Monday, March 16, 2015

Leif returns from Japan

What a fantastic experience!

Refreshed and renewed, I have returned from my travels in Japan.

Japan is an extraordinary place: not only for its outstanding snow slopes, but also for the exceptional people and culture.  There is a lot of care and respect between people.  It’s probably one of the few places in the world where you can safely leave your board, gear and skis outside while you go inside for some warming ramen for lunch.  I have heard of people forgetting their wallets on the train and then returned to them with all contents and cash intact.  People don’t expect tips.  There is no hustling for extra charges or money.  Prices are set and respected.  Courtesy is highly regarded.  If you do someone a kindness, it is extremely well received and appreciated.

DSC00168 (Large) DSC00218 (Large) DSC00248 (Large) DSC00256 (Large)

* The experience of working as an acupuncture TCM practitioner in another country.

* Incredible powder snow.  This is probably one of the best places for fresh snow in the world.

* Food – great variety, flavours and styles. The hotel I worked in had a wonderful chef.  I experienced a lot of Japanese specialities like Nabe (Japanese hot pot) and Western fusion like beef cheeks with fragrant soy based sauce.

* Working alongside Japanese people. They are friendly, courteous, logical, thoroughgoing and punctual.

* Meeting other wonderful cultures from around the world enjoying the great Japanese snow experience as well.

* Working in a hotel having food prepared for you as staff meals.

* Not having to wash dishes for 6 weeks. Novelty never wore off.

* Cooking staff meals for hotel staff. I made Indian chick pea curry and Thai green chicken curry. The staff enjoyed the novelty. These dishes aren’t commonly eaten in Japan.

* Learning Japanese phrases and making an attempt to communicate in the local lingo.

If you enjoy your skiing, I can give some handy pointers for Japan. If you have some great tips, I would love to hear about them too.  If the snow and cold isn’t your thing, then I would love to hear about your special leisure interest.

After such a great winter snow trip away, it feels very nice indeed to return to Australia’s warm shores. The only tan I sport is the goggle tan that covers half my face. With refreshed and revived vitality, I very much look forward to resuming the healing work at the Darlinghurst clinic.

Gum Bari mass (Japanese = I will do my best)