Monday, February 06, 2006

A day out

On Saturday night the Internet stopped working. It was terrible. I had withdrawal symptoms yesterday morning when it still wasn't working and I couldn't check my email, but we were going to Nara for the day so the cable guy couldn't come till evening.

We had a lovely day out, even if it was occasionally a little strange. The Man tells me that whenever he goes somewhere by himself everything is normal, but whenever I come too, strange stuff happens. I don't think it's really my fault, though.

Yesterday morning we got to the train station and the trains were delayed. When one finally came it was quite crowded, and we had to stand. Everything seemed normal until a voice said:

"Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen Arima Onsen."

At first I thought it was an announcement, and that the conductor had gone mad and forgotten where he was, but it turned out to be a man sitting behind us. He was reading his newspaper out loud. "Arima Onsen" was, it turned out, the beginning of a story about something that happened at Arima Onsen. He then went on to the first part of the story, similarly repeating every phrase. It was very good for my Japanese, especially because he enunciated so clearly. He had a good voice, but I think we were the only people on the train who really appreciated his efforts. We grinned at each other, and listened. Everybody else looked carefully blank.

I knew what The Man was thinking. It was my fault.

In Nara we visited a shrine.

The shrine had a cow. The cow's nose was shiny because touching it is supposed to bring a good harvest.

There were also bantams.

I don't know what the bantams symbolize. Perhaps they just symbolize themselves. They are fed well, and wander around clucking and crowing a lot. It's all very friendly. There is rather a high proportion of roosters, though, so it's possible the hens find it a little TOO friendly. The roosters are wonderfully colourful, though.

Some of the bantams wear fluffy slippers.

I hesitated to put this next photo on the blog. I don't usually put up pictures of people that are too identifiable, in case they don't like it. But it's a lovely picture of the priest, so I hope that if by some chance he sees this he will be flattered.

The woman was not begging him for something, although that's how it looks. They were talking across the courtyard, and she just happened to step into the frame, gesturing, as I took the picture. I thought of cutting her out of the picture, but then it looked all wrong, somehow.

At a coffee shop later we were the only customers at first, so it was relaxing and quiet. But very soon a rather strange woman came in and proceeded to talk in a foghorn voice, endlessly, to the owners of the coffee shop. Every trivial thought in her head came out. While the owners were polite it was easy to see they were very, very much hoping that she would just stop. She didn't. And she kept looking at me while she was talking, so I carefully tried NOT to look at her. It was hard, though. She was sitting directly opposite me, behind The Man, and had a penetrating voice. The Man kept grinning and I could see what he was thinking. The woman was my fault.

But despite the occasional weirdness we had a lovely day out, and it ended better than it started, too, because after we got home the cable guy came and plugged the Internet back in.


melinama said...


Radioactive Jam said...

When you say the cable guy "plugged the Internet back in," you don't mean... I mean... Literally?

Another question: a number of people had many problems with "blogger" over the weekend. You don't suppose...? No, probably not. :-)

Sounds like a fine day out, though.

kenju said...

If what the man says is true - then a day out with you would be infinitely more interesting than a day without you!

Kay said...

Your pictures are so clear and fabulous it is like being your blog is a refuge from the Chinook we are having here in Alaska --we went from -20F to +50F in a week! The Bends! So bantams are a lovely relief!!!

Cheryl said...

I agree with Kenju.

Lippy said...

I'm sure you had nothing to do with the internet/blogger outages... I shall instead blame it on the chickens with the fluffy slippers... ;-)

Badaunt said...

FOR THE RECORD: The internet outage had NOTHING to do with me. I was in bed, sleeping, when the plug "must have just fallen out, honest, I didn't touch anything".

Besides, I didn't even know we HAD a booster. I knew we had two cable modems and a hub, but not a booster.