The transporters called me that the shipping charge would considerably exceed the initial estimate. (They had said about 140,000 yen at first but this time 210,000 yen !!) I had had them pack the bike and other items but they didn't effort to reduce cubage. Now I regret that I should have pack it by myself or asked my presence when they packed it.
Went drinking with 2 friends. We went to the same business school about 5 years ago. Both play active parts at each company. There is a great difference to me. We enjoyed very good Yakitori (Japanese style grilled chicken with a skewer) in Osaka.
Well, a lot of friends invites me to go drinking these days. I am very happy about that but most friends say, "This is the last chance to see you and I'll treat you." Or "Please come back alive"....Please don't say such ominous words (haha...) The coming travel is not an adventure but only a sightseeing tour. The only thing different from other Japanese backpackers is that I will be with a motorbike. That's all. I don't want to travel at the risk of my life and in the first place I don't have enough riding skill to do adventure. I have a lot of things to do in Japan when coming back and I have to be back unhurt for my family. Well, "adventure motorbiking" would appeal to surfers more.....
I bought new glasses. What I put now is made from Thailand. When I travel Thailand last year, I had lost a previous one and got it on the spot. But the frame and the lenses are both poor. The left lens easily comes out of the frame and they badly reflect diffusely. I had been thinking about changing them all the time because they are not proper to wear when riding.
I chose a frame made from shape memory alloy and kind of large lenses with UV cut processing. It costs a little bit expensive but eyes should be protected carefully. I never lose it again (T_T)
Another friend invited me to his house. He is a co-worker at my former company. I know both him and his wife. They entertained me with delicious kimchee pot dish (kimchee is Korean style of hot picked vegetables). Some neighbours and their kids showed up, too. We spent happy time and I stayed there.
Their apartment is so called "shataku", which is company's own housing built for the employees. The rent is low and most employees uses this system. Some people don't like shataku as they don't want to see co-workers even in private time and it's getting old fashioned nowadays. Companies also tend to sell unnecessary assets.
After breakfast at Iwasaki's home, I went back home by car. As I had already sent the motorbike to Paris, I am using the car these days. When I look back, it has been more than 12 years since I bought this car. Although the body and the electric circuit is going bad, the engine itself is still extremely good. This car, so to speak, has been observing a part of my youth. That’s why I don’t want to scrap it. But It would become only a money eater after I am out of Japan. (Car tax, insurance, safety check is required only if we keep a car) I have to have it buried tearfully. When I get back to Japan next year, I will get a new one (but second-hand)
Today I tried teaching computer to my parents. It is the first experience for them to touch a keyboard of computer. I want them to make progress enough to communicate to me by e-mail. In a sense, it might be reckless rather than my Eurasia motorbike touring. Anyhow, both can't operate even a video deck! But I must do it. It would be a bother and expensive to overseas-call my home every time to tell my good health. If they mastered how to do the internet, they could access my website anytime they like and ask how I am by e-mail. There are only 2 weeks to time up. It must be another challenge.
Cancellations of telephone, mobile phone, CSTV, newspaper, and considered travel insurance.
I compared 3 insurances of 3 companies. As for premium and benefit, to be amazing, these three are absolutely identical. Japanese storm of deregulation have not come to this field yet. After looking into the slight difference, I decided to buy JTB's insurance (JTB is the biggest travel agency in Japan). That is because the minimum benefits to be insured of JTB’s are the lowest of all. The total premium is 55,000 yen. Insurance money will be paid in case of my death, injuries, diseases, damages and losses or thefts of my belongings, and the cost of rescue operation. Of course the upper limit is set but I bought each insurance in proportion of the risk expected. I think it is a reasonable investment. Don't you think so?
My rental BBS board has been broken. I tackled the restoration almost half a day. Web page operation is really going to a lot of trouble and time-consuming. I do wish that no trouble is on either the motorbike and the computer on the road.
At night I went drinking with a backpacker who I had known in Thailand last year and talked lots of things.
Saw some other friends. They also like backpack-style travel. One is working at a factory and always takes a trip somewhere just when he makes enough money. That is his style. The other is now a housewife but she has just finished a trip for Africa for some week. His husband is very understanding, isn't he? We went to a 'family restaurant' (this kind is also peculiar to Japan, I think....) and talked how we are getting along to each other. Though I am going to a different ways to theirs, I understand their life styles and I though every person behaves with his/her own sense of values and we would be happy as long as we are able to make life according to our sense of values.
I am getting busy with the touring close at hand and am not having enough time to write this diary. I will make do with itemizing what I did today.
> Buy travel insurance
> Meet a salesman of a shipping company (Nittsu) and got a B/L (combined transport bill of landing)
> close a bank account
> Contribute about me to a popular radio program by e-mail
> Go drinking with two friends of mine at a "irori-yaki" restaurant.