Monday, June 22, 2009

2-Year Blogiversary / Off to Japan

Tonight is the night before my long-anticipated trip to Japan. It also happens to be the 2-year anniversary of marissabidilla. When I started this blog, I'd quite recently come back from France--now I'm about to take my first overseas trip since that time.

I'm not bringing my laptop--meaning that this will be the longest time in, I think, 5 years, that I will be away from my computer. It should be healthy for me--clear my head a bit, separate the woman from the machine. I'll borrow my friend's computer to check e-mail and read the headlines, but I don't plan to write any new blog posts from Japan. I have set up a few things to post in my absence, though, so keep checking back here!

Surely I'll write plenty of posts about Japan when I return, but in the meantime, I see that has a columnist in Japan this week and next, so you might enjoy reading his articles too. Maybe I'll have to compare my experiences to his!

Japan, I think, will be the first place I've ever traveled where I'll really, really feel like a foreigner. Well, I guess that in Cuba I stood out as a foreigner too, but there I was nearly always with a big group of American students, so we all stood out, as a unit. When people stared at me there, they were staring at my whole group; in Japan I will attract attention as an individual. All the more so because Japan is such a collectivist society. In Cathy Davidson's book, she writes that in Japan, "if you are young, or tall, or blond, you are treated as if you are a movie star." Through no fault of my own, I hit the young-tall-blond trifecta, so I am prepared for some weird experiences.

I almost think it should feel even weirder, though, to be an American visiting Japan. Because after all, only one country has ever attacked another with an atomic bomb--my country, attacking theirs. And the city where I will be staying--Kobe--was firebombed almost to smithereens by the Americans! (And then half-destroyed again in the 1995 earthquake. Poor Kobe.)

As for this being the two-year anniversary of marissabidilla--well, I haven't become a blogging superstar, but I think I like it that way, and I believe that keeping a blog has made me a more positive person. When I started this blog, I expected that I was going to write a lot more ranty posts than I have ended up creating--maybe fitting the stereotype of the angry citizen-blogger, using this democratic New Media form to puncture inflated reputations and open my readers' eyes to the truth. But you know what? I don't like spending my Internet time with bloggers who come off as negative and angsty and humorless! So my blog should not be that way either. Of course, if I have negative feelings about a play or book, I'll let you know it. But I try to do it fairly, and I try not to make this a place for bitching about random idiots I encounter or the minor frustrations and humiliations of life.

So, gradually, this blog has become a repository of things that I love, rather than things that make me angry. And, somewhat to my surprise, I keep discovering more things to love and to post about and to share with you! Two years ago, I didn't know whether I could sustain a blog for this long. But now, when I think of all of the things I love that I have barely even mentioned on this blog yet, it makes me giddy!

I'll return from my vacation on July 3.

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