Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness

7 Sep

Hi, everyone!

 

I’m back from my two weeks in Japan and I must say I miss it already. The Japanese people are remarkable. From the moment we arrived at Narita International Airport we felt welcomed. The airport, train station, restaurant and hotel employees as well as passers by went out of there way to help us with any issue, sometimes before we even got the chance to ask for help.

 

Although the country is packed with people everything ran smoothly. The trains and buses were always on time, restaurants were never too full, the streets were clean although there were no garbage cans––anywhere. We learned to carry a plastic bag in our backpacks to store garbage while out and about. On escalators everyone stood on the left, so that if anyone wanted to walk up the steps they could come up the right side. People formed lines and walk down on the left side of a stairway and up on the right side, so that no one is ever in the way or in danger of colliding with someone else. People entered the trains in an orderly fashion and if the train was extra full the conductor would come over and assist by pushing the people in tight with his gloved hands, like you would push down the clothes in an overstuffed suitcase before just barely getting that zipper closed.

 

Cab, Uber and bus drivers thanked us for allowing them to drive us around. We never saw a fight or an argument anywhere. Although drinking alcohol is allowed at anytime we never saw a single drunk walking the streets. There was no yelling or cussing. Everyone seemed so kind and courteous to one another, it was surreal at times.

 

I fell in love with Japanese fashion. Well, the women’s fashion style. The men mostly wore black suits and white shirts. In the train station during the morning work rush you’d see a sea of white shirts and black pants. Even the school age boys wore black pants and white shirts. The women were another story. First, we had to ask ourselves if there were any ugly Japanese women? If there were, they must have stayed indoors the entire time we were there. The Japanese women we saw were beautiful and refined. Their style was feminine, colorful and elegant in an understated way. Honestly, I felt a bit self-conscious walking around in my jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. And why didn’t they sweat? Our first couple of days in Japan the temperature was in the upper nineties. My niece, who lives there, told us it was a record high. The moment I walked out of the airport beads of sweat began to form over my upper lip and it wasn’t long before we were all covered in perspiration. Yet, I never saw a Japanese woman dripping in sweat. They walked by in their regal way, looking immaculate in their perfect outfits without a hair out of place and dry as powder.

 

I don’t think the word “elderly” applies to the seventy and eighty-something year olds in Japan. Not when they zipped by you on their bicycles. When we visited the shrines in Kyoto we climbed 500+ steps up a mountain. As I struggled up the last twenty-something steps, a group of men and women clearly in their seventies or eighties zoomed right past me to the top. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Seeing the vitality of their older generation was a testament to their healthy lifestyle.

 

After a week of living among these people, my brother and I came up with a theory. They’re not from here. They’re an elite race of aliens from another planet or dimension chosen to live on Earth to show us mere humans how we should live. They are here to lead by example. How could these perfect beings be human? Human beings are not perfect. We make mistakes, we get angry and yell sometimes, we get tired and we sweat!

Torii Gates-Japan-Poetry_Friday-Tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Japanese-Vashti Q

Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

You may not believe

but they do walk among us

these perfect beings

from birth to birth they go with

no proper place for sorrow

Japan-Kyoto-Torii Gates-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Tanka-micro poetry-Vashti Q

Check out my Instagram for more pictures. (Click on photo)

Poetry_Friday-Tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Japan-Vashti Q-Torii Gates

Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

colleen chesebro-100th-tanka_Tuesday-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

Exemplary and Sadness are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

72 Responses to “Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness”

  1. John W. Howell September 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

    Welcome back, Vashti. So glad you enjoyed the trip

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 7, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

      Thank you, John! I’m happy to be home but I do miss some aspects of the Japanese lifestyle. I hope you’re feeling much better. 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • John W. Howell September 7, 2018 at 8:45 pm #

        Thank you, Vashti. I know what you mean. I always enjoyed my trips to Japan.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. olganm September 7, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

