Thursday, October 25, 2007

I didn`t have much to write about;then it rained.

 I came into a town for the night and could not find a hotel( I could not find my own ass in Japan) so I opted for the beach. I found a park and headed to the far end near a sea wall. People were walking and running at the park so it seemed pretty safe. I was getting my stuff out, had leveled a place in the sand to sleep on and was beginning to cook dinner when a woman ran by and stopped at the wall to rest. In an attempt to "talk" with her I clapped my hands and said " good job". Now all conversations in Japan have really been a game of charades. The people who were supposed to have spoken English in Japan lived somewhere else. Any time I say " she or he said" they really just acted it out, and so did I. This leaves lots of room for assumption and misinterpretation. So any way. She "asked" what I was doing, I showed her on a map. She raised her eyebrows, made a surprised look on her face. She "asked" where I would sleep. I showed her my place on the beach. She cocked her head. I shrugged. She left. I cooked. That is a "conversation". About an half hour later she came back with her mother and two of her mother`s friends. They were trying to tell me something. They all kept pointing to their noses and pointing somewhere down the beach. I had seen people point to their nose, actually touch or smash their nose while talking to me. I always thought, "I must have something in my nose" or " boy these people are not shy about telling you you have something in your nose". But this time they all were telling me I had something in my nose, and it must have been really big. Then it dawned on me. We point to our chest to indicate ourselves; they point to their nose. Thank God, I had not had a booger after all. They were adament about me going with them, somewhere. I stopped cooking dinner, packed up and followed them to a ...pavillion. Ahhh, I remembered it might rain sometime this week. This pavillion was good but was very visible to the public. And I didn`t like it. But it was shelter and there were bathrooms nearby, so I stayed. Turned out this was the local place for truckers and the like to get some sleep, go to the bathroom and otherwise cavort around. I was up all night peering out of the screen on my tent. A car pulled in, the guy got out changed into pajamas and got back in to sleep. A van pulled in, very close to me, the guy got out, made a bed in the back, arranged some things and got back in,turned on the radio and closed the door. Cars pulled in, people got out; they went to the restrooms, they stretched, they walked around. One guy dissappeared then later tripped over my tent stake out strings. I jumped out and yelled at him; he "asked" me if I would like to take a shower with him. I put my forearms up in a big X and yelled "NO". Chit. As soon as dawn came, I got up and started my coffee. The guy in the van also got up about that time. He stretched, peed, scratched his... head and started his breakfast. I watched him. He had a van much like Stephens. He didn`t have it organized as well but he was ahead of his time in Japan. He was cooking out of the side of the van on top of the bed. He had things piled way to high and precariously. He had it all wrong. I was "changing" the design in his van when he started my way. Oh Chit. I had been staring. I had given him an opening. I smiled to hide my fear; and he asked me to... breakfast. "I`ll be damned this can`t be happening again." I accepted of course. Then it started raining. After breakfast he invited me to go for a ride to a park.. or somewhere. I stashed my bike, jumped in the van with him and his friend who had joined us for brekkie and we headed up into the mountains in the pouring down rain.They took me to the number one temple in Japan, the number one waterfall in Japan, and to a 1000 year old tree,all of which just happened to be in that area. Amazing chit mate. We spent about three hours walking around in the rain. Then of course it was "beer o`clock". We headed to the grocery. He came out with veggies,miso,noodles,chicken,sake... and beer. It was also lunch time. We parked underneath the expressway for shelter from the still pouring rain, and he proceeded to cook the most amazing Japanese meal. All I could do was shake my head. There I am at beer o`clock, underneath the expressway, with two people I just met,in a van, having a wonderful meal,drinking beer and sake and I am in; Japan. During lunch he tried to tell me something. He started with the nose thing, then pointed to town, then he made this gesture,undeniably a ....sexual gesture with his hands. I jumped up,crossed my forearms and said "NO". He put his head in his hands, shook his head and undoubtedly thought the exact same thing... NO. We finally worked out that he was going to be with his girlfriend that night and that, since it was raining, I could use his van for sleeping. (See what I mean about misinterpretations?) His girlfriend however it turned out wanted to meet me and wanted me to spend the night. After lunch and after a visit to a bar we headed over to his girlfriends house. More charades, more gesturing, but I do hear one word I recognize. "Onsen". Yeah we are going to go to the public bath house. The woman dissappears for awhile then comes out does the nose thing, points to me then the door. I gather up my underwear, socks, toothbrush and clean shirt and excitedly follow her out the door。We head down an alley, turn right to another alley, and left around the corner of a building and go in. I`m in the grocery store. Chit. I`m in the grocery store with my clean socks, underwear, shirt and toothbrush. I put my stuff in the basket, we pick up groceries and head back to the house and she makes the most delicious Japanese meal I have ever had. THEN we head to the onsen. When we get to the onsen she tells me to go on in like I know what I am doing. She has to stop at the toilet. I head down the hall,take a deep breath, turn right and push open a door and enter a room with about 6 half clad to naked ,tiny ,Japanese women. They stop talking and stare. I am immediately aware of how big I am. Big. I feel like Shrek. I bumble around. I take off my clothes, slowly, very slowly and stand big and naked at the edge of the room. My friend comes in, points me to the onsen and gets ready herself. I enter the onsen. More naked women. It is a long narrow room with the hot spring baths along one long wall and 4 feet away another long wall full of shower hoses and very tiny stools with soap and shampoo next to each. I sit down in full view of everyone.( The Japanese do not have the issues we have about nudity.) I take the shower hose off the wall and begin to wet myself down. It is not to long before my shower head falls off and I begin spraying everyone in the hot spring bath behind me. Chit. I slap my hand over the open end and promptly begin spraying everyone beside me. Chit! I take my hand back off the hose and while spraying everyone behind me I get the water turned off. All in one rainy day.

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