Irishman Walking (Stage 1 Chapter 7)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Travel  |  House: Booksie Classic

Irishman Walking is about my walking the coastal roads of Japan through a series of summer, winter, spring, and autumn stages. Stage 1 began in Cape Soya in Hokkaido in the summer of 2009, and ended in Noshiro City in Akita Prefecture seven weeks later. This summer (2012), Stage 8 started at Shibushi Port in Kagoshima Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, and ended in the city of Fukuoka six weeks after setting off. Stage 9 is planned to start from Fukuoka City this winter and will end at Hiroshima in January 2013. The stage is planned to last for five weeks.


24 July, 2009 continued: At last the road signs told me that Habetsu Town lay just two kilometers further along. In terms of time, with the load on my back, and the slow but steady pace, that meant twenty to thirty minutes more. The cold soft drinks that Michiko-san gave me more than an hour earlier came to mind once more. I was not able to drink all of them. One still remained, but no longer cold. It was as good a time as any to sit down in a shade for a couple of minutes to rest and to enjoy the last of the gift. It was the shade of a large tree that stood just across from a koban (police box), and where my backpack lay. In Tokyo where I lived, there were so many police boxes. This caused some of my Irish friends to refer to the place as being like a police state. Then again, there were so many public houses in Ireland that it was a wonder they did not need more police.

To the north, where a blanket of clouds had hid the sky yesterday, was perfectly clear and hot. It felt good to kick off my boots and let the sun dry my sweaty feet. I could feel a tingling feeling on my face as rivulets of sweat dripped off my chin. My T-shirt was saturated in sweat. It crossed my mind to take my T-shirt off and spread it out on the ground before me to dry. But then I felt that it was too near to the police box for my liking. The last of Michiko's liquid gifts, loaded with vitamins that I could not feel the benefit of, still added to that moment of comfort beside the gnarled bough and thick somber leaves overhead. Just as I was starting to get some stuff down into my tattered notebook, a police car pulled into the parking space at the police box. “Fucking hell! Talk about bad timing”, I mumbled under my breath pretending not to notice the car.

There was one middle-aged, uniformed occupant in the car. Thoughts of that donkey’s old British television series ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ entered my mind. And like the caring policeman in that old television series, the policeman waved his hand to me in a friendly manner as he got out from the car. "Why don't you come inside out of the heat and rest for a while?" he said in Japanese. “Thank you very much!" came my quick reply. The strong sunrays were beginning to be felt, even in the shade. Inside the police box an electric fan was running flat out. "Sit down there," he said pointing to an old cushioned chair in a corner by the entrance. "Thank you!" I had no time to say anything else, for he disappeared through a curtain to another room. I could hear two voices speaking. "A woman’s voice?” I thought. All that I could make out being said was the word 'kori' (ice).

Perhaps because of my country’s history, few Irishman (myself included), really felt comfortable in the presence of the police. Some of my Republican friends saw the police force as a necessary evil. As for myself, there were a few encounters with the Japanese legal authorities down through the decades. There were also many unfortunate cases that had shown just how far the Japanese legal authorities were prepared to go to secure confessions, coerced confessions. Suspects were forced to plead guilty, on the premise that their confession be seen as the first step toward rehabilitation. Since the Edo Period they had relied on confessions to take suspects to court; cases based on solid evidence were a non-issue. The question: ‘What was the meaning of life’, had, in Japan, something to do with not losing face.

For just about everyone in legal authorities, success meant even stepping outside the law. How frightening! In Japan the conviction rate in criminal cases stood at 99.8 percent, which begs the question, how could that be? In court, acquittals were considered harmful to both prosecutors and judges’ careers a like. Therefore, there was always a presumption of guilt even before the case began. Traditionally in Japan, according the lawyer and former judge, Kenzo Akiyama, confessions were known as the king of evidence. Especially if it was a big case, even if the accused had not done anything wrong, the authorities sought a confession through psychological torture. In recent years, however, human rights groups had criticized this practice, which often led to abuses of due process, not to mention the conviction of innocent people. Consequently, calls for reforms in the criminal justice system increased, especially when Japan adopted a jury-style system in 2009. Also, there was the possibility to allow victims and their relatives to question defendants in the courtroom if necessary.