    Welcome back, Vashti! Thanks for sharing your experience in Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 7, 2018 at 9:37 pm #

      Thank you, Olga! It was truly a wonderful experience. It was my pleasure. Enjoy your weekend!💗

      Like

  3. Olga September 7, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

    Wonderful to read about your impressions of Japan. Happy that you weren’t affected by the typhoon that hit the island. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 7, 2018 at 9:42 pm #

      The typhoon did make landfall while we were still there but thank God it was at a good distance from where we were. We only felt the outer bands and it didn’t affect our flight schedule.😁 Thank you! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Quine Atal September 7, 2018 at 7:48 pm #

    Hi Vashti! So nice review, nice pictures, and a sweet little poem. Sounds like you will go back

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm #

      Hi❣️ I definitely want to return to Japan. I loved it there. We’re thinking Spring 2020. Thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed the post. Enjoy your weekend!😀

      Like

  5. balroop2013 September 7, 2018 at 10:54 pm #

    Welcome back Vashti, we missed you. Thank you sharing your reflections about Japan and Japanese people. I have seen your lovely pictures at Instagram, sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 8:55 am #

      Aw, I missed you too, my friend. I did have a wonderful time, so much so that I plan to return. I would love to return in springtime when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and discover more of the country. I’m happy you enjoyed the Instagram pictures. Thank you! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marje @ Kyrosmagica September 8, 2018 at 4:54 am #

    I would love to visit japan. My eldest daughter is back from her TEFL in South Korea and managed to visit Japan twice on her travels. She loved it – she spend new year in Toyko!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 8:58 am #

      Hi Marje! I’m happy you and your daughter are reunited. Japan really is a wonderful country and I can’t say enough about the people. I had an amazing experience there. New Years in Tokyo must be a blast. 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Adele Marie September 8, 2018 at 6:54 am #

    Oh wow, I have wanted to visit Japan for years, I so agree with you, Vashti they are perfect. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 9:02 am #

      I began planning this trip in my head ever since my niece and her husband moved there four years ago. I loved the country and the people and highly recommend a visit if you can. I’d love to return in the spring––maybe in a couple of years. 😉 ❤ xx

      Like

  8. Annette Rochelle Aben September 8, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    Glad to have you back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Natalie Ducey September 8, 2018 at 10:22 am #

    Welcome back, Vashti! It’s been an absolute joy seeing your pictures. Thank you for taking us along on your travels. 🙂 Cheers with much gratitude! XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you, Natalie! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the pictures. I appreciate you. ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. D.L Finn, Author September 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

    Welcome back Vashti:) I have been enjoying the pictures you’ve posted on Instagram. It sounds like an amazing place to visit or live. I’m a big fan of politeness. I like the whole alien theory…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

      Hi Denise! I’m sure you would love it there. Everyone we came in contact with was so considerate and kind, and everyone seemed happy at their job. I will miss that. Ha, ha! When you visit Japan you’ll see what I mean. 😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • D.L Finn, Author September 9, 2018 at 2:06 am #

        It’s on my list of places to see:)

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Colleen Chesebro September 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm #

    What a fabulous visit for you, Vashti. I love it. This week was our 100th challenge! You can choose any words you want to use. Hugs and love, my friend. I’m glad you’re back. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

      Hi Colleen! Congratulations again on your 100th challenge! I chose Exemplary and Sadness as this week’s prompt words and used the synonyms Perfect and Sorrow for my Tanka. Japan was great and I miss certain things but I’m glad to be back home. Thank you, my friend! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Colleen Chesebro September 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm #

        You’re so welcome. I’ve lost some links to posts so will be doing a bit of hunting this week. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  12. coldhandboyack September 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

    What a wonderful experience. Something I’ve wanted to do for years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      It really was, Craig and I recommend you go. If you can visit in springtime even better. 😉 Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. marethabotha2013 September 9, 2018 at 3:25 am #

