24 Dec 2013

[E:7] 1993 April 18 to 21: Beginning of the end of the project finding myself ~ Lessons from the re-starting ~

(Pre-proofread version)
日本語版はこちら(Japanese version is here)

When I listen to a particular song, I remember days I have listened the song which was my theme song in those days. Before coming to Australia, I could not speak and listen English at all. So, when I use an English song as my theme song, the content of the lyric often does not fit in my activities. For example, if I hear the "Call It Love" by POCO, I remember days reading a macho novel such as "a whistle will sound before long and then our youth ends (Yagete fue ga nari bokura no seishun ga owaru)" and, just running in the winter of the second year at the swimming club in my high school.

When I listen to "Just Like Starting Over" by John Lennon, I remember the days of the fresh start from Sydney, so it must have been the theme song at that time. When I was riding a bike, I was thinking about crap generally. I think I am a human mathematical and logical but, I remember the important things until die in sound and image. I may not remember whether I brushed my teeth in this morning, but I can recall old things endlessly when I look at the pictures and listen to the music of those days. After I entered the university, I figured out that this can be used for examinations at the university and my performance rapidly improved. I talk about this study method in another opportunity; I get back to the story about the east coast of Australia 20 years ago.

17 Dec 2013

[E:6] 1993 April 18 to 21: restarting ~ From Newcastle to Coffs narbour ~

(Pre-proofread version)
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1993 April 18, Fireplace around Raymond Terrace

Morning: bread
Lunch: bread
Dinner: Rice

Train $17

Today, I came near to Newcastle by train and started again.

Suddenly, a bolt o a rear carrier came out so that I fixed it with a wire. This fireplace is unpleasant as it is very smelly and there are huge ants.

ODO 37 km

12 Dec 2013

[E: 5] 1993 April 5 - 17: "Keep riding" ~Preparation for a fresh start~

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My body and mind were very tired. I arrived at Sydney and stayed at the house of my father's friend.

1993 April 5, Sydney, the house of OXXXka-san (X is a hidden letter)

Morning: Butter Rice
Lunch: Sandwich
Dinner: Home cooking by OXXXka-san's wife

I cannot write well as my right hand is set in plaster. After I went about 40 kilometres north of Newcastle, I was involved in an accident with a truck. It felt like I was dragged for a long time, and I thought I would die at that time . I thought I hated going back the way I came when I was looking out from the ambulance. I do not want to even look at a bike now.

DST probably 40 km
ODO 257.9 km

Birthday April ☆ YuXXko
Birthday April ☆ ToXXko

Fight in good spirits, even when hurt!
Good luck

8 Dec 2013

[E:4] 1993 April 2 - 5: Beginning of the journey and a farewell to the red bicycle. ~A Climax suddenly~

(Pre-proofread version)
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I walked to the town of Sydney to right and left. Prior to leaving Japan, 20-year-old-i thought, I would like to leave soon from Sydney. However, because I was overseas for the first time, I became wanting to see various things. Because I did not bring a guidebook, I asked tourist points with my awkward English, and walked around. However, I checked bicycle and camping supply stores, at least.

As one of the promises with my parents, I contacted "a friend of my father living in Sydney" and got him open a bank account. I brought some money that I had saved by washing airplanes as cash and traveler's check. The rest was saved in Citibank to withdraw from Australia. This is a tip of the trip abroad around that time, which was taught by a university student who had come to wash the airplanes. When I thank to the a friend of my father, I did not need to stay in Sydney any more. So, I crossed Sydney Harbour Bridge on April 2 to start round Australia.

The photo I put very first on the very first article was taken on the Harbour Bridge at this time. My pose and fashion remind Hikaru-GENJI (a Japanese musical idol at that time). And, this photo is the first and last photograph of this bright red Japanese bicycle.

4 Dec 2013

[E:3] Prologue 3: my "dot to dot" ~ Landed at Sydney ~

(Pre-proofread version)
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I write the final prologue as my preparation except budgeting and a process until my arrival at Sydney. I will hand over to 20-year-old-me from the next. Here we go!

Around the time of a cherry bloom, I went to Australia from Narita (Tokyo) airport by the plane. An older boy who lived in the next room of Sanraku-so came to see me off to a station. I could not depart from Haneda Airport where I went through many nights for the airplane washing work. However, Haneda was not an international airport 20 years ago, so I could not be helped.

I had worked the airplane washing job until the end. Because I did not know well the situation in Australia, I wanted to save money as much as possible. During the day, I went to the embassy and libraries to collect information for going round Australia by bicycle.  Some documents said desert becomes below freezing, so I bought a wrong sleeping bag for winter mountains (Koyama-kun: Thank you for buying the bag from me). I went to a local bicycle shop in the neighborhood and I learned the maintenance of the bicycle while helping his work. I became able to to fix tires and punctured tubes quickly, I also learned how to adjust wheels using brakes and how to replace of a chain. I learned also the adjustment of gears, but this did not go well, so I did not touch much on it while I was twirling Australia by bicycle.

