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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now

It's Thursday, October 10, 1991 and I'm about to leave on a short excursion to check out Sendai with my ex-girlfriend Ashley.

I was trying to figure out WHY, very suddenly Ashley asked me to go with her. I think that a short trip to Nikko-shi she took with some of the other female assistant English teachers on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme may have elicited some information that may have made her jealous.

For example, she may have learned that newcomer Karen wants me as a boyfriend and that we had made out, or she may also have learned from Catherine (another newcomer), that she and I slept together.

Ashley and I, while no longer a couple, are still a couple of friends-with-benefits. The truth that other women found me desirable may have spurred her on to try and get back with me.


Or maybe I'm just company. But to be honest, being a friend-with-benefits doesn't not mean going on a vacation together - it just means sex together. At least that is what I understood our arrangement to be. Back in 1991, there was no such term as 'friends-with-benefits' or if there was, I sure as hell had never heard of it, what with being a 25-year-old virgin when I arrived here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan in  July of 1990 at the same same as Ashley.

Since arriving, I've been a bit of a dog. Whenever I haven't been a boyfriend to Ashley, I've slept with a lot of women. But still, since I hate losing, I want Ashley back. I'm so screwed in the head, eh?

Canadians say 'eh' at the end of their sentences apparently, as opposed to Americans who say 'hey' at the beginning of theirs. For example:
Canadian: "Get off the car, eh." Sounds polite, doesn't it?
American: "Hey! Get off the car." Not as polite.

Regardless... Ashley was at my place last night. Just sleeping. We get up at 8:30AM, pack my stuff up and then ride our bicycles over to her place. While she packs, I race back home to get my contact lens stuff that I had forgotten. It's only a 25-minute bike ride - each way between my city of Ohtawara and her town of Nishinasuno.

By the time I return, she's ready... so we ride out to the Nishinasuno-eki (Nishinasuno train station) go up a couple of stops on the local JR (Japan Rail) line to Nasushiobara-eki and the catch the shinkansen (bullet train) north to Sendai.

Ashley, of course, has no money and the banks are closed today for some reason, so I lend it to her until tomorrow. Like I said... if we were a couple, I'd have paid, but since we're not... it's share and share alike.

We get to our hotel in Sendai-shi (Sendai City). Not bad. Twin beds, though.

We toss our clothes down and go out walking in the rain. Whenever I travel in Japan, it rains, earning me the nickname of ame otoko (rain man).

We go to the remains of Aoba-jo (also known as Sendai castle) but first stop off at a nearby museum and look at the display of Edo era (1603 - 1868) weapons, masks, armour and clothes. It's fascinating!

Walking up a mountainous road, we arrive at Aoba-jo - or at least we arrive where it's supposed to be. The rain and humidity has created a dense fog, so I take a lot of foggy photos of the castle. I couldn't see a damn thing. We march back down the damn mountain road dejected.

Although it's no longer raining, the road is a bit slick, so Ashley holds onto my arm. See, I am good for something!

We then hike for 30 minutes to a McDonalds we asked a local about, buy some beer from a local liquor store and then head back to our hotel.

Ashley has developed some weird bumps on the right side of her head - like lymph glands. They weren't there this morning. They are painful to the touch. As such, we're not going to have sex. To make matters worse, my contact lens pick today to start bothering me. One of my eyes really hurts when I wear my contacts, and makes it uncomfortable

Somewhere not the right kind of wet,
Andrew Joseph
This blog's title is sung by Johnny Nash, and I chose it for its IRONY
PS: Click HERE for some photos of Sendai. Warning... I took them with a disposable panoramic camera, as my camera... well... you'll find out in a couple more blogs about my wonderful rife... Anyhow, I have no idea what any of these photos are of, or where exactly I took them...if anyone knows, I'd appreciate a heads up.
PPS: I out some goofy descriptions under the photos, except to show that it was raining, wet, foggy and that my eyes were bothering me.

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