One Man Walking

2008-05-05 W.I.E.R.D.

May 5th, 2008 · No Comments

I can hear it roaring up the hill towards me. Rushing through the bamboo. I brace for impact as the mighty wind shakes my nylon house and the rain falls inside. I’ve been watching the puddles form on the roof for a while and can see where my seams are not sealed. Outside the tempest snarls while I try to find a way to fit around the leaks. Solitary confinement, that’s what I’m in. Waiting for a long enough pause to get my tent down and rush for the cafe/guest house not far away. It’s only 8am but I think I might take a W.I.E.R.D. (Weather Induced Extra Rest Day). Maybe watching some of those crazy local TV shows. Maybe befriend the chef and put on some weight. Once again I can place a board between my hips and it not touch my stomach.

9am came and I put my escape plan into action. My bag was already packed and I was dressed in full wet weather gear. I rushed it over to the BBQ shelter where a family were still in their tent tucked under cover behind the sinks. The space between the two shelters, where I almost set up my tent, was an inch deep with water. This is the first time I’ve packed my tent up while it’s raining and I did a good job of it. Unfortunately I was to discover later that the bag it goes in is not waterproof and was leaving a puddle wherever it lay.

I ran the 100m to the road and then the minshuku, and that’s as far as I reached. For three hours I hung out in the lobby watching the rain die down only to be replaced by dense fog hurling itself at the expansive windows. I finally justified the cost of a room and meals (¥8300, the most I’ve ever paid for accommodation) by spreading over the times I haven’t paid anything. Tomorrow I can get off the mountain and maybe east of here it’ll be better.
The world outside my window 
After a proper Japanese bath I was ready for dinner. I was seated with Yoichita-san and immediately complemented for using chopsticks. “My mother really liked Japan” I replied and so I stretched my Japanese as far as I could. The waitresses were more than happy to talk to me, Yoichita-san would use their presence to rehash something we’d just discussed and they’d often apologise to him for being seated with someone who can’t talk. I think the biggest confusion was over my job. I tried telling him that I don’t know what I’ll do or where I’ll live. But ‘don’t know’ and ‘don’t understand’ are the same here. The next time a girl passed he asked her to help and she got it straight away. “You’re free!” she said. I liked her and when I was left to eat alone (I stayed on to cram in my 7th bowl of rice) she came back to talk more. No older than 25 she liked to travel and ski. If the clientele tonight are a standard group I’d say she doesn’t have much in common with them.

Holy cow, you’d think I was writing a book for a day I did nothing! Anyway I’m inside, clean, my stuff is drying in the boiler room and I am stuffed full with rice.

Word of the day: fu-ro = bath


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