+crowded world++japan++hokkaido++sapporo++may 17 2011

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MY life in Japan has always seemed to be a bit like Houdini in a death-defying act... whenever it seems it is about to end, that my time is up, my visa is about to expire without a sponsor to be found, suddenly, miraculously, I find a way to survive. For another round at least. I thought that Houdini had finally run out of luck when the ground started quaking back in March (Tokyo), and the waves started pounding (Tohoku region), and the reactors started venting (Fukushima). I thought my days in Japan had come to an end, when I hastily boarded my getaway flight to Cairns. But my Mum and Dad had other ideas, and they brought me back here. For another tour of duty. So it was tonight that I found myself wandering the concrete streets of Sapporo, the largest city of Hokkaido, after a 2-month hiatus. The convenience stores, Japanese girls on the street, Japanese hedge design. Futuristic postboxes, all those concrete canyons! Pachinko parlours with Japlish names, and cafes and restaurants with names in bad French. We went to a pasta place in a department store for dinner, and the staff were so nice it made me really miss Japan. I don't think I could stand another earthquake, though. I could physically survive it, I am sure, but I don't think I could deal with the nagging fear that another Big One could one day strike. Not even Houdini could live with that kind of uncertainty, lurking right below his feet...