January 4, 2015

You Only Live Twice

I have plans to do lots of cultural things during my three day stay in Kyoto. Sadly what turned out was that my weak and feeble body could not hack the punishment I have been giving it over recent days. I therefore spent most of it (1) in a heavenly bed (2) under a heavenly hot shower (3) drinking icy beer in a heavenly hotel bar.

I seem to have crossed that fine line, and it takes 48 hours to get my body fully fit for operations again. For the first day I can’t stop groaning with amazement every time my body rests on a soft bed in a cool and quiet room that does not move with the rails or the waves. I can’t believe my appetite for sleep. And then on the third day I feel like the title of this blog post, reborn, not as a British secret agent, but as a Trans-Siberian explorer.

Kyoto is massively busy. It’s an extended public holiday and a time for local families to vist the shrines. I feel like I just can’t move in some places and the recent snow is slowing us all down even more. Oh well, it’s my own fault for arriving at such a special time.

It’s a great couple of days to adjust to the Japanese way and join in the purification and luck making rituals of the New Year. Russia and Japan are probably polar opposites when it comes to visible etiquette, manners and the friendliness of public servants. I don’t know if this level of kindness and support ever wears off, but for my short stay it’s nothing short of a wonder.

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