Thursday, January 31, 2008

The month that was that wasn't...part deux

...and so the month continued and I went to see the Meoto-iwa or "Wedded Rocks" at Futami in Mie prefecture, situated on the east coast of the Wakayama penninsula, with PJ, Yumi-chan, and ZL. It was a horrible day, showers, mist, fog, dark, low clouds and the prospect of being a disaster. A hard week of work warranted the get away, and PJ was itching to drive, and drive a long way. It was a sorry place, a pair of rocks a stones throw from the shore, with a temple on the shoreline, the trinket shops, tacky souvenir shops, and locals trying to make a buck from the religious pilgrims that make the trek to this famous shrine. The Meoto-iwa (Wedded Rocks) are the symbol of what keeps Japan from floating away. The rocks are considered to be male and female, and have been joined in wedlock via the sacred ropes (shimenawa). These ropes are renewed each year on the 5th of January, so we only just missed it by a week. As famous as this is, it was a bit of a disappointment but at least I saw the rocks...yeah.

I went home for a week to spend some time with the folks, see some people, and discuss matters. It was good to be home, good to see CC, JH, GB, KMcL, DW, TOR, JH (PhD), and some family too. The weather was crap apart from the final Friday so I went birding with CC down Red Barn/Pilmore Strand way in east Cork. A nice day out on the beach, notching up a county tick (Water Pipit - catching ya Barty boy!!!) and seeing an American bird (Buff-bellied Pipit) at close quarters. The flights were grand and all was good.

What struck me most was how much I have been assimilated into the way of the Japanese commuter. I hated having to listen to people talking on their phones on trains and buses. Having to listen to some gobshite talking on the phone about how she was going off to Florida for free coz her wealthy friends parents were going to pay for her; how another gobshite on the bus was talking about how he was fcuked over by the horsey-set in Leopardstown and how the guy he was talking to on the phone was not to tell anyone how horsey-gobshite's kids were black-belts in Karate, to which some other guy down the back of the bus shouted out "Don't worry bud, neither will everyone else on de bus!", to which the entire bus laughed heartily and horsey-gobshite hung up the phone...twat.

What is with Blackberry phones!?? Everybody who thinks they're someone has one! I make my apologies for JH as he only has one coz work pays for it...at least that is my good friend's excuse, and having known him for 30 years, I have to say I believe him. It's just a phone. What more do you want it to do.

And another thing, what is it about talking on trains, planes and automobiles (buses)?? Why can't people just take 5 freakin' minutes to themselves and not have to contact somebody else who is traveling to a destination where these people will meet anyway? Why would somebody have to slap hard down on a table on a train when the person next to him (ie, me) was sleeping?!! He apologized after I just looked at him and just asked "Why?". That was all well and good but he could have been a bit more freakin' considerate and not to have done it in the first place...

For anyone who has travelled on Japan's subways, trains, and planes...the quietness and peacefulness is so, so nice

PS: welcome home JW...the South Polar Explorer

Carmo's Diet: This week, I have mostly been eating Katsu-don

Carmo's Birds: Not a lot...plenty of monkies though (more later)

Carmo's Birds for Byrdy: Lost is back again...go on Evangaline Lily

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday young fella!!! Jesus you're making me feel old! No doubt you'll be working but you could have one on me at the weekend! Anyways have a good one will be talking to you soon

Paul

February 05, 2008 4:51 AM  
Anonymous m said...

Happy Birthday,Mark,never mind him,relax a bit to-day.
Mam

February 05, 2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mark! As an old friend of mine put it "just think of it as the 10th anniversary of turning 25" makes you feel slightly better....slightly...
Mel

February 05, 2008 6:50 PM  
Anonymous col said...

hey fella - skype told me it was yer birthday - how did it know? reckon you told it so it would notify all yer 'friends', such as they are! anyhoo, hope you had a good one - you can consider that water pip an early present biy!! gonna getcha back soon enuff - its feb, there'll be hoopoes and wrynecks on the coast any day!! (ish)

February 06, 2008 6:24 AM  
Blogger S.C.E. said...

I'm going home in March for a visit and am not looking forward to gobshites gabbing on cellphones either.

Cheer up! Spring is around the corner, Liverpool will beat Inter Milan and................something else good will happen I'm sure.

Those rocks look like absolute crap though I have to agree. In Hakodate they try to promote Japan's 'oldest concrete electricity pole' as an attraction (I kid you not). Not even the Japanese go for that one.

February 06, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger Carmo said...

thanks to one and all for the b'day wishes...Mum, if I could relax while working 15 hours on the day of my b'day, I'd have been doing well :)

Mel: my old man told me that "35" is the new "25" so I'm ok with that :)

Col: wryneck would be nice but hoopoes are gank

SCE: that made me laugh, oldest concrete elec. pole...what else will they come up with??

February 07, 2008 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Owen said...

Happy birthday Carmo-san!Many happy returns.

February 09, 2008 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Pee Wee said...

Hey man.Back in Ireland,its mind blowingly expensive,the weather is shite and some fool thinks I might have malaria ( its a cough ).Last Saturday night in the roundy behind the bar were myself,Polly,and Marty Ryan with JD outside complaining about the cold.Needless to say your name came up once or twice.

February 12, 2008 9:51 PM  
Anonymous col said...

barnsley is it? thats gotta hurt!

February 17, 2008 1:54 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Are you ever going to update ur blog? You were always a lazy b*****d!

February 20, 2008 1:25 AM  
Blogger Carmo said...

hey little bro...will update it later

February 24, 2008 1:30 PM  
Anonymous dleurve said...

alright mr sutra
glad to see you shook off those dutch instructions, i couldnt figure em out, happy birthday i spose, everyone else is getting in on the act, public transport in cork aint much of a necessity cause we all walk on water and float on air (bale !) so rest assured there'll be no fear of ya when you get back, dont like the sound of you fraternising with arnott wearing youffs tho, might get you a tazer so you can clean up dem durty stree-ats (dub twang), any new tats ?? see ya for some phun in april
xx

February 27, 2008 2:16 AM  
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