Monday, February 15, 2010

So Long Sweetness

    Our last day in Japan was one of relaxation and bliss.  When we woke up in the morning we went to a hot spring bathhouse in Kobe.  This was slightly outside the city tucked away in the hills and off a few small roads.  When we walked inside we needed serious assistance from the woman working the house because this was a system we had never worked.
    Public bathhouses are a common experience in Japan.  In fact when we were actually in the bath I saw a few pairs of mother daughters and many women came with friends.
    But let’s backtrack.  We were required to leave our shoes in a locker by the entrance, since you cannot walk into a home or certain spaces with shoes on.  We bought towels that were about the size of a dishtowel and walked upstairs where there were two curtains, one blue and one red.  We went in the red one and were luckily correct.  This led to a locker room filled with naked Japanese women.  So okay, we knew this, and we all came because we don’t really have any issues with nudity, but at the same time we had never done this before.
    So slowly we began to take off our clothes until we were left in our bras and underwear.  Then there was about a five second pause in which we all looked around for the person who would be first with the big reveal.  We sucked it up and stripped down.  Within five more seconds it wasn’t weird anymore that we were naked.  In fact I was watching so much around me for what I was supposed to be doing that I didn’t even realize we were all naked anymore.
   First we had to shower off before getting into the bath, which was a process of sitting down on a seat, filling a bucket with water, and a series of knobs that released water.  Apparently I must have looked lost because the Japanese woman next to me pointed out the soap to me.  Loves it.
    Eventually we stepped into the bath that was filled with steaming hot, brown water.  It was immediately comfortable but we didn’t really know where to sit or what to do so we just sort of picked a corner and watched all the other women.  They were all staring at us and we were all staring at them.  Basically, Japanese and Americans have very different body shapes and body habits.   But once we got over the beginning awkwardness it was a very leveling experience.  I wanted to talk to all the women in there because when it came down to it we were all women and we all can understand each other.  In that moment I really felt like a woman in my own skin and proud to be so.
    Eventually we had to get out because we were over steamed and pruned.  Another Japanese woman had to help me figure out how to dry myself off with the towel that we used to shower in the beginning.  But at that point I was less embarrassed because my body was so relaxed and warm.  I felt like my muscles were melted inside me.  Heading back out into the cold weather was actually enjoyable after being so warm.
    Our next stop was to get lunch at a steak restaurant to get Kobe steak.  This was the most expensive meal I have ever personally purchased in my life but man was it worth it.  First of all the anticipation of this meal was amazing and made it feel like we were really getting a full meal out of our purchase.  The chef was cooking in front of us with such precision and care with everything he cooked-from garlic slices, to vegetables, and finally the big finale-our steak.
    This steak needed nothing.  You pick it up, you put it ever so gently into your mouth, and BAM HEAVEN ON YOUR TASTE BUDS!  This steak melted in your mouth—literally.  We ate the steaks with our eyes closed because we wanted to focus solely on the taste.  Bite after bite of orgasmic flavor.  I never wanted it to end.  But it had to somewhere and I just tried to savor that feeling for the rest of the day.
    We had to head back to the ship that night and leave Japan.  It was sad to leave our first international port that was already so important to us.  At least we had the opportunity for a day of luxury before we shipped out.
    And with only two days at sea we are docking in China tomorrow morning.

More adventures to come.

I hope you savor your moments as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment