There are many things that irritate me about life in Japan, but few irritate me more than the prevalence of mountain climbers here. Mountain climbing is practically a national pastime here (hence the booming trade in annoying Tyrolean hats) and I’ve never met a Japanese person who hasn’t attempted at least one summit. I hate them all, and do my best to avoid them, but they are everywhere.
I thought the Miko Household was safe from these depravations, until this morning, when I was awoken at 6 AM by the sound of the Sonbeam gargling in the bathroom. “Why are you up so early? What’s wrong?” I called out sleepily. “Nothing,” he replied “But I’m going to climb Mount Rokko today with my classmates.” “What?” I leaped out of my futon and switched on the computer to check the weather report. “Do you know that the temperature is going to be minus zero there? Do you really think it’s wise to go today? Why can’t you go some other day?” “I can’t. It’s the schedule.” “What schedule?” “The school schedule.” I spend several minutes interrogating him in this fashion, and he merely kept replying robotically “It’s the schedule. I can’t change the schedule” ( AKA “I was only following orders.”) He was determined to go. I could do nothing but flail around helplessly and see him out the door with one parting shot: “I hope you’re wearing thermal underwear!”
Right now, I’m staying home and keeping a hawk eye on the weather reports. I’m actually relishing the news reports tomorrow: “Group of students airlifted to safety: admit that they should’ve listened to their mothers.”