Day 13

I can't believe I'm now at the midpoint of my residency. It feels like it's been forever but at the same time like no time at all. It's also really hard to believe I've already taken my exhibition photos and while I still have to build the exhibition and maybe make some extra photos at 7-11 or FamilyMart, I've actually sort of done my work here! What? Yes!

I'm still feeling a bit empty and lost about that, but trying to get over it. Just trying to figure out how I should spend the rest of my time here. Yesterday I felt a bit lonely actually. I wish I had someone here I could ask out for a day trip or something. At home I often have days when I don't have company but most of the time I will hang around and talk with my boyfriend anyway, at least in the evening when we're both home, or I can maybe ask a friend to come on a walk with me or something. I can go see my parents, because they live close by. But here I suddenly have nobody to just go and hang out with. I can of course hang out with the other artists, but I know they're all really busy now, so I don't want to go and be like, hey, let's go hang out at the beach, I'm all done with my work! Because that's not nice. In a way I feel a bit lazy because I've already finished. I feel like I didn't put in enough effort. I will still take photos of the surroundings, but they'll be just for my own amusement, or maybe I'll build another exhibition of them back home.

I'm looking over different kinds of daytrips and such. There's a fun looking treeline zipping adventure, and it's actually quite close by but not close enough that I could bike there and I don't have a car so that's out of the question unless I can find a ride. There's also a cat island close by, Ainoshima, and we might go there next week with Charlotte. It would be a nice trip with a ferry ride and all the cats, thought I'm a bit afraid all the cats will just make me sad. I see stray cats sometimes and they're so skinny! Of course it could be that they just look really skinny because my cat is sort of fat.

But some of it is just fluff! He has a really nice fur. And he's also big boned! Fine, he's also a bit fat, but I love how soft and fluffy he is and there is not fatcat-shaming in our house! I just feel bad for stray cats because they look so hungry. They just stare at me, maybe a bit curiously, but they never come and say hi. At the beach, I saw a stray cat and a kitten! I thought I'd die. The adult cat stopped and had a meowing conversation with me when I chirped at it, but it still stayed away from the reach of my grabby hands. I may have bought some cat treats to give to the stray cats. Maybe it's wrong, but if it is, I don't wanna be right!

I still haven't had a chance to swim more than once. Some of the beaches can be a bit dirty and some are way too public. The Japanese don't swim after August, so nobody but us foreigners are swimming and it feels weird to do it alone. With all of their decency rules, I just feel strange standing around alone on a beach in my bikini. If I can't even show my shoulders, how can I show my upper thighs or my stomach? I'm having a bit of a difficulty with the no-shoulders rule because as it happens, all the tops I brought with me show my shoulders. Even the t-shirts I have, have holes at the shoulders. Damn stupid cold shoulder trend!

I guess the Japanese are so obedient that they won't swim if there's no lifeguard around. Or maybe it's too "cold" for them, though that's really hard to imagine. I've never swam in such a warm weather. Going in the water is always a process for me, it usually takes like 10 minutes for me to get my body used to the water in Finland. Most people just run in at once but I have a process, I walk in inch by inch, usually complaining or yelping all the way. In here, even I could just walk in. The water had a bit of seaweed and other sea crap in it, but otherwise it was to die for. I swam in an ocean! The waves were huge, the biggest I've ever experienced, though I think they were pretty normal because my two fellow artist who were with me at the beach had a good laugh at that.

I also never thought I'd describe +27 celsius as "fresh". But after +32, that's what it feels like, I guess. The heat still continues. I could go explore the forests, but the bugs creep me out and in the heat, walking up and down hills is not at all pleasant. I really wish the bugs would just stay away from me and I could have a cool evening walk. I'm also curious about onsens, but my curiousity waned a bit when I realized most of them were indoor. I had an image of a steaming outdoor onsen with the night sky stretching over me. But the reality just seems to be a bath inside a big building, so that's a whole lot less romantic. Instead of relaxing and star-gazing in the steamy water, it just sounds like a bunch of naked strangers sitting together in a tiny pool. Maybe I'll keep googling if I could find an outdoor onsen.


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