I've stated at various stages of my psychological decline, which is why a reiteration is on its way; I believe twelve weeks from the time of one's holiday completion to be the point at which the human brain instinctively switches from the myriad of perfunctory functions to those likened to a serial killer with a blockbuster necessity to quell the unspoken fix.
Just one fix.
My twelve weeks expired last week. Instead of sitting around dragging my cheeks along our pseudo vinyl-covered floor entertaining the slim chance of absorbing enough spilled honey to squeeze onto a slice of toast, or reach the inevitable conclusion that I was about to stumble upon a fail-safe blueprint buried inside a crack in our humble walls outlining one of three step-by-step procedures to outsmart a forlorn detective with three decades' experience in a hostage negotiation situation by using nothing more advanced than a mobile phone and a box of doughnuts.
Instead, I initiated a plan under the supervision of my wife where an entourage of three clashed heads resulting in the unified theory that we could escape the vortex which, for twelve weeks, had drained us methodically of every milligram of desire to do anything unrelated to our respective jobs.
The plan was to head west like young men using any means of propulsion: tyres, steel girders, rubber soled shoes, bare feet. The reasoning was so that the royal we could see the sun rise and again feel a sense of belonging on and to this colossal sphere.
It was a bloody good plan, methinks.
Within moments, the only two thumbs I owned were raised. Yeeha. Mission was being accomplished with fundamental ease. If you're intrigued about how we went about having a great time, follow the post as gravity herself would.
We commandeered a vehicle of Bavarian origin without protest from the legal owner. Ace. Ignoring the unmistakable flaw with the Deutsch design of said vehicle's mechanism for steering, which should have been a mirror version to where it was, we set off three hours past dawn to discover almost every other yin-yang had chanced upon the same brilliant idea. Double fault.
Ignoring the urge to cram the stick of C4 I had stashed metaphorically inside my petticoat as we were parked in the middle of a 14 kilometre metallic jam somewhere along the fastest stretch of pay-per-use highway in the nation, we cranked the tunes on the miniature jukebox. Moments later, we threw the iPod (head and shoulders the most overrated accessory built to advance anti-socialism) out the window and into a sign to significantly reduce instances of such aural diarrhoea infecting airwaves again. Fine, it was me and I did vent a bit of frustration at stewing inside a comfortable tin can, but I dare you to convince me that it wasn't a justifiable act for the betterment of mankind.
Four hours later, not including a brief stop to check the alignment of our bearings and to free the bladder of liquid retention, we were somewhat closer to putting our clogs over our socks and checking the sights that a foreign district of bright lights we had never before seen had to offer.
We copped our first taste of plum blossoms in Kyoto with all in agreement that they were sexy, though they definitely tasted like most other flowers. Still, as far as nature displaying her colours are concerned, I've seen far worse and the assortment of humans infesting the otherwise tranquil setting proved to be the type of legendary honey that brought Winnie undone.
Then it was off to a pavillion made entirely out of golden cheese, though allcomers were asked to stand well clear without fondling or drooling over the sacred creation. Speaking on behalf of everyone, it was the toughest ask of the entire trip. My stomach grumbled, gurgled and whined at the monumental structure. Suffice to say, the alarm was raised by several members of the human fraternity when I ventured into the water. I made it part of the way there before I was ably swatted across the noggin with what felt like a block of mozarella.
We covered the remaining distance to get to our hotel room in Osaka in less than five billion minutes, checked in, competed with the reception staff to see whose head could touch the floor while remaining upright (they won hands-down), and then dodged lunatics of all manner as they rode their two-wheeled bulls on footpaths.
We made it to a safe house the length of a giant stick of celery underneath a series of train tracks. It served food from the sea with a strong will for life. Not even distress calls to family or histrionics climaxing in an epileptic fit could prevent their demise.
The locally made transparent nectar, served hot to extinguish internal demons as gravity powered its progress, was even better.
Come dawn, everyone's eyelids agreed with everyone's stomachs; a major breach of protocol was in effect. We'd all slept through the code red and gave four-fifths of a rat's arse knowing that punctuality does not a holiday make.
Eventually, we materialised in full cry inside a large hall with a squared circle battle ring at centre stage. Obese men with effeminate hairdos paraded around in oversized g-strings, occasionally bumping into each other or hurling a fellow fatty boombah into the crowd without as much as an apology. It was like witnessing Prisoner unfold in front of our collective peepers with males cast as leads. It made us all introspective as we were again united in agreement that the results of untamed hunger were definitely high on the agenda of things to avoid.
Meanwhile, it became clearer with each passing gut wobble that these curiously obese creatures of war were adored to the heights usually reserved for teen pop stars. My personal favourite was Japanese Army Knife Jelly Belly, who could mould his shapely figure into a multitude of striking positions. What's more, he won his bout.
The hefty battles continued for several hours as the non-participants curdled in the heat of the venue's stifling heat. The eventual winner, a lad I had had my eyes on since the word go because of his daring high-wire act prior to the commencement of the main battles, walked away the grinner as the crowd hurled priceless seat cushions into his path as a show of payment for an outstanding job. That, too, was ace.
The feeling of freezing the instant we ventured outside is something one cannot convey through words alone: it's a feeling one should experience at least seven times in one's lifetime in order to grasp the full effect of what it's like to be powerless to nature's frigid ways.
We survived thanks to some curb-side pancakes then headed to the highest point in the city in order to see if we could repeat the sensation. It didn't work, but the lights atop the concrete were pretty.
As the following day snuck up on us, eventually to overtake us, the fearless five parted company and headed our separate ways in search of aesthetic desires to add fuel to the Molotov cocktail inside our beating hearts. Mrs Kaufman and I went in search of nature's beasts, such as these deer, who displayed wanton disregard for public codes of carnal decency slightly north-east of where ice sculptures bearing our images had all but melted.
We grew tired of perving after a few hours without action of our own so we continued to head north. We arrived once more in the Tokyo of central Japan, Kyoto, a short time later and set up a tent in a hotel with three stars atop its roof and within crawling distance of the city's core.
It tasted good, bringing me to the realisation that if I had a few spare hundred million Yankee dollars to play with I'd set up a half-decent eatery in that fair town.
If you've never been to Kyoto, dear reader, what are you waiting for? Go!
The hotel was clean and costly but the bed was twice as wide as our normal single futon affair back home. We ensured it was a memorable night by turning off the lights way before midnight. Oyasumi nasai.
Anyway, more sights were seen, loads more photos were taken and then we shifted our rears onto the Hikari bullet train for another two-hours of sleep before returning to normality of home.
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April 03, 2006
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