure out on how to find you but then, in a few minutes… You were right in front of me. I, REALLY, AM LUCKY. 🙂

Being with you in a country I dream of going to has been one of the best days in my life. I knew that I would only have a few days but I never regret having to spend money for it. We walked & biked all day, we went to temples/shrines/castles, and you took photos of people while I took photos of you taking photos of people. We went to a very nice museum, and we tried on the traditional garment “kimono.” At first it was just me but the people at the museum was able to convince you to try it too 🙂 I was able to convince you of taking a selfie together (which you hate, btw hahaha but I think you had fun doing it with me). We tried different authentic Japanese food: ramen, gyoza, conveyor-belt sushi, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, strawberry cheesecake, cream puff, soft serve, and many other things.

But as expected, these days lasted for only 5 days. My flight back to Manila is from Nagoya and we had a scheduled plan, problem was… the bus that we took, it got stuck in heavy traffic. You were disappointed, frustrated and mad… I was too but we were there to calm each other down.  But then, the traffic was really horrible that we knew I would be late for my flight. We ran and you even had to pay for the expensive train so I could get in the airport… even if it was late. We got to the airport at 8PM, my flight was 8:30PM. The lady said that they’re closed but we asked them to consider… at some point I wished I couldn’t go because it would be nice to stay with you for another day but then, it would be spending more money and I know you wouldn’t like it. Maybe the lady saw my teary eyes that she allowed me to check in. Again, I was lucky but then… it also meant that it’s probably the last time I’d see you before we get another chance to see each other again.

I haven’t been writing to you because we have been making memories together. I know we’re not together again but I feel that we will see each other again… maybe not soon but hopefully soon. Now, you’re in Spain. You left Tokyo on Friday, you were undecided before that and you even ask me if you should go back to Paris or not. I told you that I like that you’re in Japan because somehow it feels that you’re nearer but I think you should go back to Paris because of your health. You called me on Thursday and told me that you bought your ticket for Spain and spend a few days there and then go back home. You told me that you hesitated to go back home because you want to stay near me. I was surprised that you said something like that because you don’t usually say such things. I told you that I wished it was one of the reasons why you were still in Asia and since that you told me that, it made me feel special. But I am also happy that you’re going back to Paris soon because you would see your friends and family. You’ve been away from home for half a year and I know that it would make you happy to come back home.

I still don’t know what is between us. We don’t have a label but I know that we both know that there is something real and special. I am trying to learn not to expect anything but I won’t stop  trying to fix my life and to finally be able to be with the person that I want. I know you don’t want me to build plans around you but I am building plans for what I want and that is to be with you. I am stubborn and selfish, I guess. For now, I know we’re miles away from each other but because of the trip in Japan, it made me feel more that nothing is impossible. I’ve never thought I could go to Japan this soon but I have so why should I doubt that I could be anywhere where you are? 🙂

R… we will see each other again. I know. :*

x,

R

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