September 14, 2009
As happy as I am to be in a decent sized town near a major metropolitan area, a weekend trip to the remote town of Odai made me think going all Walden on my life wouldn’t be so bad. What Odai lacks in civilization (about 11,000 people, though you’d never be able to guess driving around the narrow alleys) it more then makes up for in natural wonderment. Whereas Nabari seems to have carved out a place for it to standout, Odai seems more lost among the carefully crafted forests stretching out forever. It’s gorgeous, and it almost makes me more than willing to live with a single Max Valu to be surrounded by it.
I went to Odai to participate in a rowing competition. Given my athletic history (a blank sheet of paper), I consider it a rousing success that I only broke the boat twice and nobody received any massive facial injuries courtesy my oar.
Rowing right resembles a mini-game in Mario Party. All the rowers need to be paddling in unison for maximum speed – when done correctly, rowing looks very pedestrian. But once you are the one in the boat, you realize how tricky this whole “timing” thing can be. I spent the majority of my first half-hour in the boat nearly slapping another person’s oar and “crabbing” (code for letting your oar go too far under the water so the handle nearly clotheslines you). This resembled boxing more than rowing, except I was sparring with an inanimate object. Who was beating me.
Eventually, I got good enough at rowing so that it didn’t look like I was desperately trying to swat a very large fish. Unfortunately the boat didn’t want me to succeed whatsoever. The first boat featured faulty leg holders, forcing my team to switch over to another boat. This surely explains our last place finish. Later on, in another yellow boat, my seat came detached, causing me to lose control of my paddle and having the rogue oar try to smack me out of the boat. I don’t know how I offended boat-kind, but they were out for blood in Odai.
Killer boats aside, a great time in a beautiful place out in the country. Almost made me jealous I didn’t live somewhere similar. Until I got home and realized I needed bread, and I only needed to walk five minutes to get some instead of a ten minute car ride. I heart civilization.