He did not appear anything like the police I had come across or observed in Tokyo, but had an air of gentleness about him. “There was nothing stronger in the world than gentleness”, to quote from one of my favorite classic films, ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’, and which I truly believed. After a few minutes, the policeman returned and poured some tomato juice from a small can into a glass containing ice and placed the drink down on a little table next to me. "For you!” he said pointing at the glass. "Oh! Thank you very much. It is very kind of you." Such kindness from the police was just about unheard of in Tokyo. “It was that whoever he spoke to just now had ice at the ready.” Just as I was thinking this, a smiling face of a woman popped out from behind the curtain. "Hello!" she said in Japanese. "My wife!" the policeman said shyly in English. I smiled back at her but she disappeared just as I was organizing my thoughts to say something. “Perhaps she was in the middle of preparing lunch” I wondered. I could hear the sound of vegetables being chopped, and water being poured into a pot.

A clock on the wall told me that it was nearly twelve-noon, to make to make a move. “What is your name?" I asked him. "Miyoshi!" "And your wife?" "Miyoko!" "So you live and work here! Right?" I said in Japanese. "Yes!" he told me with a cheerful, but shy grin. "Tote mo benri desu ne?" (Very convenient, isn’t it?), I said with a little laugher. I knew that policemen were kept busily on their toes. And clearly he had returned for his lunch, which would soon nearly ready. "Well, it is getting late for me, and I have a long ways to go before the sun goes down. I had better be on my way." My only request, before hitting the road again was to get my water bottles replenished, which he gladly did for me, with ice added for good measure.

For sometime on the road bound towards the town of Tomemae I pondered over my little meeting with the policeman who turned out to be kind and considerate to this sweaty, thirsty tramper on the road. A real Dixon of Dock Green if there could be one in real life. My own hard-boiled egghead attitude towards the police force at large made my think that this humble man was in the wrong job, even when retirement looked him in the face. Then again, it was very wrong to paint everyone in the legal establishment with the same brush.

Further along the way I called in at two large stores, called 'Davas' and 'Dahatsu'. Both seemed to be chain-store fixtures in these parts. Since the loss of my pullover a while back, I thought about picking up an inexpensive one at one of the stores. The stores were quite large and looked like they might sell just about everything, not that I wanted much of anything. Even when the temperature did take a bit of a dip, usually it was still warm enough, to relax comfortably, in a T-shirt. Still, I really needed a new pullover, for sometimes after the sun went down, the temperature had dropped considerably. To my surprise, the stop in at the stores proved a waste of time, for neither of them stocked clothes.

25 July, 2009: After a late breakfast in a place called Yokohama I was back on course heading south along the coastal road. Unfortunately, a light drizzle competed with the sweat to keep my clothes damp for much of the way. After a few kilometers of tramping, I could see three windmills, none of which turned. With my little bike-watch in hand and some road markers I was able to calculate that it took me twelve minutes to tramp just one kilometer. Not good! I guess while tramping along and thinking about all sorts of stuff was very much like driving a car while talking on a ketai (pocket phone). For want of an excuse, the backpack straps dug into my shoulders and uncomfortable boots no longer fitted my bandaged feet. Then again, it had been said that a bad workman blamed his faults on his tools.

On the south side of Tomemae Bridge a road sign pointed straight ahead towards Rumoi and Obira. Shibetsu and Soeushinai. To the left, Kotanbetsu was also in that direction on Route 239. A study of my tattered maps told me that Route 232 and me were to be companions for the next few days. Up ahead a second road sign told me that Rumoi and Obira were forty-one and twenty-nine kilometers away. I told myself that if I could reach Obira before sunset, it would be a nice way to round of the day.

In the distance to my left a long line of windmills could be seen. This time only one of them appeared to be a sleep. As I approached, I could see upon each of these beautiful revolving giants the name: 'Tomen'. A Japanese friend had told me that the beautiful monsters were imported into the country, which surprised me. For a country firing rockets carrying satellites into orbit, did not construct their own homegrown wind farms.

