I booked a hostel last minute, on the train to Tokyo, after a scheduling error meant that I couldn’t crash with my friends at their Airbnb.
I was a little bummed. I was looking forward to catching up, and was worried that anything in the area would be out of my price range.
I found a hostel within walking distance of their location with good reviews, and booked it. I arrived in a typhoon, rain soaking through my rain jacket. It was a cozy Edo era house, retrofitted to be a guest house. Someone met me at the door and helped me in from the pouring rain.
One of the first things I noticed, despite being cold and wet, was that the house was shockingly beautiful. I am hopeless when it comes to architecture, but it was obvious that this house had history. A stones throw away from Nijo castle, this 130 year old house had been remodeled to better accommodate travelers. The eeves were wooden, wide, and old. Parts of the wall had been removed and replaced with glass, so that you could actually see how houses of the era were built.
Perhaps due to school starting, and perhaps due to the impending typhoon, there was only one other person staying there. After a quick tour, the guy working asked if I wanted to stay in one of the private rooms for free, since no one else was booked for the next few days.
So, I got a traditional tatami mat room intended for 3 people to myself for 3 nights, and still got to spend plenty of time with my friends.
I usually got back to the guesthouse around 10 to immediately fall asleep. The night person would be there, watching songs from Glee on YouTube and drinking whiskey on the rocks. One night, I hung out to watch a few numbers.
I think I am someone who focuses on the negative. It can be a useful trait, when you’re a problem solver, trying to hone in on what in a situation needs to be fixed. There are obvious downsides. I wanted to post this as synecdoche for general gratitude- I am a lucky person. Sometimes bad things happen for no reason. But sometimes good things do too.