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First trip - level 2

When I was living in northern Japan, a friend (let's call him 'K')introduced me to shrooms.

When I was living in northern Japan, a friend (let's call him 'K')introduced me to shrooms. Being kind of straight and boring I resisted the idea of shrooming, but eventually K convinced me it was a good thing to do.

Being of a sort of shamanic persuasion, K was quite insistent about 'correct preparation': for a week prior to the trip, I was advised not to watch TV, drink coffee or alcohol, or eat sweet or spicy foods. The day of the trip I was to eat nothing at all.

I met K at an old traditional Japanese tea house. We ordered bowls of matcha (the bitter, intensely green powdered tea used in the tea ceremony) and ate the dried shrooms (Copelandia I think) while drinking it. They tasted OK - like dry grass or something. Not long after I began to feel the effects. Everything became very amusing. I felt drunk in the body; it was hard to walk straight, but my mind was very clear. My vision (especially depth perception) and hearing seemed sharper than normal. Inanimate objects began to come alive. A Japanese doll in a glass case on a shelf winked at me. I looked at some photos of trees and flowers, and they grew and bloomed before my eyes.

There was hardly anyone in the tea house, and it was cool to just sit at the low table and chill to the soft koto music playing in the background. In an adjoining room, a couple of young girls working at the cash register, selling souvenirs and the like, were having a conspiratorial giggle about something, and although I didn't catch what they were saying, I felt I understood and related completely to their mischeivous mood. But whenever they used the cash register, its electronic clatter sounded so harsh and somehow "wrong".

The tea shop was about to close, so we went out into the mid-winter chill and walked to the main entertainment district of the city. I didn't feel the cold like I normally would have. The neon lights looked really beautiful - I was entranced by any vivid colours. The streets were beginning to fill with people just knocking off work and heading to bars. I felt sad for them - I sensed they all had problems and difficulties, the stresses of normal life. Looking at certain faces I got a feel for the type of life they had led up to this point. It's hard to explain, but I felt their aloneness, yet realised we are all interconnected.

We stopped to watch a street busker, an Indian guy playing the tabla. He was amazing. I got so absorbed in his playing, it seemed he was telling me jokes and stories through the ryhthms. This went on for hours. Eventually we decided to eat something. Simple salted cucumber tasted incredible, and sashimi was divine. Went home and slept well; the next day I felt refreshed and alive.

Well, that's it - pretty tame I guess. Thanks for reading.

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