With no reason to stay I was on the road and heading north well before 5am. The distance seemed to drag on and on and the last few kilometers took forever, but finally I reached the coordinates of Masami’s postcode and called him up. He’s my neighbour’s friend and has been doing the lion’s share of translation since we met.
After a wash and something to eat a local reporter turned up and I was interviewed about my trip. Somethings were easy to explain, somethings required a phone call to Masami’s son in Los Angeles. As the phone was handed to me the son was still laughing and asked “He wants to know why you are walking”. Clearly the idea was foreign to everyone else in the room. I explained myself as best I could, and I think I’m getting better with practice. Some confusion over the current speed record though. I said the fastest time that I know of is held by fellow Kiwi (New Zealander Craig MacLachlan), but that got heard as just the fastest Kiwi is MacLachlan making the assumption that someone else is faster and that lots of people from New Zealand are trying this. The article will be out in a few days and hopefully I’ll get a copy sent home to be scanned.
Masami took me on a little tour of the district including one of his factories with a miso machine and a big onsen in the hills. The water was a disconcerting yellow colour but I’m pretty sure it’s all natural.
Dinner was an interesting experience for sure. “Shabu shabu” it’s called and basically consists of boiling thin slices of pork and lettuce in a mix of water and sake. Very delicious. The strange thing was sharing it with seven native Japanese speakers and trying to follow along with the conversation. Most of the time I was lost but when Masami spoke I could hear parts of my story being retold. It’s definitely good practice to listen to normal flowing conversation, but I’m a long way from joining in. My story of the bear and Tiki’s food bag involved a lot of miming and bear impressions, but I think they got the idea.
Word of the day: he-ya = room
Distance today: 28 km