    Thank you so much for telling us a bit about your fantastic time in Japan, Vashti. Hugs from my part of Lancashire where my only and biggest gripe always has to do with the endless littering in our area despite our Council’s best and most sterling efforts! Japan seems the place where I would find calmness for my soul should I look outside and never see litter anywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 5:36 am #

      Hi Maretha! It is remarkable how clean Japan is even in the train stations and bus stops, especially when there are no garbage cans anywhere. Here, there are garbage cans on every corner and yet I’ve seen garbage on the ground inches from one. I don’t understand. I definitely was at peace there. I wish somehow we could learn from them. How do they keep such order? How is it that the people are so considerate, polite and kind toward one another? I was taught to say thank you, excuse me and please and to be considerate toward others but sometimes I feel like that’s seen as a weakness or as odd here. The Japanese seem to have it all figured out. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. Hugs and kisses! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • marethabotha2013 September 9, 2018 at 6:59 pm #

        Yes, there seems to be no logical answer, but your comment, “I definitely was at peace here”, is such a profound statement. Order creates this peaceful feeling which relaxes my mind and helps me to concentrate without unsightly distractions. 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

        I completely agree. 🙂

        Like

  14. watchingthedaisies September 9, 2018 at 5:22 am #

    I am glad you had such a wonderful time Vashti. What an amazing country. It is on my list 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 5:39 am #

      Please do go, Brigid. Japan was such an awakening for me. We need to make changes here in the US. We need to be kinder and more considerate toward one another and take better care of our health. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. yvettemcalleiro September 9, 2018 at 10:28 am #

    I don’t just like this post; I LOVE this post! ❤ I was a child when I visited Japan, but I am looking forward to going back and visiting again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 10:50 am #

      Yay! I can’t wait to go back! We’re discussing Spring of 2020 – God willing. I’d love to see the cherry blossoms and all the other flowers in bloom. This time around we weren’t able to see Mt. Fuji because of the weather but maybe we’ll have better luck in springtime. I love the kindness and politeness of the Japanese people too. I miss that sometimes. People here can be a little tense. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post, my friend! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  16. D. Wallace Peach September 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

    Oh, you made me want to go to Japan, Vashti. I love your conclusion that they are from another planet. Lol. I wouldn’t be able to compete with the beauty and elegance, but I’d try to make those steps, sweat and all. I’m so glad you had a wonderful vacation and thanks for the nudge to head there myself someday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

      Hi Diana! It is a life-changing trip for sure. Going up those mountain steps was an invigorating experience. I hope you do go some day, then you’d see what I mean about Japanese being from another planet. Ha, ha! I mean it in the best way possible, of course. Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. dgkaye September 9, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

    Wow! Welcome back and thanks for sharing a bit of Japan with us Vashti! Sounds like other countries should take a page out of their protocol as far as courtesy goes. I do wish people riding escalators here would learn that courtesy of staying to one side to let others pass. The same goes for cars barely moving in the left passing lane! And of course, a fantastic poem you still managed to write despite just returning. Well done! ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

      Hi Debby! Their behavior must be taught from an early age. They are all about showing others respect and consideration. When people treat each other with kindness, respect and consideration it can only result in a pleasant and peaceful environment. Unfortunately, too many people in this country are so stressed and overworked that half of them are over or under medicated to the point that they don’t care how their actions affect others. The moment we landed in Los Angeles, California it was obvious we were not in Japan anymore by the people’s attitudes and Miami is no different – at times. Thank you very much, my friend! ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye September 10, 2018 at 10:14 am #

        I wholeheartedly agree with you Vashti, it’s inbred. And I’m so glad you had the opportunity to visit that beautiful country. ❤ xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 10, 2018 at 10:25 am #

        Thank you, Debby! I’m happy I visited too. It was on my ‘Bucket List’ since I began my list. 😉 ❤ xx

