Losing my itinerary

Nine years ago, I was teaching English to Japanese housewives, office girls and bored salarymen.  A popular drill exercise was turning statements into questions. 

Tom:  Yes, I like sushi.

Pretty student:  Do you like sushi?

Tom:  Yes, I will go out with you.

(Pretty student leaves room crying)

It`s Q and A in reverse.  My current tour has followed a similar pattern.  

On the bullet train to Kyoto.

Midway through the tour, I experimented with a moustache.

I say: “We`re meeting at 7”, then two people jump in with: “Tom, what time are we meeting?” 

I announce: ”We`re meeting in the lobby”, anxious faces shout at:  “So, where are we meeting?”.

Perhaps I am being harsh, after all, it is my job to answer these questions, and I do mumble instructions – sometimes in Japanese. And quite often I start sentences without knowing       

On a future tour, I want someone to ask me: “What is the key to happiness?”   Then if I can remember my preceding statement, probably something about chocolate peanuts, my life will be sorted.

Final night in Chinatown, Yokohama.

This tour has become a blur of surreal experiences – eating locusts in Matsumoto, drawing a Moomin`s penis in Takayama, singing In the Navy in Hiroshima and telling people 3 times each day: “We are meeting at 7 in the lobby”.

But I know I will miss my group tomorrow morning when I return to Tokyo and life amongst the city hobgoblins.  Tomorrow I have to try to make an itinerary for my own life – much harder than making one for others.

Tomorrow, no-one will ask me, “Where are we meeting?”.  And there will be no lobby to meet at.  So, I`ll probably get pissed.

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