Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Wrong Shoes. Or Naked.


 For the first 18 months of life our dogs didn't sleep through the night. Hayate in particular liked to wake us up to show us how beautiful the sunrise was every single day. I took him for a 2am walk just to stop him from getting us evicted for waking all our neighbours before getting up again at 6 to go to work on more than one occasion. There were mornings when I was so tired that I burst into tears when the alarm went off. It passed eventually though and they started keeping quiet until the alarm went off. There were a blessed couple of months of rest... but then we had the great idea of moving to the 'burbs and now we can't get up later than 5:50 if we want to make it to work on time. The accumulated sleep deficit has left me feeling constantly light headed and vague. I guess I am ready for parenthood. I was sitting on the bus the other morning heading to work when I realised I hadn't brushed my hair or washed my face. I looked down in a panic to make sure I wasn't in my pyjamas. It will happen one day, I am sure of it. The combination of exhaustion and the multiple changes of shoes and costumes in Japan fills me with terror that one day I'll look down and realise that I am wearing my outdoor shoes in the gym or that I am naked at the swimming pool. It happens. 
This onsen is one of my favourites. There is a mixed-bathing section (pictured) where both men and women can bathe together in swim suits. We were relaxing there one day when a naked man wandered out onto the poolside. He stood, legs akimbo and hands on hips, pulling the sea air deep into his lungs. Then he lowered his gaze and saw a number of elderly women in water wings doing their exercises and his mistake dawned on him. He bolted. The thing is, it would be such an easy mistake to make. You go into a changing room off the lobby and one door leads out into the segregated, naked onsen while the other goes out to the mixed section. Men's and women's changing rooms are alternated on different days so while you may have taken the right hand door to nudey land on one visit, the next time you go it might be the left hand door. 

I have these moments of panic that are probably unique to Japan: Am I supposed to be naked here? Which pair of shoes and I wearing again?
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3 comments:

  1. Haha, yes. The shoe thing gets me all the time. At work there's a path to the gym that requires outdoor shoes. But once you get to the gym it's the indoor shoes again. But sometimes the gym is padded and tarped for guests at Culture Festivals, etc and you can just wear your outdoor shoes inside. @_@ gawrsh....

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    1. Just remember to keep your pants on and you'll be fine!

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    2. Truer words have never been spoken...

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