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When you're in a foreign country, you don't question signs as much as you might have if you were at home. You're just so happy to see a sign that makes sense, that you follow it.
I don't know if there was anything that should have made us second guess our course, but if there was it might have been wise for us to pay attention to it.
The path was very easy at first, and visually stunning. The paved pedestrian only road ran along a ridge in a huge cedar forest. The trees bases were far below us but they were so tall that we were still under their shady canopy.
Our dorm building had a square footprint. In the very middle were three elevators serving the dorm rooms which were all positioned along the edges of the building. In between the elevators and the rooms was a square hallway that ran in a loop.
This was to be our arena for Golf Darts, a sport we invented to aid our more scholarly pursuit - procrastination.
On one door we set up a target. The goal was to go around the hallway, arrive back at the target and hit it.
Wow. I don't know what I was expecting, but I got a ton of awesome feedback from you guys. Some people literally wrote a page or two.
So first of all... thanks a ton. I read every single reply (over one hundred total) and got a ton of good info.
I'll share some of the insights provided.
I've always hated anime. I never really gave it much of a chance as it combined two things that I didn't care for: cartoons and words I couldn't understand.
One night I was at my friend Charlie's house, hanging out in the living room. Someone in his family put on Hayao Miyazaki's anime mastepiece, "Spirited Away".
At first I ignored the movie, giving it just a small fraction of my attention. By the time it was over I was totally enthralled. The story was fantastic, the characters were great, but most of all the movie was beautifully drawn.
More than fifty years ago, my mother's father went to a dance. Back then that was how you met people.
The room was divided into two sides. The guys were standing near one wall, and the girls were at the other. In the middle were a few couples dancing, but more prominent was the wide open space that separated the two groups.
No man's land.
It's about that time of the year for me to ask for your feedback to make BTYB even more better than it already is.
What's very curious to me is that my readership grows VERY slowly. Given how awesome these posts are, I would expect it to grow by 100% every hour or so.
Anyway, if you could take a couple minutes and fill out my survey, I'd really appreciate it. Please be totally honest - it's 100% anonymous and I'd much rather have good criticism than an ego boost.
People keep asking for it and I keep meaning to do it, but then we always seem to be in a rush before leaving a country and we don't have time to video me packing my bag.
Japan was a little different, so we finally got it done. Unfortunately Todd's real video camera is broken now and this was taken on his point and shoot, which cuts off at about 10 minutes.
That means that you'll miss the glory of me repacking that one last thing in there. Actually, after packing I realized that I had forgotten my sandals so I repacked the whole thing anyway.
This is something I've been wondering about recently, and I'm very interested in people's (in depth?) responses.
I have a billion things to work on, and a billion things that other people do better than me, so this isn't meant to be a "look how great I am" post (like every other post on this site...).
One thing that I'm particularly good at, though, is figuring out the best action to take and just doing it and sticking with it. Not always, but close. I figured out the best exercise program and still do it. Two years ago I decided that being vegan was the most healthy thing to do and have stuck with it since. I wanted to travel more so I left and am traveling the best way I can figure out. Blah, blah, blah.
I've been doing Crossfit for the past eight months. The past two months have not been perfect, sometimes for valid reasons, sometimes not. I'd give myself an 85% for those two months and a 99% for the rest. I'sm getting off topic, but I feel like it's necessary to address on my blog the times I screw up too.
I love Crossfit and think it's the best program (of those I've researched) for me as well as most people out there. I believe that I could have probably made bigger gains muscle wise with a strict heavy lifting and high protein diet, but it would have been at the expense of other benefits.
I've gained some weight and a lot of muscle definition. Muscle definition is always more impressive to the person experiencing it, because we're honed in on the nuances of our bodies, but when I look in the mirror and flex, I look like a little Greek god in training. With the standard amount of downlighting in a bathroom I have a clearly defined six pack, and when I flex my arms I have little bicep mountains.
Just over a year ago I was in this same place. It's a short and touristy row of shops leading up to a temple in Asakusa, Japan. Last time I was here it was my first time in Japan, which meant that I was so enthralled with being there that I didn't realize what a tourist trap it was.
Now I'm here again and I see the place in a different light. I've lived in Japan for almost two months now as part of my year long trip around the world.
As I look up at the paper lanterns dangling above the street I have a thought.