Friday, November 2

Japan 3 - Showers Expected

At this point we’ll be able to handle anything out here. After last night’s “shower gate” there surely can be no culture shocks left that our system can’t brace itself for. Let me explain now that I have more time (right now we’re in the Media Center at the Sugo Circuit in Japan while Rodney and Charlie scout the course on DR-Z125s). On the wall stood a bunch of mobile shower heads, beneath was a bench and a bucket, and in front of it all was a big dish which held a bottle of shampoo, soap and conditioner. Easy. But next to it all was a giant hot spring—essentially a natural hot tub, I guess—and none of us can figure out what the role of that tub is. Do you get in there naked and hang out (pardon the pun) after taking a shower? Well, Charlie and I took our showers last night (at separate times of course) and decided when in Rome, so I jumped in there and enjoyed the rejuvenating powers of the hot water (I guess) for a few minutes. Seriously, the water was so hot I was afraid I’d be out of commission for a few days, and since I brought my girlfriend here…. Okay, suffice to say it was odd and the one other Japanese guy who was in there with me made sure to immediately cover himself with a towel as soon as he got out of the hot tub. Hey, maybe he was intimidated by the American.

There was also some other room and some other pool, of which I never could figure out what they were for.

At night we all struggled our way through to get some sleep, since we went to bed at what was about 9 am back home. We forced it and eventually got up as late as we possibly could, 6 am, and went on a hike around the facility. We took turns sliding down this massive kids slide down a mountain, and then hiked some trails. At 9 am a taxi showed up to take us to Sugo, and here we are now, with the boys out taking some laps and me nerding out in the Media Center. More in a bit.