Monday, February 05, 2007

The Night Bus of Evil

The night bus is evil. It sucks you in with promises of luxurious reclining coach seats and the adventures of travel, but above all, a cheap ticket to somewhere far far away, all made possible while you rest and sleep.

They lie. Except for the cheap part. After the first time, you swear never, ever again, but something keeps bringing me back, like the glutton for punishment I am.

Night buses, let me state again, are evil. The whole premise that you fall asleep on departure and wake bright and refreshed is null and void. Instead, you contort into uncomfortable positions, try desperately not to encroach on your fellow passenger's minuscule personal space and have the pleasure of being woken, if you've been lucky enough to sleep in the first place, every 90 minutes for a wee and a cigarette and yet another omiyage store. To add to this whinging tale of woe, (because really, that's all this is - I got off the bus in Osaka at5.30 this morning, and I'm stuck at school AND I'M TIRED, GRUMPY AND SORE SORE SORE) encourage the majority of the night bus shenanigans during the winter months to far away snow fun that the powder monkeys clamour for.

But, should you persevere, you will be rewarded for your sacrifice. This weekend, Jeff and I headed up to Nozawaonsen, for a weekend of throwing ourselves carelessly off the side of mountains, onsens of sulphurous water that are barely cool enough to dip a toe in, Apple Kit Kats, and pigeons with wheels (if I ever find anything on the web about these, I promise promise to post a link).
When we arrived early Saturday morning, there had been 20 cms of fresh powder, and the same happened on Sunday night. There was a brilliant gully of powder between two runs that was fun to do again and again and again and as one who has never been boarding through powder, I am an instant convert. It's like falling in pillows, but it takes concentration and muscle (well, from me anyway) to turn through it and avoid the trees.

I may not be able to move my legs fully at this present moment, and anything that requires stomach muscles is a lesson in why sit-ups are good for you, and the night bus may well be the most hellish thing I have had this misfortune to have experienced of late, but the endorphins you get out of gunning down the powder on the side of a black run makes you forget all about 10 hour bus marathons.
Next weekend: Hokkaido. It's the third weekend of a potential 5 in a row of boarding and I fear it may be the point in which my body turns into nothing but a mass of highly sensitive pain receptors. Apparently whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

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