Breakfast finished and the laundry hung to dry, I have half an hour to download photos before going out for the day. I reach for the card reader kept in the case containing portable, secure WiFi delivered to my hotel by Japan Wireless on arrival. Bonus, the handy bag is perfect for all my tech gear. The reader, however, is nowhere to be found. I am sure I haven’t moved it to a “better” spot, but it isn’t in the case. And it is driving me crazy.
After looking everywhere and getting more irritated by the minute, I find it. Guess where? In the (pick your favourite bad word) case. Neatly tucked behind the spare audio recorder batteries.
Yesterday evening I gave up looking for the tube of After Bite I last used on the Shinkansen. Perhaps I hadn’t put it back into my tote but accidentally left it on the seat. I had checked every pocket in that bag I don’t know how many times.
This morning, mosquito bites from a mountain temple visit two days ago are still driving me crazy. That, the missing lotion and the hunt for the card reader are wasting a lovely, sunny morning and making it infinitely worse than I want it to be.
Immediately after I wrote that last sentence I stopped.
I took a deep breath. And disregarding the fact that what I was about to do might qualify me for serious medication, I looked through my entire tote bag again. Of course, there it was. Exactly where it was supposed to be. Where I was sure I had put it.
I had looked there. Honestly. More times than I like to confess. Certifiable disorder time. A whole new level of crazy.
Or is it serious lesson time? Perhaps it merely reveals how often I look without seeing what’s there.
That’s even more true in Japan where much is secretive and hidden by design. For instance, no house numbers. A wall with a small window that conceals a door to a restaurant. Its discreet sign the size of an envelope placed some distance away. Enough not to immediately connect the two. In order to be welcome, you must know and be known. I noticed only because a well-heeled couple opened it and were ushered in by hovering staff.
Irksome, frustrating moments also remind me that most of what I find irritating about the world (discounting genuine disasters, injustices and unspeakable human suffering, of course), rests with me. No matter how many times I look at a thing, sometimes I need to look at it one more time to find it.