I had to get rid of all my belongings before leaving to tour Japan by bike. Some books and elements of the altar, without other value than emotional, I packed them in a suitcase and sent it to my parents in Spain.
A few days before the date of my departure I invited all my friends and colleagues to have some tea in my apartment. Their words of encouragement were moving, yet they weren’t aware of the trap they had fell into, because I made them to promise they would not leave my apartment with empty hands.
That’s how a Chinese colleague took the fridge and kitchen-ware, my good friend the Japanese student (a hug to Sogo) got the “kotatsu” (a table with a brazier below), supplies for sleep and the vacuum cleaner, a Frenchman who was the president of the students’ association of Nagoya University took most of my clothes, including my suit to attend the congresses, to distribute them to those in need (foreign students of course), another student got my tennis rackets and football boots, another my lovely plant (a Brazilian trunk)…
Finally I went door to door to say goodbye to my neighbors and to give them cups, cloths, sweets and so on until I ended up all. My neighbors were old folks, as the building, who lived alone and poor, abandoned by their families and the indifference of a society, and I do not mean just the Japanese, who prefer to keep out of sight what is old.
My front-door neighbor, always very elegant and willing to chat for a while though we rarely could understand each other, used to drown his loneliness with sake. I gave him a leather wallet that I never used (a gift from an ex), and the man began to cry inconsolably. Who knows when was the last time someone gave him a present.
The day before my departure, in my apartment there was only (spared myself) a backpack with the essentials for the pilgrimage…
PS: When looking for a picture to illustrate this post I was left with this one… I still don’t know what is the connection… because I looked happy with just a ball?, because it seems that I was born knowing how to sit in meditation? (!), because I still had hair?… most probably just vanity (wasn’t I cute?)