From time to time I passed the solitary figure of a workman holding two flags, one red and the other white, for directing trucks on to the sites and on to the main roads. Other than that, they looked bored. Unlike in Tokyo, these flags were almost as big as the men who waved them. Though I could not see or hear construction work going on, I sensed that the sites were near. Since landing in Hokkaido I saw quite a lot of roadwork being done, not to mention quite a few building sites, too. A word the Japanese had used for work on roads or on construction sites was ‘dirt-wood business’. In some respects foreigners working in the education business in Japan, like teaching English conversation, had much in common with those working on building sites in particular. For example, the work was insecure, or part-time, no proper health insurance, unless you they bothered their arses to signup for the basic government one. Also, because of the part-time status financial benefits, like, holiday pay and bonus’s were a non-issue. In both lines of work, an element of freedom existed, if you did not worry too much about the long distance future. Even on the road, like I was now, those long rainy periods were considered bad times for construction workers, no work meant no income, or for me, little progress by way of distance covered.

After an hour of tramping in the drizzle, a bend in the road brought me once more near to my old friend the sea. The sea and me were best of friends again. An interesting looking black and yellow road sign read: 'Continuation Curve and Running Note.’ For whatever the reason, some of the words on the sign brought to mind two superb music professors I once studied under in my American college time in Texas and in California in first half of the 1990s.

To my right, and a little beyond at the place the waves broke, a group of giant rocks poked out from the sea. Some distance away the rocks gave the appearance of a shipwreck. But as drew near and stopped to rest could see the rocks more clearly. And to my left, at the rear of a cluster of steep hills the giant windmill, untouched by a gentle breeze, still slept.

Another tiny sign by the roadside told me that I was approaching Okimi Bridge, but for the life of me there was no bridge to be seen anywhere. Perhaps it referred to a phantom bridge, a bridge no longer there. What I was able to get from this stretch of Route 232 was the breathtaking view of the corals in the waters below. So beautiful was the sea and strong the feeling as if being invited to take a dip in it. Japan was one of the few countries that could boast some of the most diverse seas in the world. There were said to be more that thirty thousand known species of marine life, boarded by the different seas and the Pacific Ocean. These included marine mammals, animals, seabirds, and of course fish. Not to mention a continuing number of new species of fish and sharks being discovered, too. One reason why this is so, according to Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, was the varied environments existing in Japanese waters. The waters around Japan was roughly eleven times the size of the landmass, and was home to coral-rich reefs, and trenches some eleven kilometers deep.

Just then as I was enjoying looking down at the coral-rich shoreline, the sudden but gentle sound of a female voice stopped me in my tracks. Slowly approaching along the pavement from behind was a young woman riding an old bicycle, or what the Japanese called, ‘mamachinko’ (mother's bike). Like an old friend, the girl appeared genuinely happy to see me. Strapped to the back of the bike were the ad hoc trappings of a carefree camper. We made the customary greetings and exchanged names and travel information. She told me that her name was Michiko. It was the second ‘Michiko’ I had met in as many days. Hence, to me she became Michiko M, the first letter in her familyname.

Michiko M struck me as a very different kind of Japanese girl. For example, she told me that she liked to travel alone, and shunned any of the brand name items and luxuries that young Japanese ladies grew accustomed to having. Being a bit of a Socialist at heart myself, it was not hard to see that Michiko M's thinking lent somewhat to the left. Even the e-mail address, which she gave me when we parted, made mention of the handsome revolutionary figure, Che Guevara.

Actually, I found myself rather drawn to the girl’s magnetic personality, and respected her for her energy, humble generosity and enthusiasm. She had a strong yet gentle personality, kind of stress free, driven to succeed. She was in good physical condition, which was a crucial component to outdoor activities, such as, long distance cycling, andwalking, though I sometimes wondered about my own physical and mental condition. On both our faces were the dirt, and sweat, and sunburn signs that came with roughing it on the road. I guessed I looked a hell of a sight to her, for soon she asked me if I had eaten. When I told her that I had an eye open for a shop or restaurant or some place to get something at, she offered me sweet bread, which she dug out from the load tied to the back of her bike. The Japanese just loved their sweet bread. Personally, I would never even think about buying it, but these were not normal circumstances.

Even though Michiko M was out of work, or unemployed, or between jobs or whatever you called it, she really was living her life right at that moment. I guessed the present was what counted on the road. For example, during the many times I remembered about something in the past, I remembered about it right now, in the present. Those who made plans for their future did so in the now, too. Without sounding, too, Amazonian, this made living every single day, as fully as possible, all the more important. Perhaps I may have wobbled and tergiversated on some points, such as, the need for discipline, but I was firm on determination to do just that. Thought I was sure some of my Irish friends would argue, laughably, that I was hardheaded.

