We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. — Anais Nin

I’m not gonna lie. This is definitely a problem of mine. Being a writer never helps. I’m constantly wrapped up in daydreams, some less realistic than others. And I am always wondering, ‘what if?’ And so, for the fourth time, I’ve moved halfway across the planet.

Yup! Back in Japan. Back to blogging. I’ll be better (again I say this. I will TRY this time.)

But this time I live in the country. I’ve never lived in the country! I’m a city girl, through and through. I know you know. Even if you wouldn’t say it to me, we both know you know.

And now I live in city about the size of my suburb, surrounded by Strawberry fields and a ring of mountains in the distance. It’s not helping with the daydreams.

Fortunately, I’m so…what’s the best way to say this….confident, yet mildly terrified and stressed out about driving, that I’ve been super aware of what I’m doing in the car. (Yes, I have a car. It’s rental, it’s tiny, like shorter than I am, and it’s boxy and I kind of hate it, but love it too.) And I have to have a car, not because its the country. There is a train; compared to Yokohama, it’s a pathetic little thing, with trains every 20/25 minutes and only two directions to go in. But as we have already established, I am a city girl, and Yokohama spoiled me. Anywho, I NEED a car because I have 10, TEN, 1-0 schools. TEN!!! Wait, one more time, 10!!!!!!!!!!

Yup! Three elementary schools, 6 kindergartens, and a nursery school. Yeah….yup. I don’t know how to get to most of them. But that’s what GPS is for. (I do know how to get to the ES I go to almost every day. So as far as that goes, I’m good.) But two of the ES are straight up in the mountains. Like, they don’t think my little-motorcycle-engine car will make it up the road if it snows. (I learned to drive in snow…I’m not too worried about snow, but if there is ice, I’m not sure the car is heavy enough to keep it from sliding down the mountain.)

But because it’s in the mountains, there are cows! Yeah i know that doesn’t make sense. It’s Japan, what do you want? COWS! And this farm/kids education place/? that makes really, reeeeeeeeeally good ice cream. It’s really good! I will try to stop there like every week when I go to that school.

(I’m only half kidding.)

Other than that….classes haven’t started yet. So, I dunno? People seem cool so far. And the kids all seem pretty nice. I don’t have the preteens this time, thank god. I’m planning on making posters all day tomorrow. Prolly about the months. Cause English really had a field day with naming months. Japanese did the smart thing and used numbers; first month, second month, etc.  To the kids, it probably seems like English just smashed random letters together, stood back, and said ‘that’ll do’. So I’ll be thinking up some way to make it easier to remember…if there is one?

Mmm. Yeah. I’ll post again soon.

“The internet to me is kind of like a black hole, and I never really go on it.” — Jennifer Lawrence

You know what fixes that. WHEN THE INTERNET NEVER, EVER WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is now the start of the third week that the internet in my room has not worked. This is the fourth time this has happened. They just “fixed” it yesterday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. “Fixed” it. I am obviously loosing my mind. This is ridiculous. I have to either live in the kitchen or never speak to the outside world. I know I should post more about what’s happened. But over the Christmas break I had the flu. So that’s what I did. I laid on the couch in the kitchen (INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and stared at hours of David Suchet’s mustache in Hercule Poirot on Netflix. No I’m not proud of it, but I had a very high fever and that’s about all I could do. And I was pretending homework didn’t exist. But I did it, classes have resumed today, nothing too crazy. I’m not sure what’s going on at all, but when I figure it out, I’ll let you know. (We’re doing video games this semester. And genre, finally. Should be good.)


Anywho, I need to send a very angry email, scary angry email, to the internet provider.

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” — Mark Twain

(Good thing I’m a writer. And insane. Well, just a little bit.)

I know, I know! I’ve not written in ages!! Days! Weeks! Months! maybe not months. Actually, I’m not sure how long it’s been. So I’ll try to make this one count.

What have I been doing? Do I even know? A lot of school work, which is why I’m here so that’s all well and good.

I just had my first assessments due. Which is basically like midterms, but a different word, because, of course. Can’t use the same words as those crazy Americans. Or the same grading scale. (Why? What is D1-5, P1-5, F1-5 First of all, why do you need to number the Failing grades. I think just failing is pretty much all you need there. And then whats passing versus distinction. WHY IS THAT A THING???? What happened to percentages……..’cause seriously I think the distinctions start at 77%….That’s a C. A high C, but a C.) I don’t know what grade I got yet. Or, ever, because I don’t understand the grading obviously. We’ll find out soon I guess. It’s only 30% of the total grade. But still. Meh.

One of them was a research plan for a novel. Maybe that’ll get written at some point. Maybe not. I might get my feedback, and all it’ll say is, no. Don’t. Naaaaah. Hopefully it doesn’t. But at least that book has a plot.

The book I’m developing for Creative and Editorial Development……..doesn’t have a plot yet. BUT! I know what to do to get a plot. It’s a near-future speculative science fiction. I’ve spent a lot of time looking into viruses. Which is a form of procrastination. I don’t have a plot though. Had no idea what one of the characters wanted. But now I think I might. Maybe. She’ll get there. Whatever. I’ll work on it. Part of my grade in that class relies on figuring out a plot. Oh! And my mentor thinks it should be around 80000 words. I just looked at her….like okay. Sure. And I’ll invent a new math at the same time. I don’t have to start writing it yet. But if I want to use it as my major project for the summer, I shouldn’t start writing it yet. Otherwise, my mentor will tell me to start a new project. Because as helpful and motivating as she is, she’s also a little bit…..over enthusiastic; and mean. Not mean mean. But you get it.

That’s been my life though. Look up science stuff. Pretend I have a plot. Figure out plague statistics. Cry a bit (not really. not yet. I have not yet hit the wall….which I think is a good thing). Then look up more stuff. Ask people in my flat about science stuff. Because they’re scientists. It’s a lot of research. Ugh.

Then there was the research plan for the other book which was, funnily enough, also a lot of research. So many books that I should be reading. Or articles. Or movies. Whatever. I’ll get around to it. I’ve got a pile sitting here from the library, and then like four from home. I’ll get it done. But it was my birthday recently! So you know, I had to celebrate!

I mean, seriously. It was a good birthday. Nothing got too crazy. I had fun. The people I’ve met that celebrated with me are amazing. They’re gorgeous people. My flatmates decorated the kitchen with balloons for me! It was great. I did tear up a bit at that. And now we get to escalate from there for everyone else’s birthdays. There’s a couple more weeks before the next one, but I think we’ve already got a plan. It involves balloons and Saran wrap. (Which again, isn’t called Saran wrap….I don’t even know what it is called; cling film?)

Oh and then my mentor offers editing services for short story contest entries and there just happens to be a scifi contest coming up, due date in January, so we’ve decided (I mean, yeah, I know I need to do this) that I can use the contest as a minor character/world-building development exercise. MORE WRITING. What did I expect though? It’s a Creative Writing MA……

Oh, we started doing this psychogeography thing….I don’t get it and I don’t like it. So my plans for tomorrow are to go get lost in Edinburgh, pretending I can walk routes from Cleveland here. Which obvi I can’t. But that is apparently what part of this psychogeography thing is? Who knows. That’s what we’ll find out next week. I’ll try not to get arrested.

What else? Not much. Making plans to do things over breaks. Like driving…? to the Isle of Skye in summer.(OMG OMG I CAN RENT CARS NOW!) I super want to come home for Christmas, but monies….. it’s just so expensive. I’m gonna keep looking for tickets though. More procrastination!

I can’t remember if I’ve done anything else….is that bad? I haven’t really been anywhere outside of the city. And even that is usually within walking distance. I’ve had the remnants of a cold for the better part of October. It’s just a cough. But it’s annoying. And I want it to go away.

But I’m having fun. I really like it here. If you’re planning on visiting, let me know. I only have classes on Thursdays and Fridays, so I have time to hang out. I mean I have homework. But it’s what it is. I do like it here. I dunno why. It’s cold and gray; so is Cleveland. I can’t understand some people still. People can’t understand me. I ordered a latte the other day and got a cappuccino. That can’t just be me though. Oh, and NO ON UNDERSTANDS WHAT I’M SAYING WHEN I SAY MY NAME!!!!!! So I guess I’m Siam now; Nice to meet you. It cannot be that hard, can it?

If you wanna know something specific, you should ask me. I’m often distracted by the two novels I’m supposed to be writing. ❤ ❤ ❤ Love you guys!

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” — Neil Gaiman

Except from the sounds of it….there will be several tomorrows, all in a row, for about the next 12 months.

Well but some of that might just be scare tactics. I’m not sure. But everyone seemed very convincing.

On the other hand at the end of it, I should be an effing amazing writer! Like super awesome! I hope. We shall see.

