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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi's Rambling No.544

Every major holiday, my apartment building in the rural mountains is packed with families and groups from the city who want to spend some time in nature. They use this apartment as a vacation home and the regular residents, one of whom is me, call them ‘Visitors’. Most apartments in the building are used by Visitors and usually vacant. Since only few apartments are occupied by permanent residents, we have a quiet living environment. But once a holiday comes, Visitors that are four times as many as the residents rush in and destroy serenity. They are exceedingly in high spirits on the day of arrival, talking and laughing loudly, and their children are running tirelessly at the hallway. Both the communal spa and gym are full. The jacuzzi is crammed with shrieking kids. My usual heavenly jacuzzi turns into hell. When I once heard a mother who was soaking in that hell cry out ecstatically “Oh my, I am so happy!”, I felt pity wondering how disastrous her daily life was. Visitors, especially families from the city, wouldn’t obey the rules here. They often have a barbecue or light hand-held fireworks at the parking lot and are stopped by the caretaker. They let their kids use machines at the gym although a notice tells machines are adult use only. At the spa, they let their kids swim under big no-swimming stickers. They let them dive headfirst in a shallow stone tub over and over again. Needless to say, they let them pee on the floor inside the spa like animals instead of leaving for the bathroom at the locker room. A group of young women drink cans of beer in the jacuzzi. Visitors also take their pets here although this building is no-pets-allowed. They unleash a dog at the nearby park. They even dump cardboard trash beside the street. There is no end to their lawlessness and it’s hard to tell they break rules intentionally or they just can’t obey them. It seems to me that they come here to enjoy breaking rules. They annoy me so much in so many ways that I always wait for a holiday to end and for Visitors to return to the city. The closer the end of a holiday comes, the quieter Visitors become. In the end, they go back to their city life dejectedly with their head drooping. They pay an upkeep fee of this building every month to use it merely for several days in a couple of times a year. The total amount of money they spend for what they don’t use regularly is huge. And with their money, this apartment building is well maintained and the communal facilities are operated, which I use every day. Since I’m an accustomed giveaway-taker, I have no right to complain their bad manners. After they’re gone, I monopolize the whole spa and have the gigantic tub to myself again. I spread my limbs in the jacuzzi alone and say out loud “This is the life!” On my face is a malicious smile like a villain…

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