On my last entry I think i spoke of going to Nara the following day with Atsuko. It was a beautiful 1 hour train ride and the town was quaint with an old merchant house area. They have one of the largest Buddhas in Japan in the temple on the hill. Tame deer beg you for treats which they sell as "deer biscuits". The town of Nara seems to be against cigarette smoking in public, as their are signs posted around and people around town hand out little tissue packets with the universal circle slash cigarette and cartoon characters of deer. A lot of these towns are into textiles and nice cottons and washclothes, towels etc. it is hard not to just buy it all up (but managed to a little). We walked around the temple and had a great and simple lunch of soba with mackeral and pickles. There was a light rain falling when Atsuko left to catch her train; I stayed behind to poke around the shops a bit more.
On my way to the train station an hour or two later, I stopped in a convenience store to buy some water and one of those fabulous B12/caffeine drinks I had come to love. I was in line and there were some Japanese people in front of me trying to communicate in English. I heard the lady ask for "Mentos" (those weird little soft mint candies they have back in the states). I laughed a little to myself (but slightly outloud) and she turned around and to my surprise, it was a Canadian tourist from Vancouver, B.C. who I had met a few days earlier in an exclusive tea shop a few blocks from my hotel in Kyoto.
It truly is a small world.