But back to the post. ANOTHER Neil Gaiman quote, but what can I say? The man has a way with words.

So I’ve found someone else on the floor in a different flat who’s in my class, which will be helpful when either of us hits this mythical wall they speak about in hushed tones. And there are some other writers, mostly screenwriters, but a writer is a writer when it comes to us versus them….

I don’t know how things will go, I only have classes on Thursday and Friday, which has really been messing with my sense of the day of the week. But I’ve been looking for jobs and that will hopefully help. If I can ever get my Residency card. Still not here yet. So angry about that. But I’ve emailed them and hopefully they’ll figure out where it is. I don’t understand what is going on. But it’d be nice to have a doctor and health insurance and a library card and maybe even a bank account.

Other things…other things…! The ghost tour was okay. The beginning wasn’t all the fun. Mostly a history lesson about the royal mile, which was okay, whatever. If you like history and all that. But then we went into the old vaults and that was not cool. Not cool at all. Freaking terrifying. But not because there was anyone there, jumping out at us. Just because they would turn off the flashlight and it’d be pitch black or the tour guide would suddenly yell or stomp her foot or all three. Not cool, guys. But that could just be me.

Internet service sucks. It’s so slow. I’m gonna start complaining about what BS it is. Seriously. It’s a joke. WTF.

And laundry is ridiculously expensive. OMG!!!! That’s gonna be a complaint too.

But that stuff is boring. I can’t say I’ve done a whole lot of interesting things yet. I’ve been trying to get some last-minute reading in, and that last story idea was eluding me. I made something up. It’s not good. But I do have vampire summer camp councilors and mentally unstable girls to write about, Not in the same story… although…. ^^

Sorry I don’t have a lot to say. God, I just want to write already. But I don’t want to write at the same time. Like I need to save it for class….which is ridiculous. But this wall they whisper about is intimidating. And I don’t want to hit it, though I don’t think I’ll have a choice. It’s a very demanding program. That much I think we can all agree on. Which is good. Because that ‘s what I want. I want something to engage me and interest me, not bore me to tears. I won’t be bored. I’m sure of that much at least.

Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” — Neil Gaiman

And that, dear friends, is exactly what I intend to do.

Now, will all of them be glorious, amazing, and fantastic? I don’t know. Will they be interesting? I hope so. I really, really do. But I AM in Scotland, so they’ll at least be different; right?

YES! That’s correct. I am in Scotland. For what, you ask? For graduate school. Which will hopefully be a lot more fun than it sounds. Grad school. uh.

But it is off to a pretty good start. Nothing crazy has happened. I didn’t get lost in an airport. It was a pretty easy flight, actually. It was a very quick trip from London to Toronto, like we went up and then immediately started back down. And then the wait in Toronto was a bit melancholic. I thought it’d be easier this time. And it kind of was, but I think a lot of that just hasn’t hit me yet. It’s on the way though, I’m sure. And part of it might just be that Scotland, for whatever reason, feels closer than Japan. Weird, but true.

So the flight to Edinburgh from Toronto was delayed, which worked out better for me, even though sleeping wasn’t happening. I dozed a couple of times, only to wake up because I was just so uncomfortable. And customs was a breeze. I don’t have my complete visa yet; I need to pick that stuff up later, but I just wandered through the queue, and was waved in. I guess that was immigration. There really wasn’t any customs; it might have been too early for them.

So then i got my keys and that was a little bit of a mess. I was just there so early. And then I got to my flat. (hee hee, flat) It’s a lot bigger than I thought it’s be. 8 rooms total. And the kitchen is down at the other end of the hall, which is fine, but I feel like the hallway just echoes noises as I walk down. Maybe it’s just like that in the hallway.

And the roommates I’ve met are all super nice. So far 3 girls (although there is another one somewhere) and 3 boys, but there is an empty room that might be another guy. Two of them are in similar programs to mine on the same campus, but not actually in my program. I’ll meet all though people later I guess. Thursday is the first day of class.

But we’re going on a ghost tour around Edinburgh on Monday evening. Why am I doing that? I don’t know. It sounds interesting, but also like a terrible idea. I don’t do scary. I think it’s supposed to be terrifying. Yay. (Read that as flatly as you can.)

Other than that, there isn’t much to say. What have I done so far….slept. I need to get on this time zone. And I’ve done some welcome stuff at one of the campuses. And I’ll prolly join a club or society or whatever. But that stuff is later this week. Mostly slept. I’d like to go to sleep again, but it’s kind of…the middle of the afternoon. And I need to buy groceries. Because eating is a nice thing to do.

