Okay, So I Can’t Read a Watch

Must. Defeat. Germs.

My lack of sleep has left my immune system worse for the wear and now I am sniffling my weakly through my day. It’s early on Monday and I have little else to do but pity my poor self. Poor me… poor me. But it’s hardly so bad. After all, during those waking hours, I have been having quite a good time, so no worries. It has been worth a runny nose.

The latest adventure was to see the festival in Morioka yesterday. After making a couple calls home, I had Sarah ring my doorbell and angrily ask, ‘Are you coming!?’. She had every right to be miffed with me since I didn’t show up at her house at the assigned time. In my fatigued state the night before, I improperly assimilated her instructions to meet at 1:35 to mean, ‘meet at 2:25.’ It made perfect sense to me at the time, but then again, I might have told you that two and two were five at that moment.

I rushed to get ready and we scurried off in the direction of the station with Sarah leading the way, seething the whole way. We arrived too late to make the proper train and had to wait a while for both the next train and for Sarah to regain her composure.

The next train came an hour later and we uneventfully rode all the way to Morioka. The most remarkable part of the journey was sitting across from a row of five men all sound asleep. I’m going to keep track of the longest rows of consecutive sleepers and see if I can beat five.

Morioka was bustling with the festival and waves of people filed from the station towards the parade route. We met the girls (Hanna, Gemma and Hazuki) in a Starbucks where we lounged for a while. Empty bellies necessitated a trip to the Irish pub where fish and chips (or just chips for the vegetarians) were the order of the day. Hanna was rather pleased to be able to indulge in a couple of drinks of her favourite ale and all the English girls seemed happy to have a taste of home.

We sat a while in the pub and when I started to get anxious to go see the parade, we were off. Up a couple streets was the largest assortment of Japanese drummers, dancers, flutists, and singers I had ever seen. (Though, I’ve only been here a week and that’s not saying much, it was an impressively large parade).

We managed to cross to the other side of the route where we encountered a few other JETs. I wriggled my way forward as best as I could to try to get some photos, but I only ended up making it to the front with Hazuki’s gracious help. She was a wonderful photographic assistant and held my bag while I shot. I owe her a dinner or something.

The parade itself consisted of large groups playing the same song all the way through the procession. The drummers hammered out the same rhythm and the singers uttered the same notes, but the dancers each had variations on their movements. As repetitive as it might sound, the costumes, people and subtle changes between different groups kept it quite entertaining.

I love being able to take photos in situations like that. Really, that sort of thing is why I came to Japan. The only thing that would have made it better would have been having someone who could have told me the significance of everything, but the sense of wonder at the scene was quite enough to sustain my interest.

My Ichinoseki travel companions left early as they were tired and couldn’t get the good vantage point my camera afforded me. That left me to travel back to the station with only Hazuki who helped me get to where I need to go to catch the train.

When I reached the platform, I took a few more photos before my battery died, then waited in the heat. I kept wondering why there was no one else on the platform with me when it dawned on me that perhaps the train way down at the other end was the one I needed. I wandered over, asked if it was going to Ichinoseki and boarded when I got an affirmative. When the crowd on board had thinned and I got a seat, I kept nodding off without ever getting any sleep – I only got a stiff neck. But I made it back to Ichinoseki in one piece.

I wanted to stop at a washroom before I rode home. I went in the station, but in one of the stalls, someone was wretchedly sick and was making the most unholy noises while he expelled is inner stomach demons. I hurried out before the sounds forced me to join him in a toilet bowl duet.

I biked home in the dark and started thinking that a head-lamp might be a good idea for night rides. I navigated back to the apartment without taking any tumbles (unlike earlier in the day) and only crashed when I hit my bed.

One Response to “Okay, So I Can’t Read a Watch”

  1. Stasigr says:

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