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Ginger Says – There are some very, very special people living in Japan and I’m a very lucky guy. Puffy rule

By Ginger | June 18, 1999

Ginger and robot by Simon CourtneyTravelling. Seeing things for the first time. Feeding your head with new stuff whilst simultaneously emptying it of some of that old stale crap. Making new friends, meeting old ones, and sticking brand new stamps on your passport. Anywhere in the world you go to, you bring something home with you… and I’m not talking about the clap.

The thing about travelling is that you can get by without it. If you abstain for long enough you will convince yourself that holidays are overrated. Y’know, you saw it on telly – what the hell do you want to go there for?

The first thing that always hits me in a foreign country, apart from the heat, is the music. Every country is playing music (most are playing steady rotation rock) and it ain’t what you’re getting on British radio or TV. I recently went to Japan (an experience that you have to do before you give up on having fun) with my partner Mr Clinton Abuse, who had never visited this fine, fine country before. But, you know, he “knew” all about it from magazines, TV and Cheap Trick live albums: ‘that place where anyone can be big’. Arf arf. Just clocking his expression on landing was something I will never forget. And as every stereotypical idea of Japan was discarded, I saw the guy fall slowly in love. Not some bullshit boy meets girl love either. Oh no, my brothers and sisters. The guy fell in love with himself.

You see, in a foreign country you are no one. You have no school chums to stand by you. If you’re a dick you are a fucking dick (and the Japanese are far too cool to tell you), and if you’re OK the benefits start to pile up in unprecedented proportions. Getting out of your environment introduces you to yourself, and if you can look in the mirror and say, “yeah, you’re OK”, you will need an extra suitcase to carry home your expanded heart.

I’m in love with music, strong people and, most importantly, myself. Ask yourself how much you spend on cigarettes or booze. Or clothes to wear out to the same old pubs and clubs. That’s a plane ticket. A trip to Youville. And it’s leaving whenever you want to. And when you get there (wherever), do yourself a favour and break with your old routine. No one knows you’re the rockinest rollinest monkeyfunk in the western hemisphere, so go visit a Buddhist temple with your new friends. Soak in the culture like a junkie. And when you get home, people will think you’re on drugs.

Feeling down? Finding it hard sometimes to figure out a reason to stay around? Or just plain bored? Listen… you are worth it. Every penny of it. Recharge those batteries this summer and git gawn. Don’t think about it or you will figure out a reason not to go. You’ll bring back a new found love for music, a new respect for yourself, maybe a cool tan. And if you’re that way inclined, the clap. We all deserve a little spoiling every now and then, so take a tip from a moodswingin’ Geordie bastard and hop on a plane. Anywhere. Just do it. Go on. Book it… now.

And send me a postcard.



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