Until later, then, when I have some ghost stories to tell, or a society to chat about. ^^

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand” — Albert Einstein

Finally. Here I am. Gatwick airport on the way home. It really doesn’t feel like it’s been a year. Over a year, actually. But that is not the point of this post. Although I could probably write several hundred words of rant about some of the lovely people in the airport. This one, the one in Edinburgh….just great, great airport employees.

But instead, I will share some of the things I learned from my week here in Scotland. Most of it is about history or random stuff that the tour guides told me. But I find it all really fascinating.

So of course, if we’ve talked recently, you know that the second I set foot in the highlands, I’ve been enamored with them. Maybe you didn’t know that…now you do. And it’s the whole thing; the rocky hills, the lochs and glens. The highland cows, hairy coos, the thousands (millions?) of sheep. Everything. It’s gorgeous, and I’m sure when it’s actually green, or purple actually, it’s even more beautiful. The castles! Although there are a ton of castles all over Scotland. Like seriously, a ton.

Anywho, I spent three days in the highlands. The first day I went to see Loch Ness, the second Loch Lomond, and the last day back over towards Loch Lomond again, but also to Loch Fyne and Invarary.

The lowlands, where Edinburgh and Glasgow etc. are is pretty too. Stirling castle and William Wallace, which the tours guides all made very clear, is not the same person as Braveheart, nor did he wear a kilt, nor was he a highlander. Oh! The Kelpies! There is a fabulous statue near Stirling…I think, of these two huge kelpie heads. It is one of my favorite things I saw. (Kelpies are white horse, beautiful, that are sometimes mermaids that drown people and then eat them. So that’s fun.)

But here some of the things I learned, besides the history of William Wallace and how he was not Braveheart: Robert the Bruce, whose heart was Braveheart, Rob Roy, Mary Queen of Scots, James the Ist…who then became James the IVth? And some more general stories of the various clans and history of the people of Scotland. Oh! And Mac is son of but Mc is second son of….

Also, and I’m not sure if I really believe these, I heard the origin stories of the terms blackmail and armed to the teeth. Or I should say black meil and armed to the teith. Right, so blackmail. This is a part of the much longer story of Rob Roy, who was basically a cattle thief. But at some point he realized that stealing cattle was not making him enough money. So he went around to the landowners and told them that for a small fee, protection money, he would protect their highland cows from thieves, ie he would stop stealing them. Also, if someone else stole them, he would go out with his expert cattle thief-gang and get them back. So here’s the blackmail part. The highland cows were originally all black. It was only after a crossing with some less shaggy breed of cow that they all became gingers. AND meil is apparently the old Gaelic (pronounced more like gal-lick) word for money. Then there’s Armed to the teith. There is a village somewhere near the border of the highlands and the lowlands, where the lowlanders and the clans people used to meet to trade and sell and buy supplies. They would arrive in the morning, buy what they needed to buy, the go with whatever money they had left, or whatever money they had made that day, and proceed to drink a whole bunch of whisky. According to the tour guide, they would then get in a lot of great, messy, bloody fights. Then rinse and repeat. The village, unsurprisingly, didn’t like this very much. So they set up a check point just outside the village, where you would have to turn in all your armaments, swords, guns, knives, etc., before you could go into the town. Hence you were armed (up until you got) to the teith. And teith sounds a lot, identical even, to teeth. So there you go. Again, I’m not sure if I believe that. I mean why not, it seems to make sense. I certainly don’t know any other reason for these saying to exist. I guess I choose to believe it, until something forces me to actually look it up and check it out.

And I almost forgot! You know “You’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low…”, right? I mean telling someone to ‘take the high road’ comes from that doesn’t it? I’m not sure. I’ll possibly look that up. But, what I think I knew, but probably had never heard was the song it comes from. Which I think is called On the Banks of Bonnie Loch Lomond. But really, I am not sure about that. I also did not know that the song was originally a letter from a Jacobite imprisoned by the English…yes. And for sure, the song is super dark and deeply depressing when you know the back story. So it’s a letter right, from one Jacobite to his family back up in the highlands, I think. But he gives to his friend, also a Jacobite, I think, who has somehow been released from jail, because the first guy has been sentenced to hang or be executed however they did back then. I guess beheading was still big? Mary Queen of Scots got it real bad with the beheading.

