7439033 Yen for 5 days of water?!

Me: Oh my god! How much do I owe? That’s ridiculous! How is anyone expected to pay that much for water? I don’t have that much! No way! Ahh shit, I’m gunna have to get money off the parents and I wanted to do this all alone and now I’m gunna look like I can’t manage and they’ll get worried. How is it that much? Seriously! I hate this country!

Annie: That’s your account number.

And thus began my week.

See the problem with Japan is they have too many holidays. I end up forgetting that I am here to work, that I have bills to pay, that I must take the rubbish out, buy food… hell even eat food (a couple of days ago I was that consumed in thoughts about my new life I literally forgot to eat…all day! Until about 7 at night when I felt a giant belly pang).

So I have spent the last two weeks in unorganised bliss. I climbed a mountain in my hometown last Wednesday. I casually dangled my legs off the top for the camera- I mean you have to get a picture of that right?- but I was crying with fear on the inside and praying that an earthquake didn’t fancy erupting! It was a pretty amazing day as all the trees were beginning to turn and so naturally I was in hippie mode, stick in hand, breathing deep and feeling at one with the world!

At the top the party had a big picnic. And boy I can tell you- the British think they have the monopoly on picnicing- no way! The Japanese are prepared…unless I was with the equivalent of Mary Poppins and say, Dumbledore, and thus judging my observation on some elite magical group of people…then I think it’s safe to say that these guys have the casual-culinary gold star! They had little stoves, cups, utensils, tin openers, loads of food, including desert and obviously lots of bin bags to separate their rubbish…I took a drink, no rucksack and only wore the clothes upon my back. (How very Dick Whittington of me!) But it was only a two-hour climb! Afterwards we had an indoor BBQ where I once again had to face my eating demons as a full-blown head to tail fish was plonked on my plate next to some lovely looking sea urchin goo.

Fish- amazing. Sea urchin goo- not so much.

Then it was the week of golden-ness and despite my lack of spondoolicks and the ubiquitous I-just-moved-to-another-country-and-I’m-super-tired headache I was still dying to have a mini adventure…and oh I love how I always get my adventures! The first was a quest for pizza. It took my friend and I north on many a mountainous road through valleys wild and across gushing rivers. Along the way we stopped at the statue of liberty (yes) and Jesus’ grave (still not lying), oh and also the ‘pyramids’ (ok, these jagged rocks were a little bit of an exaggeration…but after seeing a convincing statue and a compelling tale of Jesus’ love of Japan that was spurned when he went travelling; you know, the well known book of Travis…where the disciple dudes go surfing in Oz then spend winter boarding in Japan…well yeah, he went back after he did all his spreading of the word apparently and died at the ripe age of 106- dude on the cross?- His brother. So who was I to not think they had pyramids too? It’s very possible!). Pizza was found and needless to say it was amazing. I am actually salivating at the memory…

Next, some friends and I went on a little road trip to kakunodate, an old samurai town a prefecture away. Despite the crowds it was a beautiful little place bursting with character. By this point the weather was beautiful, the sunglasses had come out …and the insects to join them! I couldn’t help but notice how quiet, calm and clean the place was regardless of the amount of people passing through and still how classy it was despite its touristy status. It’s funny, sometimes being in Japan is like looking onto one of those weird mirrors at a fairground- you recognise the image, but it’s distorted. In so many ways the town was similar to an English tourist spot, families, ice–cream, gift shops, good parking-spot quests, but the difference was the families were older as well, not just young kids been dragged around reluctantly, the ice cream was green-tea and sakura flavour, the gift shops didn’t smell like your ugly over-bearing aunt’s house and our parking spot was given to us by some old man who had a free driveway.

So I was pretty much in love with Japan this day.

But alas! Back to the real world I must trudge…my garbage is pilled high, I have no food, and what I do have is stale/moulding/turned to goo, and yes, I have bills to pay…and after that week who can blame me for thinking the seven digit number was my charge- this is Japan…if Jesus is buried here anything is possible!


This entry was posted in A year in Japan, Japan: Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , by Jessica Dowse. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jessica Dowse

I'm an International journalist/ social commentator/ ski champion/ guitar player/ Spanish speaker/ Kung-fu expert/ninja/superstar/spaceman……in the making…. making being the key word... A bit about me: I am young, energetic and flexible in my dreaming! Jason Mraz is my religion, politics and relationship status. I believe that any problem in life can be solved with a balanced symbiosis of Elton John, Shakespeare and Billy Joel. Some may say this makes me, either very lame, or very naive… I like to think it makes me idealistic…and I think at 24, that’s still ok… I have recently finished an MA at Falmouth University in Cornwall, England in International Journalism. Now I am employed as a video journalist by CRI in Beijing. Dream job! I want to make documentaries, have adventures and travel the world.

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