Years ago, the first Polish president- internet meme Aleksander Kwasniewski, encouraged one of the ministers at that time to kiss the Polish ground, upon getting off the airplane. The poor guy eagerly did what he had been told, which was immediately met with heavy disparagement and people assumed it was an act of mockery of the Pope John Paul II.

After over 10 hours of flight I arrived at the Tokyo – Narita International Airport, and although I don’t have any desire to kiss the ground, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my chest.

The long flight proved to be the pinnacle of boredom and discomfort, and the two things I assumed to be the most frightening, that is the take-off and landing ended up being the most exciting periods of the travel. Admittedly, the first peek out of the window while the plane was getting lifted off the ground almost made me faint, and so I quickly averted the gaze; the second time I looked I only saw maps on the ground (maps which are in fact the very core of my field of work), which says a lot about the state of my mental health. A couple minutes later we reached the cruising altitude of 11 something kilometers, which meant that any more stressing over was a complete waste of time, as the fall would equal the obvious.

Few things I thought about:

– the window seat is a total nightmare when it comes to travel comfort
– the Slavic sweatpants during the flight was a good decision
– cold temperature in an airplane I heard about from this one girl I know was a blatant lie, I felt like taking off all of my clothes, but then again thanks to the other friend of mine who advised for the window seat I couldn’t even lift my arm, as the elbow of the woman next to me was being slowly driven between my ribs, and her glossy magazines that she decided to go over the course of the whole fucking flight (and the light over her head, which was the only one on during the whole flight as well) effectively blinded me
– it took me quite some time to figure out the placement of jack ports for headphones (it’s the arm rest folks!) and you actually have to properly lock the toilet door for the light to turn on
– the food portions are just enough to survive, I wasn’t anywhere near being satiated
– one thing that nobody properly mentioned was the atrocious roar of engines

The sight of the small, singular light sources amidst the darkness somewhere in Siberia made me feel real tiny, and I thought that all those minuscule planes with blinking red lights actually carry hundreds of people on board.

Tokyo and Japan. The dream which has lived for over 10 years finally came true. The dream which for a longass time was a completely unrealistic objective. Something that no one (including myself) thought I would ever be able to accomplish. Getting excited about new anime series, TV drama Nodame Cantabile or promoting the love for ‘Endless Rain’ and the band X Japan when I was in high school, probably seemed like a ‘phase’, something you go through and it passes by. In the end the phase was not just a phase. 10 or 11 years later I stand here, in Tokyo – still jetlagged, still disorientated and stressed out, but more and more happy with every moment.

My life hasn’t been going on in the way I dreamed of it or how I planned it. I always lacked the courage to make that one deciding step forward. I never took a risk.

Not this time.

I did something I didn’t have to do.I made a decision against others and against myself. Szymek, who has led a life of a cave troll all of a sudden went on a journey to other side of the world. Szymek, who doesn’t even know much about the village he lives in, saw very little of the rest of Poland and nothing beyond it.

I wonder what I’m going to accomplish.

Leavin’ home ain’t easy, but may be the only way.


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