Crumbs – it’s not that long ago that we finished our tour and it already feels like the distant past. Kazuko and I are having to think about getting everything packed up and sent back to Perth and Damian is somewhere in transit to his stay at a monastery in the wilderness of Kyushu.
While Kazuko has been busy sorting out our flat so that her younger sister can move in when we leave and all our stuff here either finds its way back to Australia or into a rubbish bin, I have been err, you know, um, making coffee and that. But I took a break from all that last Friday to catch up with some friends. Unfortunately, they organised to meet me at the Sapporo pub of the boutique Otaru Beer company on the night of its monthly beer club. This involves drinking all the beer you would like to starting at 6pm and finishing at about 11pm for the bargain price of 1800 yen. And somewhere in the middle they make you sing a silly German song about prosits and gemütlichkeits.
I said unfortunately earlier because I also had to get up early the next morning and ride my bicycle. Despite my best efforts at drinking slowly, the length of time of the evening and efficiency of the staff at putting a fresh glass of beer in front of me led to inevitable disaster. The next morning I discovered I had attempted to document my walk home by photographing the street in front of me, the footpath and even shooting a 20-second point-of-view video. I won’t trouble you by showing it here, but I can assure you my gait is far from steady.
Needless to say, I was feeling a little below par the next morning. I learnt in the day from Martin that the Japanese word for hangover is futsukayoi*, which literally means second day drunk. In this case it was a very accurate description of my state. Never fear, I thought. I’m meeting Martin and Mr Kon. They are sure to show some sympathy and slow down for me.
*Yes – I’m as surprised as you that it’s taken me this long to learn this word.
Naturally I arrived 10 minutes late and in the wrong place but luckily Martin anticipated this and came and found me. Instead of just the three of us, it turned out we were joining in with one of the local cycling teams on their weekly training ride.
Luckily they didn’t hammer us too hard and I was able to keep up. I was quite pleased about this until we stopped at a konbini in the middle of the ride and it turned out that Mr Kon was also feeling the worse for wear and that Martin had probably drunk more than I had and refused to admit that anything out of the ordinary was going on. In any case, by the time I got home, I was all too happy to crawl back into bed and not emerge again until the next morning. However, thanks to the ride, I couldn’t say I had wasted the day as I would otherwise have done. I leave you with some pictures of the ride, which took us through some very pleasant scenery.
Oh yes – I mustn’t forget to add: I cycled 2000km this month and brought up my 6000th km for the year. This is, of course, meaningless information but I’m still a little bit pleased about it.