i went to a barbeque with some Japanese folks the other day and in the process met up with a guy from Stillwater Minnesota. Imagine the odds of that. Here we are in the middle of the armpit of Japan and i meet up with a big tall guy from Stillwater. What's more, he knows/knew Liz Hajek and her boyfriend Josh, the only other two people I know from Stillwater. Creepy eh? What's more, he was a small time pyromaniac in his youth...just like me. Still even more creepy, his name is Andy, which starts with an A... just like my name does. To top it all off, he teaches English to Japanese people...just like me.
All in all the similarities were striking and eerie, I will in the future avoid this evil twin doppelganger with all of my ability, for fear that he weasel his way into my love life as well.
Umm, actually that's just a little bit nuts. However, it was great to talk to someone from the same part of the world. I love my canadian friends, but someone from the upper midwest can only really connect with another man from the upper midwest. It's just how it is.
Coincidentally, I completed my total Iowa/midwest revival day by watching the movie The Straight Story by David Lynch. This is a movie about Alvin Straight, the guy who rode his lawnmower from Iowa to Wisconsin to see his ailing brother. While some of the bit characters were kind of rough and amateurish, the movie was really superb. I say that particularly for the way that it portrayed Iowa as a land of subtle beauty. I was made intensely homesick for the flatness and the corn and the wide open expanses. Nagano is great, but rather claustrophobic. You can't just hop off your bike and expect to be able to take a piss anywhere on a lonely country road. Here there's always some shrivelled old lady digging a hole or picking some fruit or wielding one of the souped-up weed eaters they use to mow lawns here. I miss the corn, I miss the sky and I miss the thunderstorms. I'll always appreciate where I come from, even if I would be bored to live there again.