My e-mail address was quickly written down and handed to her in the hope that we would meet again some sunny day. During the short encounter, I really felt comfortable around Michiko M in a way that I had not experienced with other Japanese women in recent times. If I had been riding a bicycle I would more than likely have gone along with her for a while. Before parting, there were the usual hopeful words about our paths crossing again in the future, a few photos were safely taken, and waves of the hands, and so on. And then with that, Michiko M was gone out of my life. When she was gone, I wondered how she was able to look so happy, like nothing bothered her. Thoughts about her would linger in my mind for much of the remainder of the day. Not long after she had cycled away I came to a small restaurant, but did not feel like stopping. “If only I had known that the fucking place was so near”, I mumbled to myself. “It would have been a nice opportunity to enjoy a meal and a decent talk together”.

I considered myself to be quite knowledgeable about people, but there was something about Michiko M that I could not quite put my finger on. I could still remember well how she stood straight with her hands fixed to the bike. Her eyes blinked slightly, too, as she spoke. I felt this was because she thought deeply as she spoke to me slowly in her calm voice. I found her to be fearful, yet resolute, strong, yet delicate, savage, yet tender, Perhaps the Japanese at large would have thought of her as strange. She was perhaps all of these things, and more. Perhaps most Japanese did not seek adventure with a capital A’, but preferred the comfort and certainty that existed in their daily lives. Then again, I was no psychologist or sociologist, and I was sure there were many qualities that all kinds of people shared.

The Japanese at large had a strong sense of family, which brought with it feelings of security, not to mention, emotional and financial support, too, if necessary. Whilst, if I was not mistaken, I felt that Michiko M and a strong sense of individually. The Japanese were dedicated to their family, which helped to strengthen the family institution in general, and which all civilized countries bent over backwards to uphold. I guess it was here where I envied the Japanese most. This was perhaps because of my own fragmented family background. Kind of like dirty washing left out to dry, and trying to gather it up only left chips on my shoulders for the straps of my backpack to fall in to.

The Japanese were also good at adapting to different situations and circumstances. This was most definitely seen during the ‘Occupation years’ after the Second World War, or the War in the Pacific, as the Japanese knew it. During those years the Japanese behaved like model citizens, and worked hard to rebuild their country under an American light. Of course, the Japanese work ethic was no secret either. In some ways, too, they gained respect for their efforts in reshaping Japan. For me Michiko M appeared to have adapted quite well to life on the road, for her journey, as I was led to believe, was not a short one in time or in distance.

Of the many little things I noticed about Michiko M was her sensitivity towards me. It was not quite the same social sensitivity that was quite widespread in Japan, especially among women. The Japanese were very concerned about what other people thought or felt about them. There was a desire to be respected! This ‘concern’ might be said to be a kind of insecurity. In one sense, I did not see this in Michiko M, who, during our short meeting, had showed much concern about my well being; me, a ragged stranger, a bum of the roads. Then again, Japanese women were, at large, thoughtful and sensitive towards others. Though, I could think of a few other less favorable attributes, too, like ‘stubborn’ when the time suited them. To paraphrase David Reynolds, “Older Japanese women [seemed] convinced that their way of looking at the world [was] the correct way.” Whether she wanted it or not, I had much respect for Michiko M.

On a final note, divorce and separation, though rare, was on the increase in Japan, especially among the upper ages. Though far from being up in her years, Michiko M was no spring chicken. Therefore, I wondered if she had been married, or had children, or if she was running (or cycling) away from something? So many little things could change the course of our lives. But sadly for me, my own quest to get somewhere along the road told me I would never find out who she really was.

Someone once said you could judge a person by the kind of books they read. Perhaps it would be an insult to hold this as true. Either way, a book that I just finished reading was called 'Swearing', a social history of foul language, oaths, and the profanity of English (by Geoffrey Hughes). In my childhood, I used to love looking at the pictures more than the story. My grandmother used to enjoy telling people that I was easily pleased. Then again, I could not remember ever swearing back then, for the fear of God was drilled into us should we step out of line. The book that followed that one was called 'Beer' (by Cregg Smith). It was a history of suds and civilization that dated from Mesopotamia right up to the development of microbreweries. The only thing that these books might relate about my character was that I liked history. Very true! Though, according to a good number of anthropologists, the development of beer six thousand years ago played apart in settling the wanderer. I some respects, I was still very much a wanderer, and far from settled in both body and mind.

