Wild Abandonment

May 1 cont...

I got back to the Temple 10 minutes late for checkout, found my bags in the hallway and one of the novice Monks cleaning my room. With that humiliating feeling of a one-night-stand who had overstayed her welcome, I apologised and quickly bundled everything up and went to check out.

In the office, the Monk asked what I was in Koyasan for.
I told him I had planned to do the Pilgrimage.
He winced and said "Oh! So hard!".
I said "I know - I can't do it - not enough money or Japanese!" and he nodded as if to say 'You got that Sister!'

I caught the bus, cable car, train and train back to Namba then walked around in circles looking for a Post Office to post the clothes. After three lots of directions and narrowly avoiding Tantrums In Public Places, I finally found it. It cost over half my days allowance but it was worth every Yen!

I then went to McDonalds of all places.
I knew I needed something familiar, and cheap - some comfort.
The week before I would have confidently put $100 on a bet that I would never have looked for these things in McDonalds but, right then, it was everything I needed.

So now what to do?
I didn't want to be there for two months and I couldn't afford it - money or mental health.


  • Change flights to return sooner - two weeks would be plenty. The cost of changing flights would be a saving in the long run
  • Go to Iwate to see Chiharu's family home
  • Still go to Shikoku, but just be a tourist
  • Find an Incense Master to see if I could spend some time with them
  • Take a package deal trip around Japan
I decided to make my way back to Tokyo, contact Chiharu's sister, Naomi, and ask her to help me. Or maybe I would just go for a walkabout with no plans and see what happened...

EL to Gracie Miles: (My 15 year old daughter)
Hi Darling-I'm on Mt Koya staying in a Temple. I'm going over to Shikoku today. This is such hard work! I don't understand anything or anyone and no-one understands me. I have just realised how unrealistic it is trying to do the pilgrimage and might have to change plans.

Gracie to EL:
Wel jus du wot feels rite an dnt go on jus coz u fel u hav 2!

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