On the road again...

About three weeks ago I graduated, five days later I left Sweden. I've managed the first stint on this trip and I've left China behind me for the first time ever. Ok so maybe I'm making this a bit to complex. I should've just wrote "I left Sweden and I went to China". So that's what I did. Met up with my friend Björn who's not only a great guy but also quite knowledgeable about China and Japan. Which leads me to where I am right now, in Japan. Tokyo you have presented me with this years first notion of spring and I thank you for it. Now I hope you'll be just as amazing on every other aspect as well. I've got a month to figure you out and I doubt I'll manage to do it. Nevertheless, I hope we'll at least get along and that you'll reveal yourself to me in whatever fashion you wish.

Maybe I should say some things about China. Well, where should I start? I arrived at Beijing on the 10th of February. It was cold and I got to see the great wall from the flight. And that's about all I've seen of well known touristy spots in China so far. No, that's not entirely correct. I did pass that Olympic stadium, the one that looks like a bird's nest and thus colloquially named The Bird's Nest Stadium but is more officially known as the National Stadium but I digress...yeah I did pass that one by in a taxi from the airport. Basically I've seen two sights from a moving vehicle. Not good. On the other hand, I've got to see plenty of other things instead.

Anyway, we stayed in Beijing for a few days and then moved on to Sichuan and it's smoggy city Chengdu. We didn't see the pandas, we didn't see the irrigation system in Dujiangyan, we didn't see much of Sichuan to be honest, but we did roam about the small streets of Chengdu. And wow did we eat well! Sichuan is famous for it's cuisine and there's no doubt about that it's fame is well deserved. We didn't go to any famous hotpot places, we did in fact do our best not to end up at any hotpot place. Once again, might have been a mistake on our part, but then the food we found and the food we ate, by God it was good!...and hot. After our first dinner where we cockily decided to drop all safeguards against the Sichuan pepper, well we didn't do that mistake twice. I've never eaten anything that strong before. The funny thing is that it numbs your tongue, your lips are burning, your eyes are popping out andy you're coughing as a young boy taking his first drag from an unfiltered Gauloises. Yet at the same time you feel all the different types of flavour. Nothing like it I say.

The next night we humbly asked for a bit less pepper.

Photographically I don't know what I'm doing. To be honest, I've dreamt for some years now of going back out on the road to travel and to photograph. I used to do it before I went into my pj studies. Now post my diploma, I feel very torn about it all. What the hell am I doing photographing in countries and cultures I hardly know anything about??? Well, I'm having a lot of fun. I meet wonderful people who share small bits and pieces of their life stories with me, and I learn tons. The last two weeks I've had to rely heavily on Björn for any type of communication. He speaks the languages. I don't. I can't make myself understood, and I can't understand what's being said to me. It's mind-blowingly infuriating and and really quite a learning experience for me. I love to hear my own voice and here I just listen to other voices not knowing what they actually say. So what can I say about these places and these often amazing people through my photography? Not a thing that would leave you more informed. But I think I've come up with a solution to this problem that I'm find my self brooding over. I've heard at times people using the phrase "if I can only reach one person, and make that person perceive the world differently then at least I've done something..." or something like it at least. Well I am sure that one person comes away from all this with new perspectives and with a wee bit of a change to his person. So if for nothing else, I'll just keep doing this for my own self.

Now a bit of rest before I must face Tokyo.

"The sparrow shits
upside down
--ah! my brain & eggs"

Allen Ginsberg (or so it's claimed)

"Hey, how are you doin?"

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