While finishing up postcards series of paintings of international postboxes from Nepal, Greece, Oman and the Vatican, Dave gleefully riffs about the “finishing touches” including paper choices, inky stamps, Sri Lankan elephant dung paper, scribbly calligraphy letter, an extra card, something about art dossiers and even remembers to tell you he’s having fun and offers a couple of web addresses to get in the time travel.
Rocking a plaid track suit, Dave catches up about an exhibit of postbox haiku and paintings at pal Mac Kobayashi’s goat farm and in Shibuya by dDesign and shares the story of the post box haiku and painting plus details of: Kathmandu, Nepal; Muscat Oman; The Vatican, and Olympia, Greece (including accompanying postcards of course) and riffs about importance of personal archeology and making things for future generations while drinking including coffee and jamu and digression about persimmon chutney.
Special ahoys to Gary, Beth, Arild, Jared, Erin, Sandra, Lance and especially you.
Note: gone “over the wall” for a haircut / yup legit barber for #daveo50 coif.
This fella Touse-san at a neighbourhood shop called 理容タカシマwhich has that “Lost in Showa” vibe i dig (his Dad was previous proprietor)… with a few Heisei updates obv.
Ergo: Shelves of old manga, TV (i asked to turn off), coffee pot, smokes and the like. See for yourself:
Hot, humid days these days… kept it cool whilst waiting. Then, outside to catch a bus at a stop across from this smiley little post office.
Now let’s see if bus is rolling during Obon holiday / yes!
You cant see my sharp haircut and wicked moustache so you’ll just have to dig my legitimate hemp mask.
Walking home from the bus stop…￼ this is my neighbourhood like I live in a Miyazaki movie… though I always think of myself as more of the Zatoichi type (though I skip the sword fighting and just do the part about rescuing damsels in distress, actually now that I think about it… I don’t do that part either, also don’t give good massages (usually)).
Walking home from bus stop / this charcoal wood siding is called Yakisugi (焼杉) / roasted cypress – resists rot, termites etc & renders fire resistant + water repellent. Used widely / lasts decades or centuries.
Anyhow, this is my neighbourhood Tsuchida, (Okayama, Japan). Next step: fresh up the wonderful bathtub for bathtime with the magical Ichiro Stanley / possibly listen to Jimmy Buffett, yes, I’m in that good of a mood.
Note: Some of this riff originally appeared in “real time” via FB social channel to the amusement of many (everyone loves a comically large bootle of hooch!) – shared here for posterity in edited form with several other topics included.
++ Confession ++
Well, i am at risk of irreparably damaging my reputation as a good resident of Okayama as it seems some library books are overdue.
I know! Terrible. Shameful breach of trust.
As such, i will finish this coffee (delicious by the way) and hop on the luxurious Uno Bus (seriously wi-fi, power outlets, clean, comfy, pay-per-stop) to restore my status as a decent human.
I’ve really let myself go off the rails – i’ll try to improve.
PS i will not blame this on this comically huge bottle of saké – seriously, 18 litres and came in a wooden crate. Just when you think Japanese people are all diligent and serious, they pull out this! i mean the logistics of shipping, lifting, holding, pouring alone are baffling
Checkpoint busstop (yes my life does look like a Studio Ghibli movie)
Did i mention the bus has great wi-fi, power outlets, seatback headrest covers, and pay-per-stop system? Uno Bus is truly great.
Also before leaving washed dishes, folded laundry, started rice, composted food scraps, fed rabbit, aerated kobo starter, refilled kerosene heater… and didn’t forget library books(!)
Ryoko’s out of town for 2 nights teaching a tree trimming workshop & stayed in a trad guest house with wooden bath. So cool. And she’s truly incredible (and doing great with pregnancy!)
As it goes… I’m riding the Uno Bus heading to Uno to stay at Uno Port Inn near where magical wife is teaching a tree trimming workshop. Though to be clear, in Okayama, i switch to the Ryobi bus.
Agenda includes: local Hot Spring bath; giant wild boar made of used plastic trash; fancy coffee and card writing; and reading Grant Lawrence’s Dirty Windshields (about time rambling with rock n rollers: The Smugglers).
First though, a stop at post office to mail more wedding thank-you cards & dropping off 35mm film shot at goat farm (supervised by Kris Krüg).
Update: on the bus ride, I listened to BC Hall of Famer Nardwuar interview Eve Lazarus including a Vancouver history/culture name check explosion including Aaron Chapman, Colleen Hardwick, the Beatles, Chuck Davies and more more more. Esp enjoyed AC’s Tom Waits-esque spoken-song.
Also enjoyed recollections of “beatnik“ coffee/jazz lounge scene – Worth noting that Allen Ginsberg performed at at least one of these places and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee recorded a legendary blues album at the Bunkhouse (which apparently “featured” topless waitresses).
Also, the post office mission was successful (including super sharp stamps) and letters are en route to several countries, the film developing project failed for the time being.
Now enjoying a matcha and jazz in a cool room.
Note: one great thing about rambling in Japan is hotels is pyjamas are provided. #handy Alas, smoking jackets usually aren’t (so packing Nepali red velvet vest).
Update: Stayed at Uno Port Inn which was a treat. Not fancy but they run a accommodation is a pleasant, comfy and unpretentious manner. My review (added to Tripadvisor and Google Maps):
Fantastic Location, Great Coffee, Excellent Staff
Location is fantastic with mere steps to ferry terminals and train station and bus stops plus lots of local art around. So handy for jumping off to art islands and/or getting to and from Okayama.
The staff was welcoming and very helpful. The lobby was chill and cozy and the patio was a treat.
The coffee is remarkable and the breakfast was very well prepared (especially nice on the patio).
Was just a quick one-night getaway (we live rather nearby) but made for a fun time. Note: The rooms are rather small but very functional and clean plus feature very nice sheets and pillows and Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathroom!
Oh!: The folks at UNO Port Inn sent me a couple of snaps they took of yer ole pal me and asked for feedback and the ok to share on socials. Solid marketing / community building. Voila, snap!
Also: While we went out in search of dinner using the map provided by UNO, we found places either booked or closed… this worked out great as we wandered down an un-inviting arcade corridor and found the smallest okonomiyaki place run by an enjoyable old gal who loves dogs.
Finally: Uno and nearby islands Naoshima and neighbours are laden with public art and run a continuous bienalle of some sort. While i traveled across by ferry to Naoshima for a coffee, art walk and a hot springs soak, i won’t delay the click by foisting the relevant documentation now but rather share this remarkable fish made from sadly disposed of polluting nonsense plastic crap sitting on Uno port park area. There is often/usually a wild boar as well / or but seems the inoshishi had the week off.
Refuse plastic (and recycle if you can’t refuse but really refuse/avoid/replace as its such garbage!)