I'm Here, Really Here

April 30

We had a strange stop around dawn.

The bus pulled into a parking lot and shut down for half an hour. I looked around to get clues but nobody said or did anything so I guessed that the driver was having a break and that I missed what it was all about through not being able to understand the novella length announcement when we left Tokyo (that everyone slept through).
Because I had slept the whole night, I was ready to roll and found myself being quite impatient and antsy pantsy so when we got going again, I unclipped the curtain and put it over my head so I could watch the countryside without letting light into the bus. It would have looked odd to any passing motorist but causing highway pile-ups was the risk I was prepared to take.

The houses so far were the sort you see in magazines - miles of them and I couldn't get tired of watching them go by. Some of them were grand and most of them were antiquated but all of them had that rustic look to them. Only occasionally there was a Western style house that stuck out like a Honda Civic parked in the middle of a row of Daimlers .
I didn't like to think what the piles were like though because most of the houses were surrounded, literally up to the front door, by rice paddies.

The other thing I noticed were the mountain ranges - like Lucy's Gully in my hometown - and I kept thinking with dread - I'm going to be climbing them soon. I remembered the one time I climbed Lucy's Gully. I only succeeded because I hadn't thought to bring a cell phone and the number for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with me, so was forced to keep climbing till I came out the other end.
It was only now that it was surrealy sinking in - I was nowhere near Lucy's Gully - I was in Japan. I was actually here and really doing it!

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