2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to escape the nasty weather in Beijing and fly south to the heavenly island of Guam. From Beijing I flew to Tokyo, which was nice since I got to experience home for about 7 hours, and then off to Guam. Both flights were about 3 hours each. Only a 3 hour flight from Tokyo, no wonder so many Japanese tourists come to this island. They can say that they went to America and it’s only 3 hours away. But clean air, blue sky, crystal clear oceans and taco bell. What more can I ask? It was so refreshing to be just laying on the beach and not worrying about some man on a bike or car going full speed as I cross the street in Beijing. I went deep-sea fishing for two days and was fortunate enough to catch some tuna and wahoo, which were instantly cut up for sashimi on the boat.
But at the same time it got me thinking. On an island so far away from everything, unlike Beijing where there’s always something happening whether it’s political or business related, Guam was too laid back and the local people seemed to be just really chill enjoying life on the island. I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but it’s been a while since I felt that there’s no feeling of threat at all. This must be the fate of every island country, including Japan. I feel like in East Asia, Japanese people feel the least threat on a day to day basis even though there’s so much tension in our very neighbor. I felt like if I stayed in Guam for any longer than 3 days I would get so disconnected with the outside world and have no idea what is going on. I never thought that I would say this but, I missed Beijing a lot. I’d rather eat delicious sashimi right off the boat rather than breathe in the pollution but Beijing is where I want and need to be right now. There’s so much going on in every level of the system here. I’ve been in Beijing for almost 6 months now but I don’t regret anything that I’ve done or seen in the past couple months. Beijing, you have been awesome. A lot of people ask me what’s in it for me in Beijing? But China to me is where currently modernity meets ancient tradition and the rich meet the poor. It’s simply diverse and I want to know more about what’s really going on here with my own eyes. People say that China’s development will continue and will one day become more like the west. But living here makes me and other local expatriots feel the opposite, in that China will not become more like the west and the west could possibly become more like China instead. That’s another topic I will be exploring more of in the future. But nonetheless, I did manage to take some photos on this lovely island of Guam please take a look below.
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.