Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday, was not Thanksgiving in Japan, but it was a national holiday. Formerly, I'm told, it was an emperor's birthday, but now it bears the very generic and politically correct title of "Health-Sports Day". I'm not sure what a native Japanese person traditionally does on such a prestigious holiday. I'm quite sure they don't stuff a bird full of bread and stuff themselves with it, but perhaps they do something similar with fish.
In any case Aukje and I felt we should go hiking on a day bearing the aforementioned moniker, so we planned to meet a friend of Aukje's and head out to see the Minoh waterfall. On the way up to the waterfall, we met someone we knew who was with some friends also hiking to the waterfall. I'm not sure what the odds are, living in an area with a population of roughly ten million, of meeting someone you know when you know hardly any of those ten million people, but you will have to take my word for it. We really did meet someone we know.
We carried on as a group of seven (not the Group of Seven) and after taking in the waterfall, got ourselves a look at Minoh Dam as well.
As we sat down to eat our obentos (a lunch you take with you) we were ferociously assaulted by the local wildlife. Now most people who have been to Minoh would assume I'm talking about the scads of Monkeys in the park, but such was not the case.
It was actually some sort of bee. It was like a bumble bee on steroids that had not only been working out in the gym but also has been eating way too much. The perp hovered around us looking for more food or perhaps little vials of bee steroids. It unnerved the entire group and after the bee scattered us in all different directions, we regrouped and headed for safer ground for lunch.
Before you judge our collective "manliness factor" I will ask that you keep in mind that we are in the land of the evil giant hornet, and its legendary viciousness does indeed play with your mind.

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