This past weekend was a three day one, so some friends from Tokushima and I drove to Beppu, a coastal city in Kyushuu which is very famous for onsen (hot springs).
We spent a lot of time naked and bathing in naturally heated water, looking at the eight jigoku or hells (geysers and bubbling mud with small parks built around them), and wandering around Yufuin, a small, beautiful tourist town.
I also experienced my first mixed onsen where we got naked and soaked in super hot mud in the foot of the beautiful mountains (while trying not to laugh at naked men), and Doctor Fish, where you put your feet into tanks of fish who eat the dead skin off your feet.
Anyway, as we were planning this trip, Harry, an English boy who lives in the inaka of Tokushima, decided it was his mission to creep me out until my spirit broke and I was left sobbing in the corner.
He tried his best, with threats of rubbing his junk on all my possessions, sending me covers of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and even using the word ‘spawn’, which is horrible.
I retaliated by saying that I would wake him up by pouring pancake batter on him and rubbing it in tenderly, and somehow it became a running joke.
We couldn’t have a conversation about the trip without one of us mentioning batter, pancakes or toppings and the other three people going on the trip got increasingly nervous.
As you may be aware, I can be a little bit stubborn at times and since this joke had gone on for so long, I sure as hell wasn’t going to back down.
So I slipped a packet of pancake mix into my bag and picked up a few eggs at a convenience store. Y’know, just in case the moment presented itself.
And it did. So beautifully.
After a night of izakaya, beers, karaoke and dancing, Sam and I went for a wee pre-bed onsen, and when we made it back to the room, Harry was already in bed and close to sleep.
How could we not? We nipped down to the kitchen and mixed up a bowl of batter (we also boiled the leftover eggs to have as a snack), before returning to the room and somehow managing to take all his boxers without waking him.
We put them in the bathroom sink and unceremoniously dumped the pancake batter all over them, giving them a little stir just to be thorough.
We woke up the next morning as Harry pulled himself out of bed, and could barely suppress the laughter as we waited for his reaction.
When we finally heard his “oh”, the giggles broke out, and when he walked back into the room we just about fell out of bed laughing.
He was a very good sport about it, in fairness, and he did congratulate us on a prank well done.
He did also, however, inform us today that he is now down to 6 pairs of boxers in his wardrobe, and I fear that his revenge may be regular updates on his going commando.
Just in case though, I will be covering all my electronics in cling film every time I visit Tokushima from now on.