Just a Walk in the Park, Kazanski

Alright, $5 to the first one to correctly identify this title, and you owe me $5 if you’re wrong. Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had a case of the homesick blues, but we’ll save that sentimental crap for later. For now…the fun stuff:

OK, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word.  Another weekend trip brought us to a town called Saito, where we partook in a ceremony for a dead friend. Apparently, there is a ceremony on the 1-yr, 3-yr, 7-yr, and 13-yr anniversary of a loved-ones death. This seems like a pretty good idea to me…not too much, but not too few. Anywho, the first part of the ceremony took part in the temple with lots of chanting and stuff, and everyone (including myself, the big standy-outy Canadian guy) took their turn at the altar adding wood chips to the smoking fire and bowing down respectively. I don’t have any pics of that, obviously, but then we all scampered outside and gave the same respects at the gravestone:

dscn32570001.JPG while the cat stayed respectfully in the tree dscn32580002.JPG.

Afterwards, we checked out the Saitobaru, which are these ancient burial mounds all over the town of Saito, dating back to 400 AD. Some were big, some were little. Because of my small intestinal capacity (still not pooing logs, I’m afraid), we could not walk around for long, but I did get a few shots, and we’ll head back in cherry blossom season, I’ve been assured.

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A few days later, I decided to take a little bike trip around a park fairly close by, since my capacity had improved immensely. I have no idea what the crazy straw-tied-up creatures were after

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but I did find an intense cat, waiting to be served: 

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as well as a crazy twisty bridge over some weeds (wtf???) and another crazy shurin in the middle of nowhere:

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Alright, now back to that homesickness. I think I have the right, given the recent influenza attack, to be a touch sentimental. At the risk of sounding gay, I would like to point out some recent shortcomings:

I miss wing night. This was inevitable, but I miss having Marcus come out and slopping up his face on my account. I’ve eaten my share of wings out here, but wing night is really all about the company, and the various wingmembers are not present at the present.

I miss ice hockey with Ian. It’s the middle of winter dammit!… I should be on the ice. Congrats on the goal Ian, wish I could have seen it. And I miss dinner with Ian and Lisa beforehand, with Lisa’s ever-expanding belly. My biggest regret in Japan is not seeing the birth of their kid…

I miss having family conversation at my fingertips. I may be a ferry-ride away from Chilliwack, but it’s always easy to call from Victoria when I need to hear the McKenna voices…not quite so easy from overseas. I miss you guys. Moo. Moooo Moo Moo.

I miss talking to Stevey about the business…over morning coffees and late-night beers. Over the last year, we have both poured our hearts (and time) into Digital Discovery Tours, and even though it may not be making much yet, we both have big visions for the future. It’s fun to dream, and it’s fun to have someone to dream it with.

I miss video games with Isaac. We didn’t get much of a chance to get back into it since he FINALLY decided that Victoria was indeed his home, but I look forward to VGing it up a notch when I return…”herooooooooooooooooes”…

I miss movie-night with Scotty. War movie night used to be a weekly event, and I sincerely hope we can get it back in the future. Hope all is well with Malcolm, and I promise to come by to see the young lad within a week of my Victoria return.

I miss rock-climbing with Marko. My fingers haven’t been bloody in months and that just plain sucks.

I miss the rest of you scoundrels. I may not have mentioned you, but I’ve run out of room, so don’t feel bad. Timmy, I’ll be back soon with Kirin 50% whiskey…count on it. And now, just in case my sexual preference is still indeterminate after this immaculate display of sentiment, here is a really pretty picture of some Japanese plum blossoms:

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~ by The Running Emu on January 31, 2007.

5 Responses to “Just a Walk in the Park, Kazanski”

  1. Yes, you’re right…you do sound gay but I’m sure i sounded likewise while i was over there too. i will be sure to kill many a appendage plentyful poulet in your absence. i will be looking to increase the massacre rate upon your return.

  2. Hey there Mikey,

    We all miss you too…..but are jealous of you at the same time. It takes a lot of guts to go some where totally new. I am very proud of you bro for experiencing such a big part of Hanna’s life and Culture. Paula and I are going to Ecuador in June and July. It is going to be an experience as well. I look forward to your return but hope it is at a time when you are ready to come home….not because you are home sick. I am really glad to hear that you have had a chance to try somethings that most of us will never get the chance to try. Must be a weird thing….what do they have there instead of wings??? Deep Fried Catfish, Sweet and Sour Fish Balls or All you can eat- Octopus nights???? I hope you are having a blast bro…the rings look really nice. Is there any other symbolism behind them.

    Take care,
    Love
    Isaac and Paual
    Tell Hanna we say hello!!!!

  3. Top Gun, Maverick to Iceman.

    I like all the warm fuzzies Mikey, and what a pretty picture of flowers…but when you get back we’re going 4X4ing and shooting some guns at the river before the change is permanent 😉

  4. Hey Mike, how about this one now that you’re on about movies: Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?

    Ah Timmy, what a classic line (I use it whenever possible). Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) to Mr. White (Harvey Keitel). Ee-choo-tah.

  5. I understand the homesickness mike. When I was in Australia, I felt the same. Just the comfort of friends and family can do so many wonders… Just imagine what it felt for Hana when she was in Canada for over a year!!!

    I bet it’s really hard in such an imaculately (did i spell that right?) different culture. But remember, time flies…. We love you and miss you, but definitly wouldnt want to see you home on behalf of homesickness…. you need to stay until you are damn ready to come home… and enjoy it! That’s sort of what rebecca told me when i left… thought i’d pass it on to you:)

    I loveeee the flowers… please take more pictures of flowers for me to look at… I think I want to paint some of them. But don’t worry, you won’t look gay because me telling you to do it right here is evidence that it is my idea lol!

    Miss you mikel!! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Everyone hear that?…Carolyn is taking responsibility for all future flower shots. Thanks Calfy, now I don’t have to put my sexuality on the line every time I see potential for a “pretty picture”.

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