After our island adventure, it was time for me to head back to Miyazaki. By this point, the route back from Jen’s is a familiar one. I know what I need to do to make it as painless as possible. After a quick snack for breakfast, Jen drove me to the port. We hugged and tried to part without thinking about the fact that we might not see each other for another year or more. She’s heading back to America for sure, her Japanese adventure finished, but I have no idea where I am going to be come September. I might be in Colorado, I might be in Japan, I might be in a third, not yet considered place.
Placing those thoughts firmly out of my mind, I boarded the ferry and found myself a patch of carpet near one of the windows. I have discovered that a combination of reading, motion sickness medicine, and lying on my stomach is the best way to avoid getting seasick on these ferry rides. I was doing just that when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A group of old men and women were basically having a little picnic nearby and they offered me some food. Thus conforming to one of the old axioms of life in Japan: if an old person sees you, they will eventually offer you food. It might be a few days, but sooner or later, you will get food. Said food often comes in forms you would not expect (and sometimes cannot identify), but it is (almost) always edible.
I thanked them and joined their picnic for a little bit, doing my best to make polite conversation. Normally, I should have offered them something in return, but I had no snacks or food to share with me. I also was having a very difficult time understanding their “old people Japanese”, and mostly just ended up nodding and making listening noises. Eventually I excused myself to return to my stomach-lying and book reading. Sometime during the trip I got up and walked a few laps around the boat, but the trip was otherwise uninteresting.
When I arrived on Kyushu, I went to grab a taxi, only to discover there were none waiting. I hesitated for a moment, hoping one would show up, but when none did, I did the (for old Jodi) unthinkable: I called a taxi. In Japanese and everything. There were a few communication issues (namely my pronunciation of the word “ferry”) but eventually we reached an understanding. I hung up, feeling very accomplished.
Then a taxi showed up. The taxi was from a separate company and the driver ended up just staring at my awkwardly for a few moments like, “So….taxi?” I had an internal debate as to whether I should hop in this cab or wait for mine, but eventually my desire to avoid the guilt of the other taxi showing up and not finding me there won out. I waited. It wasn’t much longer until the taxi I requested showed up to whisk me away to the train station.
After a short wait there, I hopped on the train and settled in for a long ride. The ride was boring, but I was able to watch a few TV shows on my iPad to pass the time. I managed to get home around 3 pm, do some laundry, and vegetate for the rest of the evening. It was just the small break I needed.