Monday, May 16, 2011


Lovely symmetry.
This is from Tokyo University,
which is chock full of

It's Monday night, after a long, busy, fun weekend. On Friday night Tenshing and I decided to go to a barbecue hosted by our new Regional Advisor for any JETs interested in coming. Her place was supposedly in the Emerald City area, which isn't very close to us but close enough that we're roughly familiar with it.

Anyway, we set off around 5:45pm armed with e-mail directions, a Google map, and Google directions. Familiar landmarks went flying by. Soon we had to be alert for the first road change. Prematurely, I yelled, "This is it!" and we drove up a ramp to the freeway, and all was well for about 30 seconds, until we realized we actually should have gone a few hundred meters farther down the road. This particular freeway was taking us relentlessly, inexorably in the opposite direction to the one we wanted! After an unbelievably long stretch of freeway-- and some halfhearted suggestions to sneak through the barrier where it was widest-- the road spit us out in Seiyo, which is about as far from Emerald City as Kansas.

Undeterred, we set off again, glad we'd told our RA that we wouldn't show up until 7pm. We should just make it.

But we didn't. We got lost.

Again, and again, and again.

By the time we finally rocked up to her little town (which, ironically enough, is in the hinterland between Emerald City and Seiyo), we decided we were bold enough to try to find her house on foot. So we parked the car at the designated spot and started walking down the street, looking for an orange pole. Of course, by this time... past 8pm... it was full night and everything looked orange or grey. It wasn't until five minutes later, when we came to a broad bridge to nowhere, that we decided to throw in the towel on our own resources and call Amy to come meet us. She came upon us as we were within a stone's throw of the car, and her house was just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Luckily, the people at the party were already comfortably chatting and eating, and no one seemed upset at how unfashionably late we were, though I'm sure no one understood how extraordinarily hilarious the whole thing was to Tenshing and me. Never mind. We forgot all about the car and the clock with friends, laughter, and heaps of grilled meat and vegetables. And when we finally realized how late it was, the trip home was short and uneventful.

Besides being a great evening, it affirmed a few things for me:

1. It's more fun to do things with friends, especially getting lost.
2. You don't need to be drunk to have a good time.
3. Never, ever listen to my opinion on directions if we're in a car together. :)
4. The Bermuda Triangle ain't got nothing on Japanese mountain roads.

Time is quicksilver now. There is so much to do, and so little time, whatever I choose. But in preparation for the 25th, I've been jogging and practicing choreography, and earlier this evening I did TurboKick Round 31--good and hard!

There are a lot of much less interesting items to keep me busy, though. Handwriting resumes and arranging schedules come to mind. I've applied for one job in Japan so far, and I should have a better idea about where I stand with it by the end of the month. If I land it, it would be an unexpected turn of events, but considering the shape of my life so far, hardly incongruous.

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