When night falls

When night falls

SINGAPORE - I believe in 'early to bed, early to rise'. But being a morning person means I'm a boring party-pooper too.

H is perplexed - and increasingly irritated - by how I don't like going out at night.

Take our recent holiday to Japan with my mother.

We spent nine nights in Kyoto last month, and because it's winter now, the sun sets at about 4.30pm. On six of those nights, we were back in our rented house by 5pm.

On two other nights, we had (early) dinner outside and returned at about 8pm.

On the last night of the trip, we went to watch a kabuki performance and got back only at - gasp! - 10pm. Let's go out tonight, he'd suggest enthusiastically at the start of our holiday.

I'd shake my head and say: Don't think so.

He'd ask why, and I'd give a string of excuses:

You know already that I don't like going out at night.

It's too dark.

It's dangerous.

I'll be sleepy.

It's winter.

It'll be too cold.

Isn't it more fun to stay in, or at least more comfortable and warm?

Anyway, if we want to go for a run tomorrow morning, we need to sleep early.

And so, most nights of our holiday were spent eating dinner in. The three of us would then play several rounds of poker, read, watch TV and be in bed by 10pm.

The nights were relaxing and pleasant, but looking back at the trip, they sure were unexciting.

The irony was, we had rented a machiya - a traditional wooden Japanese house - smack in Gion, an area bursting with restaurants, geisha sightings and all manner of nightlife.

Even my mother, who's 78, was more keen than me to check out the night scene.

One day, we decided to visit the port city of Kobe. We took the shinkansen and it was about a one-hour journey all in, with a transfer at the Shin-Osaka station.

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