        Like

  18. robbiesinspiration September 9, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    Sounds like you loved Japan as much as I loved the UK, Vashti. I live in a country where nothing works anymore so I appreciate the UK for its clockwork public transport and postal system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 9, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

      I live in a country where, not all, but too many people are angry, stressed out, over or under medicated and just plain inconsiderate and rude most of the time. I don’t know what’s going on but there’s a lack of respect, consideration and empathy here. Growing up I was taught to be kind to others, to be polite and considerate, to show gratitude but some people, too many people, prefer to be rude, careless and inconsiderate. When I saw the way the Japanese people behaved it was like a breath of fresh air and I thought to myself, this is how people are supposed to behave. 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • robbiesinspiration September 10, 2018 at 12:54 am #

        We have the same problem with rude and inconsiderate people here, Vashti. I understand how you feel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 10, 2018 at 7:56 am #

        I’m sorry to hear that, Robbie. It’s a sad situation.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. LindaGHill September 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm #

    I remember the first time I came home from Japan and someone in the airport sneezed near me. My first thought was, Why aren’t you wearing a mask! Oh yeah. I’m in Canada. 😛 And the bowing! I had to force myself not to. Haha!
    So happy you had a wonderful experience, Vashti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 10, 2018 at 8:08 am #

      Hi Linda! Ha, ha! I forgot to mention that! I saw several people in Japan wearing masks and not just employees in public places but people walking in the streets. I even saw a small child sitting in a stroller wearing a mask. And it was scorching hot outside! That is part of being considerate toward others. I worked in the medical field for years and every other month I caught something because people kept coughing in my face. Even after explaining to them why they should turn their faces and cover their mouths while coughing and sneezing, I would still catch them doing it again to someone else. What’s so hard about having consideration for your fellow man? I don’t get it. It’s very frustrating. :/ Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. tracikenworth September 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on Where Genres Collide.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Miriam Hurdle September 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi Vashti, I love this post about your travel in Japan. Your poem is excellent. We’re going to Hong Kong to attend my nephew’s wedding in January 2019. After that, we’ll go to Japan to visit my daughter and son-in-law’s friend works there. They have been friends since freshman Engineering classes. He and his wife are engineers got hired to work in Japan. It would be my first time visiting Japan. I’ve been in the US for 40 years, when we travel, we tend to go to Europe. I’m looking so much forward to the visit.
    I understand the Japanese culture and their calmness a little bit. Since their living spaces are so tiny, they tend to do things outdoors. The boys clothing is the school uniform colors. The students in Hong Kong also wear uniforms. I like the Japanese women’s fashion also. Thank you for sharing this lovely post. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 10, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

      Hi Miriam! I’ve been told that China is also an amazing country to visit and it is also on my ‘Bucket List’. How exciting that you get to visit both these countries. I kind of figured in my head the reasons why the men wear the black pants and white shirts to work. Having been in the medical field, I wore scrubs every day and it was such a relief to know what I was wearing the next day to work without thinking about it too much. It’s very practical. I also understand that in a country where there are so many people it is important to be considerate, disciplined and calm. I wish we could be more like that in the US. Everyone would be so much happier and healthier. I loved Japan and I can’t wait to return. Thank you for stopping by and for your great comment.
      ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miriam Hurdle September 10, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

        I know how convenience it is to wear scrubs. My husband did that. The only thing was that he could wear different colors so he bought many colors. At least he didn’t have to ask me “what should I wear?” He did that every time we go to a restaurant or church. He asked if he wore that last week. I said, if I don’t remember, nobody would.
        We went on a family vacation in China. One couple from my husband’s family, my daughter and her hubby, mother-in-law. We had a private van and own driver. It needs 10 people to have that. I started with 10 but ended up having 7, the tour company didn’t want to change the arrangement in the last minutes, so they let us keep the plan.
        We went to Beijing, X’ian, Guilin, and Hong Kong. The tour guides and all the services were excellent. ❤ xox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 11, 2018 at 10:17 am #

