On my last day in Japan, I woke up early to check out of my room in Osaka. Sleep hadn’t mitigated my loneliness much, so when I asked reception where I could charge my phone and another guest—a blue-haired, pink-sneakered boy—offered to let me borrow his charger over breakfast, I thought I’d give company another try.
We toted our suitcases to the only open restaurant, McDonald’s of course, and compared the joys and pains of traveling solo. He believed in the power of chance meetings and fateful connections, as he told me a breathless story about a girl he’d met the day before at a waterfall and had already fallen half in love with. His eyes were so full of excitement that I almost bought it all, but the magic dissipated when he paused to take a swig of McCafé.
When my battery was full, we walked to the train station together. Before saying goodbye, he gave me his Instagram handle. (We still “follow” each other, so I guess he was partly right about the lasting effects of brief encounters. At least now I know what he likes to eat besides McMuffins.)
Then he was off to relocate waterfall girl, and I was off to find a different kind of companion. I’d heard about a place filled with wild deer—so populous they outnumber the people. It’s easier to hang out with strange animals than to hang out with strange humans, so I rode to Nara to find the park.
When I saw the first white tail out the window, I felt warm like the inside of a hug. (Why do cute animals make people so silly?) I spent the whole afternoon living out a precious mori girl fantasy, including a few minutes where I actually sat cross-legged in the grass petting a deer who had lain down next to me (never have I ever been so happy to be a cliche). Which means this is really all just to say:
Here is a multitude of mood-lifting deer photos. I hope they make you as happy as they made me.
I still feel the urge to squeal looking at some of these pictures. Animals will get me every time.
Some other things that have really gotten me lately:
- “Joy,” a personal essay by Zadie Smith
- The Third Hand, an upcycled clothing collection by Momo Wang
- “Katachi,” music video for Shugo Tokumaru
- apartamento magazine, Issue #05 (purchased belatedly but still so good)
- grassdoe, a photoblog by Jonathan Levitt
- eye candy, photo collections from Rookie Mag (really everything in Rookie)
- The Folks Studio recent branding and identity projects