Trish, aside from being a gorgeous redhead - which I love - was extremely intelligent with an absolutely wicked sense of humor that I think puts mine to shame. The fact that she also spoke Japanese like a native made her my perfect traveling companion.
Despite my obvious attraction to Trish, we were just friends, as she stupidly held onto the love she felt for her boyfriend back in the west - a fact that proves to me she may not have been a smart as I first feared. Just kidding. I do not fear intelligence. I embrace it.
Trish was such a good friend to me in Japan. I can not begin to state that enough. She was always there with a phone call and words of encouragement whenever I seemed be at my lowest ebb.
Even so... with myself on my third year as a junior high school English teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme, and she just arriving a few months earlier as a CIR (Coordinator of International Relations - on JET), we were a great spiritual match for each other.
Strange... I seemed to find more than my fair share of spiritual matches while in Japan.
She could and did gleefully lead me around by my testicles - such a flirt - and I, I was the muscle that protected her so Japanese businessmen - drunk or otherwise - would not try and pinch her tastefully toned bum.
She and I traveled from our home prefecture of Tochigi-ken, down to Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train, and again from there to Kyoto where we spent November 19-23 poking about the 1,000 temples of the ancient capital of Japan.
Needless to say, when she travels with me, she's going to get wet. Unfortunately, not the way I dreamed off, but rather the way I expected.
In Japan, I am known as the ame otoko. The rain man. Whenever I traveled about the country sight-seeing or for for a work meeting, you can bet your bottom yen that it was going to rain. And not just a light sprinkle, but rather downpour after downpour. By the end of our trip, she and I smelled soggy. Me more than her, I am sure. She was magic to me, so she always seemed to smell so perfect - even damp.
In the photo above, Trish decides she has had enough of my doggy smell and has climbed the walls of a temple at Kyomizu-dera, in her best impression of a non-traditionally-dressed red-hot ninja chick.
Look how high she scrambled! She must be 60' off the ground. Or, as is more than likely, with some decent camera work by myself for a change, she is only 4-feet up.
She did slip a few times, as my rain storms had made the stones a tad slippery.
Thanks Trish... for one of my favorite all-time photos of a person in Japan. Oh... and for the great friend you were to me! Mmmmmwah!
Somewhere driving women up the walls,