#54 Andréas, Shoji + Reeves


Temple: Joruriji – the start of the temples leading into Matsuyama, a city of half a million and the biggest on Shikoku. You are now supposed to be in the enlightenment phase and I certainly feel it as there are now signs in English at the temples from Matsuyama University. Simple but effective enlightenment.

Dedication: This is a temple dedicated to failed dates. Or it is from now on.

I met Andreas in Sydney. He’s possibly the best looking person I’ve ever been on a date with. He works as a lawyer defending children’s rights when they claim asylum. He was reading To The Lighthouse. He had an incredible flat with amazing taste. All sounds great but the date was a total washout and we just had no kind of connection.

I met Shoji in Tokyo. He took me to a Korean restaurant where he talked to the waiter for ages about my vegetarianism. Eventually I got a plate of potato slices with smiley faces drawn on them in ketchup. He was obsessed with Harry Potter and the British royal family. I was obsessed with Murakami and Studo Ghibli. It was never going to work.

I met Reeves in Auckland, we had some great wine at a nice bar and sat and watched the stars for a bit but then parted company. He was a doctor, very intelligent and knowingly arrogant. I’ve had enough of that for a lifetime.

Picture: A Japanese telecom slogan. Makes about as much sense as a British one. I also like this sign outside a coffee shop, it’s a good summary of the Japanese work ethic. A man who gave me osettai yesterday nearly choked on his tea when I said I’d taken two months off work.


There was a modern art museum that looked amazing I really wanted to go to. But by the time I’d done all the mountain passes, had tea with the kind osettai man and figured out timing for getting down the valley before dark I had to pass it up. Next time.