Nexis of all that is good and evil

Karatsu is cool for a lot of reasons; the beach, the people, the castle... But one thing that Karatsu really has going for it, that maybe only tosu can compete with in Saga, is its proximity to Fukuoka. Now, I am a big city kid at heart and I chose to come to Karatsu because it is so close to Fukuoka. When I first got to Japan I would go into the city 2 or 3 times a week to just hangout and drink coffee. You see, going into Fukuoka is made easier by virtue of the fact that Karatsu has one of the best deals going to Fukuoka (for 10,000 yen you get 18 --used to be 20-- tickets to ride bus) anywhere (the owner of showa bus company lives in karastu and it is an nod to his hometown --7'm not sure if it makes up for the fact that he has set up a gasoline cartel in the area and Karatsu's gas prices are 10-15% higher than everywhere else in Saga,... but that is another post--. If you do the math it works out to 600 yen a ride. So, figuring that you don't want to stay out past 11, or if you want to drink, the bus is a fine choice for you.

Somewhere around the middle of my second year I actually ran the numbers associated with the amount of money that I actually spent on my average trip to Fukuoka. You know the large starbucks cup'o'joe, the couple of pints of guiness at the standing pub, the dinner that you "might as well get since you are here", and low and behold I began to understand why I had been having a difficult time with money. So, in the budgeting madness that followed I had limited my afventures into fukuoka in the interests of increasing my adventures once I left here.

One by-product of this grand "curtailment" was that I stopped running into other people coming back on the bus also. I used to be a genuine social moment being able to chat with people in the karatsu area (alts mostly) that I didn't really get a chance to see very often, but for whom the will of the 1102 last bus had constrained. So, it was my pleasant surprise last night to board the 1022pm bus back to Karatsu after seeing a movie and run into not 1 but three other ALTs. And, the resulting conversation was great touching on eveything from Russian ex-hostesses, to the timing differences between lightning bugs in Japan and the southern US, to Charleston (South Carolina) shotgun home architure. Its funny how all these cool, interesting, people are all around us and yet time and distance just seem to get in the way of maintaining meaningful contact. But how funny, that a highway bus to a distant place that is fundamentally constrained by time would be a place that would allow these interactions to occur....

I guess sort of like a blog, with a person who is there, sharing themselves, for exactly one week.... I hope so anyway. Or, at least its free.