I am nomad. Hear me roar.

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Thursday, 23 September 2010

Having Kittens

At about 4am the first thunderclap hit. It was heavy enough to rattle all the doors and windows, as well as the nerves of everyone sleeping in the house at the time. It was followed immediately by a blinding flash and second clap, this time not only shaking the building but setting off a car alarm down the street. Senses heightened, I began to hear another sound beneath the thunder, a soft mewing, anxious animal cries for help. I sprang from my bed, grabbed my torch and went in search of the source of the sound.

Three days ago, we had discovered that one of the many neighbourhood strays had misguidedly decided that under the stairs between our two semi joined houses was the best place to have her litter. She must have realised her mistake yesterday, after being repeatedly disturbed by the many inhabitants of The Guch, and she moved all her kittens bar one, to some unknown location. The last kitten remained under the stairs crying all day until I could no longer handle his distress and was convinced, that maternal instinct had failed and that she had left him behind. So I crawled down under the stairs and scooped the little tyke up in one hand. I spent an hour making sure he was warm, clean and fed, then plopped him in a box in hopes that his mother would come to her senses. She must have, because an hour later he was gone, and I was left thinking that would be the last of it. I was wrong.

So, I found myself at 4am, once more crawling down under the stairs in order to locate the litter. They were not there. I shone my torch in vain searching for the little ones, straining my ears for some indication of direction. CQ had come out to help at this stage, but we didn't have much luck. Eventually I climbed up the stairs to the balcony and shone my torch over the edge to the bushes below. I still could not see a thing, but the mewing increased. I had found them.

The space where the kittens were is technically on next doors property, and fenced off, so I rushed out to the front of the house, pulled on my shoes and slid open the front door.

I was greeted by an Adonis, a tall handsome figure, striding in our front gate through the torrential rain, in the manner of Willoughby or some other misappropriated Austen hero. I was taken aback slightly by the stranger's presence and appearance. He spoke, "I was looking for the kittens, I'm a friend of Ink's". Gorgeous and trying to save kittens, my knight in shining armour.

There was no way in from the front of the house. We went back up to the second floor balcony, not seeing any other option the White Knight, leaps straight over the rail and scales the side of the house. Once on the ground, he calls back up advising he can see our quarry, no sign of the mother, requesting a basket and rope to pull them back up in. I run, remembering a bucket at the bottom of the stairs, being unable to unfasten the clothes line from it's tether, I grab a nearby broadband cable, perhaps not the safest option but it will have to do, and send the bucket down. CQ and I take turns raising the almost drowned little souls, as the White Knight passes them up. I pluck each one in turn from the bucket and pull it close to my chest, body heat to help, as I dry off their tiny bodies with a towel, in an attempt to reduce them from being completely saturated to merely wet, and placing them gently in the cardboard box. Once I have all four in the box I make my way down to the warmth of the kitchen. I scour the house for other towels.

The White Knight, CQ and I spent the next 3 hours, hoping and watching, as our four feline rescuees, begin to revive and respond, with constant rubbing their fur stops plastering itself to their teeny bodies and fluff up, they cease shivering, start eating, and with half a purr finally fall asleep. We sit in silence watching them breathe.

Knowing that we couldn't keep them we discussed what to do, once again the White Knight saved the day, he has a friend of a friend who would love to look after them and find them good homes, so we bundled up the babies in a cardboard box full of paper towel and toilet paper in preparation for the three hour train journey. After changing into dry clothes, cradling the box in his arms the White Knight strode out into the dawning day.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Rufty in Kyoto

Tuesday was still pain.

Is it even possible to still be hungover 2 days later? If it is then, I managed it. But it was Rufty's last day in Kansai, so we made our way up to Kyoto to go sight-seeing.
After taking in the spectacle of the train station, we went to Ginkaku-ji, as neither of us had been there before. Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion is the sister temple of the Golden Pavilion. The owner whilst building however, had somewhat over-extended his resources and the temple was never actually covered in silver, unlike her more ostentatious sister. The garden's around Ginkaku-ji, as though making up for a lack of silver, are more beautiful and serene. There is an amazing constructed raked garden, with a monument of raked sand, it is shaped like a creme caramel, and sits against all odds at the entrance to the garden.

