Being unemployed is shrinking my world. With far more free time but far less money than when I was tour leading, I no longer contemplate nipping overseas for a couple of weeks; now I rarely wander much more than a mile from my guesthouse.
Today was an exception. Disappointed at missing out on a job I had set my hopes on, I needed a change of scene. I went to Okubo, only 160 yen away on the Sobu line, home to Japan`s largest Korean community. I had heard a lot about it but never had the chance to explore it properly. So in true Korean tradition, I sat in Tullys coffee shop for 4 hours.
The combination of coffee, manga and chocolate cookie lifted my mood slightly, but when I eventually got back to my guesthouse at 7pm the darkness had descended again. I felt very low. No job, no income, no girlfriend. In baseball terms, I was 7 down in the 8th with 12 runs needed off the last over.
Unwilling to face human company, I decided to avoid the communal kitchen. I headed straight for my rabbit-hutch room to sulk in the straw. Except I couldn`t open my cage; I`d lost my room key somewhere in Korean.
I`m now sat on Sobu line again heading back to the night lights of Okubo. I`m smiling this time though. My own foolishness has cheered me up, and now I have new, exciting problems to ponder, like where on earth am I going to sleep tonight?