3 Dec 2013

[E:2] Prologue 2: Lessons on "labor" and "social life" ~Squeezing the expenses of my bicycle trip~

(Pre-proofread version)
日本語版はこちら(Japanese version is here)

Before moving to a story in Australia, please let me write another prologue a little more. This time, it is the story of squeezing my travel budgets, but it is really lessons learnt on "labor" and "social life" and the story of this knife.

Last time, I wrote a story taking the consent of my parents, but my preparation had already been underway by that time. First, I started saving my travel funds at the beginning of my preparation.

To start the trip in April, I had to save about 1.5 million yen (i.e. 15,000 U.S. dollars) in six months. I had a passion, but because I had no experience and skill, to save 1.5 million yen in the six months, a hard physical labor is only my choice. A part-time work at a liquor store would not let me save 1.5 million yen in the six months. I was looking for a night-time work that gives me more than 10,000 yen a day. I found a vacancy of "aircraft body wash at Haneda (Tokyo) Airport". Sanrakuso of wooden mortar where I lived is close to Haneda Airport and the job gives me more than 10,000 yen as daily wage, and I can use the bath for free. It satisfied the needs of me who had no money and no bath. I applied the job from a public telephone immediately. They said "come here from the next day or today," so I started making travel funds.

1 Dec 2013

[E:1] Prologue 1: "Trigger the project of finding myself" ~ How I decided to go round Australia by bicycle ~

日本語版はこちら(Japanese version is here)

At first, I would like to write a story about the time before going to Australia for the bicycle trip as a prologue. This time, I wrote "the process how I decided to go round Australia by bicycle".

It’s 1992, and I am in Tokyo at the age of 19. I live on the second floor of Sanraku-so, four and a half tatami size (about the size of BMW Mini) room in a wooden mortar apartment. There is neither bath nor telephone, but it has a community toilet. There is a bay window, which I have called a loft. Friends say "Do not be optimistic!".

At that time, there were both good and bad things, but it is an age that I could not progress as I expected. As I do not want to remember, I am not talking about these days. So, please do not ask me about it ;-). It was the time I was interested in theater and film, and wanted to work in such a world. It is also the era I piled a sleeping bag and tent on my bike and traveled all over Japan.

Now, I may be taking an "easy-going" attitude, but my friends call me "the man is hotter than the Kondo match (a Japanese pop-ideal 30 years ago who was showing a passionate attitude)" in those days. My attitude came merely from "finding myself" as a youngster. Now, when I see younger people try to find themselves, I think that "it is not necessary to try to find as you are already here." However, I was also crazy about "A project finding myself", so it probably needs to have such a period when we are young.

I think that there are many themes of "finding myself" and mine was "how much I achieve my plan without compromising." I was a self-satisfying bastard, not working for a world peace, but instead I was challenging the limits of my abilities. The reason I was traveling all over Japan is because of my plans I made during my high school days: I decided "to travel round Japan by 20 years old, to travel round the Australia by 25, to go Africa north to south by 30." Of course, I enjoyed homeless journeys. I could not go to Okinawa, but I went around all of Japan by the age of 19 as planned.

I am often thinking like "What can I try next," while sitting on the bay window aka loft. Friends often come to stay at my 4.5-tatami size-apartment. I liked a song "the bridge of promise” by Motoharu Sano (another Japanese singer making songs youngsters like). One day, one of my friends bought the CD single, and we had a binge while playing the CD in an infinite repeat mode. Then, everyone get tired and is falling asleep. A refrain of the song "You up to now are not wrong! For you, I make the bridge of seven colors to cross the river" has been infinitely repeated in our heads. The next morning, "because I’m tired of this, I'll give you this CD," said the friend who bought the CD and left the CD in my room.

I think that I was humming "You up to now are not wrong!" Because I will have a legitimate employment, I was thinking "Maybe I go to India next" before going to be employed. There were many events that triggered my determination to go to Australia, but it is basically because of "project finding myself". I remember that I wrote "80% is not enough, so I will do 100%" for the short essay of the employment examination. My mother was saying, "80% is enough." Now I know she was right. However, because I was carrying out "project finding myself uncompromising", she did not convince me.

It is vague because such a thing happened 21 years ago, but perhaps when I was humming the song from Motoharu Sano at the so-called loft, I remembered three goals I had decided in my high school.

"To travel round Japan by 20 years old, to travel round the Australia by 25, to go north to south through Africa by 30."

"After all, the next step should be Australia."

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