After perusing the gardens, it was time to see Ol' Rufty off, so we made our way back to the train station, him to the shinkansen, and me back to Osaka.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Rufty in Osaka

Monday was pain.

I was nursing the mother of all hangovers. Despite my one desire being to curl up in the shower base, in the foetal position, with only the cold running, I had Rufty in tow, so the order of the day was sight-seeing. I had promised to show him the sights of Osaka, and after inhaling a couple of cheeseburgers, I became a capable, if not somewhat surly tour guide.

We train-hopped our way to Osaka Castle, which afforded Rufty, an insight into the history of the area, an awesome view of the city, and the chance to dress up as a samurai. What more could a reckless Aussie tourist boy ask for?

We then walked around the gardens there, and I introduced him to takoyaki, these are barbecued balls of octopus pieces and batter, which I think are delicious, but that he was none to sure about. While on the subject of marine life we decided to visit the aquarium. It was just as amazing the second time, I don't think whale sharks are even able to become boring.

Still absolutely mesmerising.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Reckless Drinking

When everyone was dressed, pressed, and looking fabulous,we went out.

We misplaced Lex somewhere between the balcony and the front door, but the rest of us headed out in the direction of Umeda, because Ink was there with his chickadee. When we arrived the group seemed to lack direction, so following my stomach as always, I set a course in the direction of quesadillas, and the only watering hole I knew in the area, Captain Kangaroo.

Ink dropped in for 5 seconds to meet and greet, but left quickly. Minutes later, we lost the Magnet due to another terminal bout of girl trouble.

The night continued to roll on however, with the reduced numbers of Rufty, CQ, Yours Truly and some random American pilot that Ol' Reckless had befriended. Our random acquisition was a bit odd, but he bought us drinks, so who are we to judge?

The night tumbled on with many a beer and it became my turn to make friends, this time, with the bar-wench as it so happened to be, which somehow resulted in free shots later in the night. The shots were a bad idea. A very bad idea, but as it is rude to look a gift horse in the mouth, so too is it rude to knock back free J├Ągermeister. So down the hatch it went. I would like to be able to say that I remained completely lady-like at this point, and in this intense state of inebriation, but I can't, so I won't.

Thanks to CQ, we did get all the way home in a cab eventually, and I awoke the next day fully clothed and feeling very sorry for myself.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

Friday, 10 September 2010

100th Post

This is post number 100. Thanks for following!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Twisted Panties

"What is the grossest most perverted urban myth you have ever heard about Japanese guys?"

I was sitting on the balcony waiting for everyone to get ready to go out, when the question wafted over my left shoulder. It was followed shortly after, by a small package which sailed over my right shoulder and landed with a soft plastic-y crunch at my feet. I slowly inspected the projectile, it was a small, zip-lock bag containing baby pink fabric. The visible part was slightly ruched with elastic, and a hint of lace. The realisation of what I was seeing crashed over me, a grin erupted on my face.

"No way" I responded, still with slight disbelief, as there sitting at my feet were the fabled, used, school girls underwear, purchased by my dear friend Rufty, from a vending machine.

Unbelievable.

De'Loose-ness meets Turtlepack

On Sunday, after ticket delays and train delays on the shinkansen, I met up with Reckless Rufty for his first stop on the Tour de'Loose-ness. We met at Shin-Fuji Station in the hopes of appreciating the still elusive vista of Mount Fuji. Alas, once again I was foiled, having partially climbed the mountain I know I'm unable to say that I haven't seen it, but I still really haven't seen a view of the darn thing, and Sunday was no different. Once again the clouds were out and the mountain was hiding from me.

We chatted and laughed our way through lunch, Reckless making friends with the lady that served us, so much so that she gave us a good fortune cow when we went to leave. With the cow portrait in tow we headed back to the train station, and home to Osaka.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Happy Japan-niversary!

I have now been in Japan for 2 whole months. I am starting to build routines around home and work. This trip is still one of the most awesome things I have ever done.