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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Never Ride A Bicycle While Horny During the Summer In Japan

Let's take a look back...  the story you are about to read is true. No facts have been altered to protect the innocent (me).
 
I first arrived in Ohtawara-shi, a city with a population of 50,000 in Tochigi-ken, Japan back in August of 1990, not yet 26-years-of age.

This is the story of how I spent my third day in Ohtawara.

For an earlier story of my third day... you should read THIS classic blast from the past first. Go on... I'll wait. Funny, huh? This blog picks up from where the Gilligan's Island theme song kicks in. It fills in the blanks... 

My third day in Ohtawara, I already had an American girlfriend who I had met on my second day in Tokyo after landing in Japan as part of the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme. Two shy and lonely and definitely 'afraid' people were offered some relief with each other.

My initial problem was that the woman I called Ashley, because that was her name, asked if I could come and visit her that third day in Ohtawara.

Sure! I was lonely and a virgin, and when a pretty woman asks you to come over and see her, you do it. The problem is that she lived one town over to the northwest of me, and I had not even left my apartment complex yet.

I hopped on my bicycle after looking at the all Japanese road map thumb-tacked to my wall above my telephone.

My bosses had previously pointed out where she and Matthew lived (Matthew lived in my city, but I admit I no idea where because I was so concentrating on the information about Ashley's place). In fact, as seen in that classic old blog of mine, Kanemaru-san from the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office had driven me to Ashley's earlier that day because apparently everyone already knew that she was my girlfriend.

Not yet. All we had done was fool around a little (a lot) in Roppongi party district down in Tokyo a couple of days ago. We would be boyfriend/girlfriend if I had my way, though. If there's one thing I do know how to do, it's treat a woman right - says the virgin.

I wrote out a few directions, and street names written in kanji (Chinese-style letters) and was off. It was 1PM. August or late July. And hotter than hell. And wetter with humidity than the ocean.

I began to sweat immediately. I also hadn't been on a bike in 5 years, but that quickly came back as I began doing wheelies as I rode down the street nearly oblivious to the "Hora! Gaijin-da!" (Look! A foreigner!) calls.

It's cool. I must have been quite the sight for people as I, a big, hairy man on a giant of an 18-speed bike tried to do wheelies while bowing and then waving at them!

Forget about being insular! If I was going to look stupid, I was going to make sure everyone had a good time with my stupidity.

I rode north through town, and then turned west into what looked like a more rural area. By that I mean there was a road surrounded by rice fields. Rice fields for as far as the eye could see. And me on a goat path that doubled as a 1-1/2 lane roadway for cars. There was no sidewalk, unless you counted the wet rice fields as one.

I rode... confident... and then I came to a fork in the road. My map said to turn left. So I did. Ten minutes later there was another fork in the road. That wasn't on my map. Since I was supposed to be going northwest, I turned right.... and still there were rice fields around me.... and then... up ahead.... a town. I raced towards it knowing that this was where I wanted to be - Ashley's place in Nishinasuno-machi (Town of Nishinasuno).

Arriving at the busy street, I noticed the kanji that said Ohtawara. Crap! Still in my city.

I'm hot, wet, dehydrated and horny. And confused, too. But mostly horny. God she was cute! And waiting for me! I don't want to die a virgin!

So... I turned around and went back into the rice fields... saw another fork in the road, went right... then another fork in the road, turned right ( I had always learned that when in a maze, pick on direction to turn and keep to it) - and then came to dead-end.

Don't follow my amazing maze advice.

I rode around a while... saw a couple of people... and got off my bicycle to ask for directions. Now... recall that after five days in Japan, I have zero ability to ask for directions, but I could say my name.

I sloshed through the rice field - these were rice farmers - and pulled out my hand-written kanji address of Ashley's place. Smart, right?

The farmers began talking to me in Japanese... and not the formal Japanese I had heard and not understood while in Tokyo being addressed by the education ministry - no... this was rural Japanese.

"Daijobu-da!"

"da?" What the hell does that mean? That wasn't in the language books I had studied for six minutes one day?

He pointed to what I assume was a direction and handed back my directions and bowed, directing me that our conversation was over. That was pretty direct.

Okay... but where's the road to that direction? There was a road going off in ever conceivable direction except to where I wanted to go.

