Monday, July 13, 2009

2 weeks

That's it. Wait, I am being melodramatic and confusing. Not leaving Japan yet, just two more weeks until I am out of here for a little while. Don't get me wrong. I love Japan and am still in shock that this July 31st will begin my 5th year here. It's just that I haven't stepped foot off of the islands since going to Thailand nearly 1 and 1/2 years ago. J and I have traveled all over since then, but not out of the country.

On the 24th, I will be utilizing the 18kippu and heading on the local trains to Osaka. I might get there early and hang out in the city for a while before heading to the airport, or I might just use my time to read a book in airport lounge instead. Hmm... the airport doesn't have falafel. It might have to be a bit of both.

There is a lot on the plate in these next two weeks, but I think that it will make me appreciate my downtime in Myanmar all the more. Visas are taken care of, passport has been renewed, and tickets are good to go. Packing is like second nature at this point, and I am staying with my friend Kara, who although more athletically built and taller than I, can still lend me a shirt or pair of trousers if it comes down to it. The benefits of visiting a friend instead of just going solo in a new country are many. They know the secret places that usually take months to find on your own, or with great strokes of luck (I'm looking at you fruit guy). They have all the necessities on stand-by (ie. toothpaste, shampoo, etc), in case you forget anything. They scout for vegetarian hot spots in and around town (thank you so much for that!!), and can help streamline the trip with suggestions and advice. I do love adventuring on my own, or with a partner in crime who is as clueless as I, but it's nice to have a bit of a pampering on occasion.

This coming weekend, though, J and I are tackling another 3 Hyakumeizan. We have an eikaiwa party for the hospital folks on Friday night, then an EARLY morning on Saturday, and all of a 3-day weekend to wander around taking pictures and making like Tik-Tok.

I have been graciously given this nickname due to my two speeds when climbing: "leeches are on me" - speed, and tik-tok - speed. In my defense, at least I have a steady pace. I keep moving... usually. After the first few climbs, I've discovered that J can be kept amused by the camera while I catch my breath. Plus, he can look at the pictures months later and proudly comment on how they are "HIS" photos. Ha ha! Actually, the only way I can tell who took 1/2 the photos is if one of us is in them.

Hopefully, after a few mountains under my belt, and a week and 1/2 of yoga time at school (no classes means I can snag the key to the old dance room again!), I will be ready for a bit of trekking in Myanmar, if the rain isn't too intense. I'll bring my hiking boots, but the good ol' Toyama boots might be more appropriate this time of year.

More after Myokosan!

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