The plan

Hi all, the internet is back online. I guess it was just a glitch at my provider's side.

Before I begin my daily story, let me tell you about how I intend to go back to Tokyo from here. Today I passed a small city called Shibushi, and this just happens to be the place from where I can catch a ship back to Tokyo. There's a ferry departing for Tokyo about every 5 days, and it's cheaper than booking a last-minute airplane ticket. It's not cheaper than booking an airplane ticket well in advance, but that's unavoidable considering the nature of this trip. I've decided to take the ferry back to Tokyo on May 31st.

Arriving in Tokyo on June the first, I will have one month of job hunting until my visa expires, although I can probably extend that by begging a bit at the immigration office. They're very nice to Europeans, although they hate everyone else. I feel like I got scammed a bit though: my 'sources' told me that I could get a percentage of three months of my previous salary if I became unemployed in Japan. One of the criteria to receive this money is that you are actively seeking a new job. Scam number one: to actively search for a job, I need to have a valid address in Japan. This is an issue because to get a room in Japan as a foreigner is difficult: most landlords will not rent to foreigners. Besides that you need a guarantor to back you up when you sign the contract, which is great if you have a job because the company can be your guarantor. If you don't have a job, then you'd better find a very close friend cause it's a big favor to ask. Alternatives are 'weekly mansions' or 'monthly mansions', but I'm not sure yet how that works. This seems solvable, until you get to scam number two: it will take three to four months until you finally receive the money. I heard this from someone who deals with hiring and firing people, so I'm considering this to be fairly accurate. Waiting for and arranging to get this money will cost me a lot of time, and I care about time more than money.

Back to today's story: shortly after my morning blogpost it started to rain. It was very soft rain, but there was a lot of it, and I was soaked to the bone again. I made a stop at a gasoline stand where I received free drinks and food from the nice people who worked there. I chatted with them a bit as I waited for the rain to stop. It didn't stop, so eventually I decided to cycle on in the rain. There was no particular reason for me to cycle in the rain, as the ferry leaves on the 31st and I still have over a week left, but I felt like cycling in the rain today. It gave me a nice sense of achievement. I've set my cyclocomp to display only the time, not the distance, so I really don't know how far I've cycled until I've reached my arbitrary destination. Today it turns out I cycled exactly 100km. I am satisfied.

The road today took me between the mountains and was quite nice. It was close-to-nature, but not that close. There were still houses and sometimes tiny villages, and the occasional convenience store, but there were also long stretches of almost-nothing that were very satisfying to travel through. After getting caught by a rainshower in the middle of the day I cycled on and on until I reached the opposite coast of the peninsula that I am on right now. As soon as I reached the coast the road changed from an almost-nature road to a full nature road. Long stretches of mountain, tough uphills and no convenience store in sight for a very long time. It's often like this on small peninsulas: nobody really has a reason to go here, so there's nothing here. Just a road and some mountains.

Finally I did arrive at a conbini, and right next to it was a camp site. There I met two other guys who had already set up their tent. One was traveling by motorcycle, the other by scooter. Together with my bicycle we make a nice bunch. They told me they had spent the whole day here as the rain was horrible and they didn't want to travel on a day like this. I quite understand.

Roofed tent

I set up my tent underneath a small roofed camping building. I had to tether my tent to the sides of the building as the strong winds are constantly lifting my tent up in to the air. While I'm not in my tent, it's basically floating in the air 10 centimeters off the ground. Because my internet didn't work just now, I listened to the weather report on of my camping buddies' radio, and the forecast is not good. Heavy rain, lightning, and big wave warnings everywhere except where we are (cause this area is in a bay and not exposed to the open sea). As I am typing this I can hear the rain falling around me. Tomorrow might not be a good day to travel...

Many clouds today

Also, this cat came along, and I fed it half of my baumkuchen. He liked it a lot and now he won't leave. I'm worried he'll pee on my tent.

Manky cat
Posted in Spirit of Japan , Uncategorized