I'm not doing much today. I woke up at 8AM and hung around the youth hostel while my laundry was being laundrified. Then I took off on my bicycle, struggled with my gears as I went down the hostel hill and cycled into the city center. I bought lunch at a convenience store and cycled onwards to a riverside park, where I spent most of the day doing nothing. The temperature was just perfect in the shade and I enjoyed finishing a book called The Zahir, which was a very inspirational read. Besides that I picked up a new road-map-book for the next stint of my trip. It'll still take 2-3 days from here until the northernmost tip of Kyushu, but I think I can navigate that without maps.

My little friend the caterpillar
A random park in Hiroshima

On a very awesome note: the CHDK firmware is available for the Canon S90! I was waiting for this for a long time, and now it's finally there, thanks to the great work of some creative hackers. Besides being able to play Sokoban, Mastermind and Othello on my camera I can now take time lapse videos in very high resolution without connecting my camera to a PC. Excellent.

I've had plenty of time to think, and I am definitely forming a good picture of my situation in my mind. Right now I've identified that my issue is not so much the issue of leaving Japan or not, but rather a choice between following my dreams or accepting reality. If I follow my dreams then I choose to do what I really like: Cognitive Science. This means going back to study, which for me is the easiest to do in the Netherlands, as I get money to study until I'm 30. That doesn't mean that I ruled out the possibility of studying elsewhere though. The other option is, generally speaking, getting a job, which for me means getting a job in Japan, because I really like it here. If I choose a life of comfort it'll be in Japan.

Obviously I haven't decided yet, although formulating my problem in slightly different wordings makes it a choice between something epic (following my dreams) and something boring (getting a job), which is a whole different perspective. That's all I'm going to say about my choices for now, as I like to take a bit more time to think about this myself.

Changing the topic, here's some statistics of my trip:

  • I've been on the road for 22 days.
  • Approximate distance traveled: 1600 kilometers (I'm missing a couple of days because of cyclocomp mishaps and because I forgot to write down my daily stats)
  • I blow my nose about 20 times a day. I'm a snot machine.
  • Maximum speed: 55.4kph
  • Highest daily average: 18.6kph (this drops rapidly at the end of the day because I have to find a camp site or discover the path to the hostel)
  • Longest distance traveled in one day: 118 kilometers
  • Hottest day: 05/04 at ~27C
  • Coldest day: 04/16 at ~4C in the snow!
  • Number of nights spent camping/hosteling/business hotel: 5/10/6   (and 1 homestay and 1 capsule hotel)

Tomorrow there's only one thing I want to do: visit the Peace Memorial Museum. After that I'll move westwards again towards the tip of the main island of Japan, where I will somehow cross over to Kyushu. Today's the sky's been looking a bit gray-ish, but I'm hoping the weather will get better again after a couple of days. I really need to camp more and internet less.

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