        I was able to wear different colors and patterns as well. It made it less monotonous while still being practical and easy. That sounds like an amazing trip! I went to Japan with my husband, brother and mom. I really wished my sisters could have gone but they say they will prepare for the next trip. I’m sure China is a fascinating country to visit. I will definitely go one day soon––God willing. ❤ xx

        Like

      • Miriam Hurdle September 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

        I know, the hospital I go for my own needs have the doctors, nurses, and different staff wear different colors. I could tell what they are by the colors of the scrub.
        After the family trip to Hong Kong and Japan, we’ll have another family trip with my husband’s siblings to go to India to trace their ancestry. Their grandfather was in the British army stationed in India and got married there. His father was born in India and spent part of his life there before migrating to Australia. It will be an interesting trip. ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 12, 2018 at 6:09 am #

        That trip to India sounds amazing. How exciting for your husband and his siblings. Yes, the trip will definitely be interesting for everyone. 😀 ❤

        Like

  22. Smitha V September 12, 2018 at 8:58 am #

    So happy to read this since we were thinking of travelling to Japan. This post is so helpful in taking a decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 12, 2018 at 5:27 pm #

      Yay! I’m so happy I could be of help. If you’re planning to use their trains which are amazing, be sure to buy a JR pass. My niece’s husband recommended this and we bought a 7-day pass and it was one of the best things we did. We were able to take day trips to different parts of Japan in the bullet trains. Have a great trip! 😀

      Like

      • Smitha V September 13, 2018 at 6:31 am #

        Sure. Will do that Vashti. Thanks again😊. Is Dec a good time to go?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

        Smitha, I heard that springtime (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best months to go but I went in August and had a great time although it was scorching hot. I think if you don’t mind cold weather December should be fine. Next time I visit it will be in spring because I want to see the cherry blossoms and the weather is mild. 🙂

        Like

      • Smitha V September 14, 2018 at 10:01 am #

        Me too wanted to see the cherry blossom but that’s out of question because of school holidays. Thanks again Vashti😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 11:47 am #

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        Like

  23. Aweni September 13, 2018 at 2:14 am #

    I have heard of these perfect beings too. I agree, they must be aliens. Sounds like a lovely place I would love to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

      Ha, ha! It’s a wonderful place and already I can’t wait to return. 😉 Being surrounded by such kind, considerate and friendly people was like being in heaven.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aweni September 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm #

        I can only imagine Vashti. I can only imagine.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Annika Perry September 14, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    Wow! Vashti, what an amazing trip and you vividly describe some of your trip. I’m trying to imagine being gently squashed into a train! The order and peace of the city sounds great, so calm. I’m taken with the fashion worn by the women … did you go clothes shopping? And I had other smile at how the older people easily walked past you in the stairs! Many thanks for sharing and I’m more keen than ever to visit this country – a place my son longs to see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q September 14, 2018 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Annika! The order and peace was not just in Tokyo but everywhere we went in Japan. We visited Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and other places. It seemed that even the tourists behaved.
      I did go shopping but not for myself. My mom bought a few things for herself. Maybe next time I’ll go better prepared for shopping.
      The younger generation seems to be fascinated with Japan. My brother is going back soon with his kids who begged to go. It may be the Japanese pop bands, Manga movies and anime which are so popular amongst teens and young adults that are inciting this Japan craze among them.
      I hope you do go it’s an amazing country. I felt completely safe and at peace there. 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

  25. specialk718 September 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

    Sounds like the complete opposite of NY. We must find out where they get their primer and pressed powder too

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q September 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm #

      It’s definitely the complete opposite of NYC and other large cities in the USA. Ah, ha, ha. Shiseido seems to be a major brand there. 😉

      Like

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  1. Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge Recap No. 100, “Poet’s Choice of Words” | Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer - September 10, 2018

    […] Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness | The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q […]

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