This Christmas I took the opposite of a vacation. From relatively warm Osaka, where I had been riding my new bike everyday and wrapping up my projects for this year, I went to Vancouver, where it snowed nearly every day, riding for pleasure was of the question and I spent a week doing manual labor.
Aiyana and Jackie are opening up a restaurant on the drive called Bandidas. They got the place sometime in December and hope to open in early January. I guess when we got there they had already been working on the place nonstop for weeks, but it still seemed like an impossible job.
Somehow, the magnitude of the project and the fact that we were all there, just feed into our family's mania for work. We pulled most of the standard moves - working all day without eating, working into the wee hours of the morning and thinking that it was still like 11 or 12, working for seven hours when we meant to just drop by for an hour or two.
I didn't think it was possible when I first got there, but now it actually looks like they might get it done in time. Most amazing is that fact that, with the exception of some electrical work, it will all be done by family and friends for no more than free food and booze.
So, for another year in a row, I worked on Christmas. But this time, it really felt like Christmas. The whole world was blanketed in snow and there were Christmas carols playing everywhere, not just at Starbucks.
But hey, there's nothing like painting, cleaning and stripping glue off of tables with toxic goo while wearing cold, wet shoes day after day to make you really happy to get back to the quiet warmth of your Osaka apartment.