Calling on mates for a favour, they saved my sorry arse, and I am ever grateful. In fact, things only got better once back in Hiroshima. Nikki, Rod, Colin and Joe lend me a couch, feed me, and take care of me. After a wee nap, once more it was rocking time.
More friends massing and with miraculous timing, the 2006 summer Toukasan festival kicked into full swing. Nothing short of a full scale parade, complete with street dancers, blaring megaphones, sizzling fresh snack foods, various game stalls, dressing gowns - I mean yukata - and of course Kirin and Asahi beers on tap! The carnival days and bender nights went on, punctuated with reviving Vietnam coffee.
Like a fire fading in the night, the festivity wound down. I thanked my cherished friends, bid farewell and sayonara. The Nozomi bullet train pulled away, bound for Tokyo once again, while I contemplated. My geographical destination was fixed, but what of my soul? Is home really a place to hang your hat? Will I ever meet these kinds of friends again...?