One thing that did bother me was the level of swearing that I had been doing on the road, especially the over use of the work, ‘fuck’. Like, fuck this and fuck that, and for just about any fucking thing! “Why did people swear?” I wondered. Was it some reaction to some kind of stress? “Why did using a taboo word make us feel better?” Virtually everybody swore consistently throughout life, from beginning to end. Right? It was not just the uneducated, or those of a lower socioeconomic class lifestyle who swore on a regular basis. Rather, the use of taboo words had no social boundaries. Everybody swore, past and present, from the famous, the infamous to Tom, Dick and Harry on the street. Both Henry VIII and his daughter swore exuberantly.

Like I said, I read a very interesting and informative book some while back on swearing'. I learned from it that swearing encompassed a rich variety of modes, such as, sacred undertakings, heroic oaths, competitive foul language, profane and blasphemous curses, taboo insults charged with racist 'hate speech', or sexual and excremental 'four-letter' words, like, 'fuck' or 'fuck off', etc. To quote from the book: "Fuck originate from a royal injunction at the time of the Plague, when it was very necessary to procreate; it was a code word in which the letters stood for "fornicate under command of the king" Alternatively, the etymology of the word (fuck) lay in a police abbreviation: ‘for lawful carnal knowledge. Last but not least, according to the OEDS, the first recorded insulting use of the word, ‘fucker’, was in 1893.

In my normal life in Tokyo, if my life there could be called normal, I seldom swore to myself, and never in front of others. Well, almost never! Of course, almost all societies retained some taboos against swearing and other social taboos. Some might have argued that on the road such things were permissible, in that there was no one about to feel offended. Conversely, in Tokyo, or elsewhere were people congregated, farting, or pissing, was barely acceptable, whilst, shitting, or fucking was totally unacceptable. To some extent, too, the use of foul language in public would be seen as the same, or quite inappropriate to say the least.

One the road, I found that all sorts of things got up my nose or under my skin, especially the miserable weather. The Japan summers were usually hot and humid, which was bad enough, but so unpredictable had the weather become, that sometimes I even found myself shivering. It did not seem to matter if I was well fed or well rested, for many mornings began with a bit of foul language. Then when the sky cleared and the sun came out I would feel good again, for a while. For the sun, too, would soon become my enemy, hence, more swearing, the thirst for more water, the pain from being sun burnt, and so forth.

Then there was nothing like the peaceful, rural atmosphere of the coastal roads when they were free of traffic. The many times I tramped alongside the coastline, how calm and merry I felt. Such was its captivating beauty, and in quite a few spots, that I was bombarded with new impressions and feelings. In such instances, I found myself wanting to sit and write about experiences in my notebook. But when the road wound inland, as it often did, away from the sea, it was only a matter of time or some little happening that I would find myself swearing once more. As to the traffic and the long faces of the drivers or the passengers in the cars, I would do my best to remain calm for fear of an accident happening.

The road towards Cape Ofuyu was notoriously busy with speeding motorist. It was no secret how being behind the wheel changed a person’s character. As to being careful, it was all a matter of ‘look before you leap’, as the saying went. One good point, traffic was for the most part, less congested than in and around Tokyo. Still, during those uneventful periods when bouts of boredom set in, the hours on the roads felt longer to get to wherever it was I was headed. Then there were the times when the traffic just disappeared all together. Apart from a one or two fisherman out on the horizon, it was a wonderful, and to some extent weird experience tramping along kilometer after kilometer of costal wilderness. In his book, ‘Japanese and Japanese Americans’, David Reynolds wrote: “There [was] a special satisfaction to carrying all one’s needs for survival in the backpack on one’s back – food, a tent, a sleeping bag, a camping stove, and so forth. Again, on this level, there {were] no Japanese or Japanese Americans or Caucasians; there {were] only we humans surviving in the wilderness.”

