Before I was exiled I lived in London. I'm not from London, but that's where I'd gravitated to. From there I did my stuff: read my books, played my sport, watched my films, listened to my music, followed my team, drank my beer; lived the city life and laughed hard with my heart on my sleeve.

Now, I live on the other side of the world. I still do all that shit, but I do it through the filter of a different city. In some ways it's the same, I mean the city is the city, right? But if you can't say anything else about it, what you can say about Tokyo, is that it definitely isn't London. No, it's different: it's bigger, brighter, gaudier, busier, noisier, and more fragrant. Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's a tight and a dark place; still and deathly quiet, and sometimes the only thing you can smell is the salty bay, or the sickly sweet approaching rain. Tokyo is chaotic but ordered, obvious but impenetrable, sophisticated but primal, liberating but imprisoning, captivating but captive-ating: a whole city of contradictions.

Tokyo's bi-polar nature has infected me, of that there can be no doubt. I'm the same as I ever was, but life here has changed me in many ways: It's made me more opened-minded, more self-aware, more resourceful, more outgoing, more conservative (strangely), and more adventurous. It's made me more tolerant, more patient, more careful; of myself and of others, but it's also released me in some way. I don't mean physically (but that too), I mean spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. Just how and why, it's difficult for me to say, but it is something that occupies my thoughts often. On my way to and from my occupation, it is my preoccupation to move through the window of my packed train (and my soul), and drift absently with the clouds across the skyline, down the streets and alleys, around the houses and shops, see the people and their world, and their lives, and on through my own world and my own life... present and past... now and then.


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