This week, i have noticed that i have been thinking about Japan a lot more than in the immediate days when i left Japan. It happens in the most mundane of moments – when i am resting in bed and suddenly glanced up at my luggage on top of my wardrobe and reminisced the times we had, the bag and i (the times i lugged it through a small Japanese town (Inuyama to Inuyama Yuen) and through half the city of Nagoya), when i hear the train go past and recall the maddeningly crowded carriages that i had to endure when i was in Tokyo, or when i stroll past the snow and skate shop near my place, and i start missing the snowboarding experience i had in Nozawa Onsen. It was all a little bewildering to be honest. It is not a depressing kind of post-holiday blues; more like a gentle mild ache of missing and knowing the good times that have just passed. It is not a shit feeling, just something i have not experienced in a long time. I am glad i went to Japan; i really had a lot of fun and a lot of eye-openers.

In the days i have been back, i have also been working hard for my soccer club. I have been busy finding sponsors for our club and i chose to explore the local neighbourhood. One afternoon spent speaking to small business owners convinced me more than the numerous news articles i have read in the local papers and The Economist that the economy is really not very healthy at the moment. Business owners are tight-fisted and some were downright perplexing. Their shops were empty and they were honestly struggling to survive. I really did not know how to react. That was a tad demoralizing, fortunately i had a friend with me, who normally hated doing such physically-exerting tasks but was a friend enough to provide moral support for a club that he could not belong to by virtue of his gender.

Then i spent the last few days writing emails to companies appealing to their generosity and imploring their financial help for my club. Deep down i know many of these businesses i approached would turn me down, but i also understood unless i keep trying, i will never succeed. Also i reassured myself that even if i had failed to secure some financial assistance, at least i helped in getting the word out that there is a new ladies’ club in town.

After a day in the sweltering heat, my friend deadpanned, “This is probably going to be the toughest thing you ever have to do in your intern year.”

I will be glad if he’s right.

The saddest part of it all is that i have a sneaking suspicion i will not even be able to play for this club that i have grown to love and slog so hard for. And all because i suspect my work schedule is going to clash with my training commitments, and as a committee member, i would have to lead by example, and voluntarily step away from the team. Of course, all these is pure conjecture on my part and i would be ecstatic if i was proven wrong but i understand that some things in life is inevitable. You come to expect it after being grilled in medical school for that many years. But i read in a book recently that i guess is befitting of this situation if i do encounter it – if i love something a lot but don’t have the talent or commitment for it, i can treat it as a hobby. At least i get to contribute to a club in a sport i love.


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