Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Sorry There aren't any pictures in this one...I'll put up more soon:
I'm sitting upstairs in my room when all of a sudden I hear my host mom yell, "CAROLYN, YOUR IN TROUBLE!!!"
I go downstairs to see what's going on and am told by my host mother that she talked to a guy that worked at city hall who said that they had to report me to the immigration office for not renewing my alien registration.
I looked outside the window at the brewing storm because, huh, I forgot to mention that there's a TYPHOON today.
I throw on my clothes (which included a white shirt) and run out the door to my bike. I jump on my bike and pump the pedals so hard all the way to this convenience store 15 minutes away (less than 10 minutes the way I was riding) and then precede to take probably the worst passport pictures ever released on the world (My hair stuck up everywhere as water dripped onto the floor of the photo booth, no smile, and this look of horror as I waited for the automated voice to just get on with the job already.)
It wasn't until i get out of the photo booth that I realize that my shirt is now completely see-through... but there was no time to worry. I jump back on my bike and ride all the way in the opposite direction at record speed. Such a record speed in fact, that I don't notice the two and a half foot long snake crossing the path in front of my bike until the last second. "HOLY #$^&!!" I yelled. The only thing I thought as I decided that I would just run over the snake instead of stopping was: "RUN OVER THE HEAD, Maybe it won't bite me then!!!"
The snake, however, rears up, I scream and lift my feet in the air, I get past it, I continue on at the same speed until i get to city hall. Once inside all of the people at desks look up at me as I stomp in and crash into the chair, spraying water everywhere and holding my shirt out so that it isn't see-through.
I fill out all the necessary paper work, the guy remarking on how I'm soaked.
I leave.
That's when the real fun weather started.
I don't know if you have ever ridden your bike in a typhoon...or rather, typhoon-like weather... (I don't know if this can actually be considered a typhoon).
There are pretty much no cars on the road. The rain pelts right in your face so heavily that it feels like you're getting hit with hail stones. You can't see more than about 5 feet in front of you because of the rain and wind. The wind... It's so strong that if you're riding against it, your bike would not move, or, as in my case, if it hits you from the side it's hard enough to knock you right over... I kept having to get off wait a few seconds for it to temporarily die down.
People in the few cars looked at me incredulously as I fought all the way home where I was scolded by my host mother for being forgetful and where I realized that my shirt and skirt had gained at least 4 pounds each before I rung them out.
Apparently I might be getting a call from immigration to question why I was over 40 days late in renewing the registration... hopefully I won't get sent home?


  1. Carolyn peddling through a typhoon, like Dorothy in Kansas trying to run from the tornado, but Japan-style.
    You continue to be amazing in your head-on confrontation with LIFE!

  2. ...This is probably terrible for me to say but I SO want to draw and panel this into some sort of comic. This seems like something out of a comic book I'd read. :D It's so great!

    Let me tell you, Carol, these are going to be the memories you look back on fondly in your old age. You know, the ones you exaggerate for your grandchildren. 'THAT SNAKE WAS TWENTY FEET LONG. I ALMOST DIED'

    Actually, are snakes poisonous in Japan? I think I'll have to look it up.

  3. Oh no, Carolyn! What a nightmare of a day! Glad you didn't get swept away...

  4. p.s. Glad to see another post up. I've been waiting anxiously for more Japan updates!

  5. hye carolyn, im aiman from malaysia! I'll be going to japan too via AFS ! I'll depart on the 2nd of december. I'll be staying there for two weeks because im 15. Hope can meet u there!

  6. That does not sound like fun at all D: