Deer loving, Calm Living

Nicholas Quirke was struck by the contrasts in his day 26 February 2020. It started in pain with his now frequent attacks of Sciatica really hampering him. He was going to the Nara Park and his concentration was on getting there and walking through the pain rather than focusing on enjoying himself and on his journey. As a result he made a couple of now familiar errors, getting on the wrong train and getting off at the wrong station. He followed they Google map to Nara rather than the park and found himself in the seamy side of of Nara and needing to navigate a bus journey. Despite being adept at this now, he discovered that the maps only gave him the busses on this occasion in Japanese and he was at loss as which one to get on. He consulted a passenger and they affirmed he was on the correct route but once they turned off the straight route he was expecting, his inner voice screamed ‘Noooooooo!’ He lept off and ended up walking the rest of the way. The pain in his leg was starting to ease but he was feeling fed up by the the time he reached the park. Miraculously the sun had come out and once he saw the deer roaming free and friendly on the paths his spirits started to lift. The interaction the herd and individual deer insisted upon really calming him. The deer were a little cheeky and wanted to investigate what was in his bag and even tried to chew the wire that was charging his phone. He was also delighted to see that they would bow in a very polite fashion in the hope of getting some food. Nicholas had some nuts that he shared with them and it encouraged a rush of attention, one deer just Incessantly licking his hand and then tried to bite his thumb. It was charming, delightful and any bad feeling completely evaporated with the petting and attention he was able to give them. He visited the Temple there and was awed by a centuries old monumental wooden gate, its faded and weather worn colours attracting his attention. He felt very happy and his mood did not abate, even when he had to call on Peng , who had recommended a soba noodles dish for a late lunch, because he couldn’t find anywhere. Peng found a couple that might be suitable, but on arriving at one it was shut. He still felt relaxed and at peace, deciding he would return to Osaka and pay another visit to the neighbourhood Vegan restaurant he had discovered the night before. As he had not eaten since the morning he was now really hungry. However, once again, he found the restaurant shut. This put him a sulk and he bought a rice triangle with pickled plum and returned to the hotel, to moan like a child about his negative feelings to Peng. He remembered the glorious parts of the day and that he thought was what mattered, the pain, the hunger and his minor frustrations meant nothing compared to the joy the deer gave him and the conversation he shared with his friend. He packed his case once again in preparation for a move the next day for one night in a new hotel where he was going to experiment with an unconventional Style of Japanese lodging.

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