Got up in the morning and had a nice breakfast with people downstairs. Met a friend Trevor or Trenton or Tess something and we decided to explore Sapporo together. We walked around seeing the various tourist sights like the TV tower, Odori Park, the brick government building, the Clock Tower (which was very small and disappointing despite how much it was advertised. Then we walked to the Sapporo Brewery, which was a little ways away. We went through the small cute exhibit they had and then got to the bar. Ordered the sampler and tried three different kinds of beers: Original, Black, The Hop. I think those were the ones. We mixed them to make different tastes, which was okay. Then I got a classic and didn’t like it as much.
Looking at the timing we left, and since we were hungry we got a quick bite to eat (which I remember being not that great in some food court).
Returned to the hostel to pick up my bags but then I realized I was late and I half ran to get to my train.
Showed up there exhausted and definitely didn’t make it on time. The subway to the train is on the other side of a mall and you have to go through a maze of stores and what not just to get to the train station. Anyhow, even though I missed my train I got the next one to Engaru, waited a while and left.
The train must have hit something because we stopped for 30 minutes, and despite the Japanese reputation for being on time and never late for anything I still got to Engaru late. I had been keeping in contact with Sean and what a great couchsurfing host he turned out be, he was waiting for me at the station. What a good guy. So we drove back to his place in Saroma and he gave me some leftover curry he had. Had a beer, chatted a bit, and went to sleep.
Sean is from Alaska by the way, teaching English up in Saroma but not in some organized institution, I think he was working just as an individual.
And somewhere along the way during this day I lost my bookmark and wrote this eulogy:
Today I lost my bookmark. Well rather I know where it is, and I do have the time to return and retrieve it, but it is time to lose it. Simply enough, it is a ticket to a ride at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA. The day I got it, I confessed to a girl that I loved her, after a long walk on the beach and half of the drive home. She muttered something back to me that I didn’t hear, and we just kept driving in silence. I was half glad to have just said it, and partially disappointed to have not heard what she said. Years later we hooked up and I asked her but I think she didn’t remember. That ticket went in the armpit of so many books and literature. It became worn from me playing with it and sticking it in between my lips. It spent a good four years in Moby Dick, like a paper Jonah, slowly making its way over the pages. Finally it carried me through On the Road by Jack Kerouac, which I finished in Sapporo, Japan, and now resides in a book shelf in a hostel. Who knows if the bookmark has been removed or is even used for further reading, or if the book is still there. Sayonara.