What the hell... I'll choose one closest to it... but wasn't that where I had just come from when I made my u-turn? Yes... I'm sure of it. I recall passing that vending machine in the middle of the rice fields.

I did not question why there was a vending machine in the middle of a rice field, but dammit! I was dying of horniness. And thirst. Do you know how tough it is to ride a bicycle in the middle of the summer in rural Japan when you've been out in the hot sun for nearly three hours and are completely and utterly lost? And horny? I kept poking myself in my stomach with a part of my body that had more blood in it than my brain - which was a good thing because my blood around my brain wasn't going to boil.

Man... I'd give up my virginity for a fug.

Searching in my fireproof eel-skin wallet (Good! That way when they find my fried body, my wallet will remain intact from the sun's rays and they can identify me), I found three 100 yen coins that would help me slake my thirst.

I looked at the vending machine.

Cigarettes. Are you effing kidding me?!

I thought about buying a pack to have after having sex with Ashley, but aside from using the sun to light one, I had no lighter or matches, and I really didn't feel like taking up smoking in this heat

I got back onto my bike and rode 20 feet around a bend in the rice field/road. Another vending machine! This one had cans in it! I'm saved!

I look at the cans through the plexiglass window while rolling the coins in my hand. I tried to lick my lips in anticipation, but a piece of skin flaked off from my lower lip.

What the hell type of drinks are these? Georgia Coffee? Pocari Sweat? Suntory Whiskey? For real? Alcohol will dehydrate me... so the Suntory is out. Pocari Sweat? What the hell sort of animal is 'pocari'? Is the sweat good for you? No! I don't care—would you drink anything with the word sweat in it?  Georgia Coffee? Ashley is from Augusta, Georgia. I don't care for coffee, but thinking about Georgia makes me think about Ashley, which makes me think about doing things to Ashley. Hot and sweaty things. Gods I am horny. Or I'm hallucinating.

So I drop my 100 yen coin into the machine and press the button for my Georgia Coffee. It tumbles down, and I pick it up!

Hot! What the fug?! Is the refrigeration out on this machine?! No! It's hotter than the outside temperature! It's hot like a cup of coffee that I've never had before. (I'm writing this story out on my third cuppa this morning.)

A hot can of coffee in this mid-30s Celsius heat? Okay... I've heard that it's actually better to drink something hot - rather than cold - when in the heat, as it will make you feel cooler.

Maybe that's correct, but all I know is that I burned my tongue and the back of my throat as I poured it down! Now in too much pain to worry about dying of thirst... I did actually feel cooler... still horny, though...

According to my watch - the same one I am wearing now as I type this - another 20 minutes passed and I haven't seen a fork in the road, people, or cars... which sucks, because I had made up my mind 19 minutes ago to go home. To admit defeat and maintain my dignity and virginity. And while I have tried to take matters in my hands and gotten hopelessly lost, I would at least be able to take matters in my hand and get hopelessly lost in thoughts of Ashley, who by now must be completely worried over my safety.

So... when I saw a small white passenger van approach me, I stopped my bike and stood with my legs straddling it. It was a giant of a bike, and I'm tall, but not quite a giant, so I actually squashed my nuts against the bar that bike companies stupidly place there for men to squash their nuts against.

Waving and smiling emphatically, I make the van stop - perhaps having more to do with me blocking his path than anything else.

He got out of his vehicle - something I'm pretty sure NO ONE is going to do in the U.S. or Canada for someone of a different ethnicity that they come across in the middle of a freaking field out in the boondocks... not to mention a stranger hefting a hard-on! Anyone remember Deliverance? He bowed to me and says something in a language I barely understand: "Herro".

Was... was that... English? Ommigawd! I love English! This man speaks English!

I quickly jabber that I am lost and that I want to go to my girlfriend's apartment in Nishinasuno.

"Eigo - zenzen wakaranai," he said while having his hand in front of his face like someone had just farted.

Hmmm. I've seen this before. Eigo is English. So either his English stinks, or he doesn't understand it.

Fair enough. I'm in his country, not the other way around. I pull out my directions... he looks at it closely, bowing slightly as he takes it from my hand, and walks back to his van to pull out a map from his glove compartment.

It looks just like the one on my wall - just smaller.... no wait... he unfolds it - it's the same three-foot x three-foot map! The exact same - except there's no English clues written on it by my predecessor, a lovely dwarf of a lass.