It was not hard to understand why most of the people I met on the road, traveled alone, myself included. The pace you moved at to go where, when, and how far, and without the need to consult or worry about other tagging along. I was free to stop and talk to whomever, and whenever, I liked, without the interference of anyone with me. Therefore, it was a joy to get away from the "normal" life in Tokyo. Life in Tokyo, or any place were people congregated, was similar to visiting, or stopping at someone’s home, you had to live by their laws, play the 'rules' game.

Some of my academic years were spent studying in the Bible-belt part of America. Once I was pulled up by one of the other students for using God’s name in vain. “Please don’t use my God’s name in vain”, he said. I think the taboo line I used was, “God damn it” about some little matter important only to myself. The very same fellow was not overly amused when I told him that I was sorry and that next time I would use: ‘fucking hell’ instead. So perhaps I used swearing as a kind of defense, and I felt better for it afterwards.

One would think that being on the road would give plenty of time to learn how to manage their stress. Actually, if you were not careful you could feel quite helpless. Stress was not something to be simply brushed under the carpet and forgotten. Besides, there were no carpets or friends on the road to turn to. Stress had to be dealt with alone, and I found that I had a lot more control over it than I might have otherwise though. However, my problem was, how best to manage the stress when it showed its ugly face. Clearly, adopting a pattern of healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits, not to forgetexercise, were good stress prevention tactics. What better regular physical activity could you get than my walking or Michiko M’s cycling long distances? Of course, this was with plenty of stops for rest in between. All of this would help to buildup the energy and resilience needed to deal with life’s hassles and demands, or in my case, life on the road. Unfortunately, the importance of setting boundaries so as not to overextend the body and mind was not so easy to keep tracks of as one might think.

In the town of Onishika I called in at a Seicomart convenience store to use the toilet there and to buy a 500-milliliter can of Sapporo beer. I set outside watching the cars and trucks go past. Some of them pulled into the store's car park to get something. There I tucked into the remains of the sweet bread Michiko M gave me earlier. A beer and sweet bread for lunch! On the road again a signpost told me that Obira was fifteen kilometers away. I knew from my maps that the Bouyoudai Campground was a couple of kilometers short of Obira town center. What I did not know was that the campground was also a couple of kilometers up a steep winding narrow road that overlooked the main route I was on, and the town of Obira. It was not the most recommended of ways to end a long day of tramping the coastal road. Still, the thoughts of a hot shower soon settled any concerns I had. The first thing I did when I reached the summit of the hill was to call into the campsite office to pay the costs. Then it was to get my tent pitched and to see about the badly needed shower. It would be good to get out of my sweat-damp clothes and into something clean.

With the shower and washing of some clothes soon behind me, I took a stroll about the large campsite area to see if Michiko M had camped there, too. Or at least the ghost of Che Guevara had reawakened. No luck either way! The sun now gone and my day over until the morning, an element of depression crept over me. Free of my heavy backpack I retraced my steps back down over the winding round towards a building complex below, which I took to be a hotel or spa. From above I could see numerous tour coaches pulling up outside it, and elderly people stepping down from them. As I got nearer I could see that it was indeed a hotel and spa. "Good! I should be able to get something to eat there", I told myself. It would have been nice to have eaten and talked with someone. Yet, a part of me knew she had more than likely choose to pass on through Obira.

Sadly, there were no signs of Michiko M, or the old bike she had been riding. Perhaps she had given Obira a miss, for the steep climb up the winding road to the campsite would have put many a traveler of. Her choice of travel added to my interest in her. That slow old bike she rode, was unconventional for long distance cycling in any weather conditions, even on the best of roads. Then there was the simple or humble way she dressed. Walking, jogging, and even cycling were the least expensive of outdoor exercises or activities to enjoy. However, all in the name of looking 'right' people, especially the young, spoilt the inexpensive aspect, by forking out vast sums of money for the latest fashionable, tight fitting and colorful gear. This willingness to dress right, as they saw it to be, was more prevalent among women than among men.

At the hotel I settled on a light dinner, with two beers. As I ate, I found myself thinking a lot about Michiko M. "Yes! She must have cycled further on. Where to though?" I thought as I started on the second bottle. I would have done the same if the time were not against me to stop. “No! It couldn’t be helped. Camping down for the night was best.” I told myself as feeling my spirits pick up again. I felt sure that I would bump into her again, somewhere. Of in the words of the wartime sweetheart, Dame Vera Lin, "don't know when, don't know where, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day."

Submitted: July 17, 2013

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