At around lunchtime today, as I was sat in my personal boiling chamber trying to get on with some work, there came a knock at my door. Hoping against all hope that it was the repairman arriving three days early, and pretty certain that the Jehovah Witnesses wouldn’t call on a Saturday, I threw some clothes on and answered the door. As I did so I was met by the charming features of a young girl who was selling a variety of fruit and fruit-based products on a door-to-door basis, and who tried her very best to ignore the fact that I was stood there slowly melting in just a pair of boxers and a vest top. So valiant were her efforts in fact, that I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I would rather pluck out my eyes than pay ¥6500 (around £50) for 6 melons, even if they were ‘the sweetest melons in all of Japan’. Instead I constructed an elaborate ruse that I was leaving Tokyo for a couple of weeks on a trip, and would be turning off the fridge to save on electricity. I now expect one of two things to happen: either someone attempts to rob my flat over the next two weeks, assuming it to be empty; or I get a knock on the door in a fortnight’s time, and am informed that there is a lorry load of melons waiting for me out front. As I don’t have the required GDP of a small European country to pay for said amount of melons, and because any prospective robbers would collapse upon entry of my premises, I’m hoping for the former.
In today’s Yoga lesson I finally translated the two words that the Sensei keeps repeating as: inhale and exhale. This certainly made life a good deal easier, although sadly the third most used word is still Sam-san, which is inevitably followed by ‘easy version is okay’. I like to think that I am gradually getting suppler, but the fact that I needed help in sitting crossed-legged with a straight back, whilst everyone else lifted himself or herself off the floor in the lotus position, was a sure sign that there is still a good way to go. At least by the end of the session I was left feeling euphoric, although this probably had less to do with enlightenment, and more to do with the fact that we are advised not to eat for 4 hours before the start of the lesson.