He looks at the map and at my directions... I say "Nishinasuno-machi?.

He understands "Ahhhh soka".

He looks at the address on my sheet and seems confused... he can't find it on the map. Did I write it down wrong? Probably. That's why I got lost. Yeah, right.

He looks at me and points to his van and says in perfect English: "Let's go."

I bow and say: "Okayyyyy?" Do I trust a guy I just met in the middle of a rice field who wants me to get in a van with him? He seems nice. He even picks up my bike and places it gently into the back of the van.

He then does the most elaborate three-point turn I have ever seen, doing it in 14-points. It is, after all, a tiny goat path of a road surrounded by rice fields and vending machines.

We drive for a long while as he talks to me in Japanese accentuated with him smiling at me and ending every sentence with the word "okay".

I look at my watch as we burst through the rice fields onto the main streets of Ohtawara. I was four minutes drive away, locked in a maze of rice fields straight out of some Otherworld. Trapped in a world he did not make.

We drove for another minute or so and pulled into what I would later learn was the main police station.

We got out of the van, he pulled my bicycle out, and left me outside while he went in to talk... four policemen came out - one to talk, and the others to gawk.

No one spoke English, but when one asked for my nay-mu, I realized he asked who I was. Even now I find it hard to believe that no one knew who I was, even though I had already been in this 'city' for three days. Doesn't everybody know who I am?

I handed him my Alien Registration Card that I had picked up yesterday. He bowed, tipped his white cap and then moved inside the station beckoning me to follow. 

Okay... his beckoning was screwy. Rather than hold his hand open, palm-side up and then curl his fingers up and down, he held his hand up beside his face, palm facing me and curled his fingers down and up and down and up - just like he was a great big cat washing his face.

Have you ever gone to an Asian restaurant and seen a big white car with orange/red/gold highlights sitting on its haunches with one hand up? It's the international Asian symbol for come in or come here.

Inside the air-conditioned office, the cool breeze made my nipples erect, but sadly I noticed I was no longer suffering from blood loss to the brain. I thought I was still horny.

He bade me to sit... and someone came over with a cup of o-cha (green tea) that was piping hot! What the fug! Doesn't anyone in this town drink cold drinks?!

About 20 minutes later, my bosses Hanazaki-san and Kanemaru-san from the OBOE office came. Holy crap. The cops called my dads!

Hanazaki-san asked if I was okay? A tough question for me to answer even when I've not been out riding around in the hot sun for three hours.

They took me home, smiled and asked me in slow, but very clear English "Where do you go - Ashuree's apartomento?"

"Yes," I smile weakly.

"Is she your girlfriend?"

Before I can provide any answer, Hanazaki-san punches me in the shoulder. "She is very pretty girl. I hope you will be happy together."

What the hell? How did he know? She could just as easily have been dating Matthew, for all he knew...

"Thank-you... but she is not my girlfriend, yet."

"That's not what we heard." And then he laughed. He laughed the dirtiest laugh I have ever heard since I told my garbage man a joke.

"No baby," adds Kanemaru-san.

My eyes grew as large as soy sauce dishes as I looked at him in shock and awe. I punched him in the shoulder and we all laughed our asses off.

After they left, I got on the telephone and called Ashley. As I took care of my horny issue, she listened to my tale... and my apology for making her waste such a beautiful afternoon. I needn't have worried. She took a nap and was only awoken when her boss called a few minutes earlier to ask if I was okay.

She arrived at my apartment 20 minutes later on her bike.

Somewhere filling in the blanks,
Andrew Joseph
PS - that's my photo f a rice field in Ohtawara-shi, Japan... Feel free to use. I love the storm clouds approaching as I travel farther from my apartment... 

2 comments:

  1. I think that getting lost like this is one of the things I miss the most about being an English teacher in Japan. Good story.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers!
      This episode shook me to my core.
      I was so full of bravado until this moment!
      Japan quickly took me down a peg.
      But... because everyone was so cool, I also realized I didn't have to put on false airs (not that I would have), but I didn't have to be afraid of being me!
      The people of Ohtawara were cool. Yeah, some people said "gaijin" when referencing me, but my bosses would correct them by saying "Andoryu-sensi". I grew my hair, had an ear pierced and literally was like Ferris Bueller - I could do no wrong.
      That's why I do this blog. Sort of a thank-you. At least that's what I tell myself.

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