1166 Backpackers

Coldplay - Charlie Brown

I wanted to get away from everything. Disconnect myself for a while, turn my phone off and stay away from the computer, especially Facebook. It's so stressful to be continuously connected via invisible electronic strings. I rarely turn-off my phone but on some occassions have turned it off for an entire day just because I was constantly looking at it for the non-existent message or missed call from the non-existent friend. Although extremely convenient and a good way to connect with people, there is a limit to its positivity, and where one (I believe, anyway) should exercise control and remember that there are more ways to communicate. These wires connect but also strangle.

I was able to turn my phone off for three days and the relief was incredible. However, I had to check my e-mails and a little bit of Facebook after the 3 day mark. :P

1166 Backpackers was the place I stayed at in Nagano. It's a great place for people on a budget, and Orie-san was a fantastic host. She runs the place with such calm gusto, it's hard not to be taken in. I was introduced to the other guests (a maximum of 12-14, depending on the season) and welcomed to join everyone for dinner. I was hesitant at first, however, due to all the elements, there was a new connection made and new friends and good experiences discovered. By the 3rd night, there was a positive connection developed where we were all collectively sharing our experiences over good food and drinks. That night we had all cooked and shared food together, some food from Portugal, Japan (obviously), China, etc. It was an incredible experience and although very "normal", a very necessary reminder to be good and enjoy a stranger's company through decency and pleasantries.

At the height of the evening, I nerded out and asked people to join in a photography experiment, and because of the positive energy built up from the evening, and of course Orie's influence for the non-English speakers, we were able to create a light painting together. It was so much fun and so great.

Although having met the other guests for a total of about 4 hours or so each, the connection was geniune and worthwhile. It's always good to be connected; either through invisible electronic wires, or through beams of human light.

Otsukare samadeshita, Orie-san.

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