Back to the song. Here are the lyrics as I understand them, not to be taken as fact, but as I listened to the song and then remembered it. Words may have been changed or left out, but the general ideas are still there.

You’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low, and I’ll get to Scotland afore ye.

But me and my true love, shall never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

So some break down: high road – land of the living, low road – land of the dead as in underworld low, I’ll  get to Scotland afore ye – time is apparently immaterial to the dead, the rest of the song – he’s dead, so of course he’s not gonna meet her…not unless she dies too. So not a cheerful song. But the versions of it I’ve heard are beautiful. There’s more, this is just the chorus, but I did not catch the lyrics to the rest of it. I think it’s just more stuff about Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond. Very catchy though.

That’s the majority of the fun facts that I learned. Of course there was a lot more history. Particularly the history of the fight for independence. Lots of William Wallace and Rob Roy and Robert the Bruce (although Rob Roy doesn’t really fit that category). Some more stuff about various clans whenever we went through a particularly interesting/important/relevant glen. But I am not sure about which clan did what, so I don’t want to get it wrong. And a little about James the first/fourth and his mother Mary Queen of Scots. And some stuff about Whisky/Scotch.

It was really interesting. Not having studied any of it in school in America, particularly when you’re focused on the other side of the world (cough cough Japan) it’s pretty cool. I really, really liked it. And I can’t wait to go back, but I know that most of my time will be spent studying in the city.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” — J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Goodbye Japan; Hello Scotland!!!! 

It’s only my second day here. And I’m still getting used to the whole time zone change thing. I’ve mostly been walking around the city, or to use the scientific term – getting lost. Streets do not have a nice straight way about them here. 

A few things are the same as Japan. I still, unfortunately, feel a bunch of people starting at me. Only now, instead of knowing the reason – being a blonde pale person, relatively tall – I have no idea what they’re lookin at. Am I obviously American? Probably…although living in Japan should have softened that, right? Am I doing something that’s weird? No idea… 

I mean I’m not wearing the apparent skinny pant uniform that almost everyone else is…but how boring would that be? (And I do mean almost everyone) But is that really a reason to stare at me? I wouldn’t think so. 

I was rocking sunglasses yesterday. But I love sunglasses. And even a little light can blind me. I am loving the clouds though. I missed that in Japan. With all its stupid sun. Cleveland has gorgeous gray days all the time. Apparently so does Scotland. 

Maybe by fall I’ll be able to blend in more. 

Another problem that I’m having is this unconcious, almost, habit of planning what I’m going to say. Even though it’s in English, and I know English. It’s a leftover from Japan.  Planning my japanese sentences just made everything go a bit more smoothly. And I find myself doing that here. But in English. Oops?

Walking is my friend too. Even though I have no cell coverage so can’t get a map and end up with very little idea of where I am. Buses and trains and taxis scare me a little. Because I don’t know how money works. In Japan at least, I had it. I could do money. Not always in Japanese, but I knew what and how much etc. Pounds though? No clue. I had a mini panic when I realized that there’s a difference between Bank of England and Bank of Scotland issued notes. And again with these 1 pound coins. Like 100 yen coins. What’s wrong with 1 dollar bills? Apparently that’s not a common thing. 

I think Australia also prefers the coin variety. And pence….? Money’s hard. 

But I’ll get it sorted. I can do this – I have to do this. I’ll need to be able to do this in September. So there’s that. 

Everything is stone here. Where are the wood buildings? But it’s cool. Very UK-like. I do just want my central-heated wood house though. I’ll see you soon (one week). 

And my doggie! So many dogs here. Beautiful fluffy things. But I want my Kuma. My great big dumb beastie. Oh and my family and friends. I want to see them too. Of course, I want to see them. My dog just better be there too. At least for the first week or so. 

But I’ll write more later. I’m off to look for Nessie tomorrow, and the at least one more day trip to various castles (castles!) around the country. AND most important – my new school. I’m super excited about that. 

I did learn how to put a kilt on – like the full kilt thing. Not just the skirt-ish part. So I can do that now. If I had one. Maybe I can figure out some terrible kimono/kilt monster hybrid. 

Till later. 6 more days till Cleveland!

“…rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln

Just a note. This is a super old post. I don’t know why it didn’t get uploaded. 

How wonderfully perfect and amazing is that quote? Yes, it is only half of the quote; the first part is something like should we be sad cause rose bushes have thorns. But that’s boring because it’s just so….true?

But: REJOICE! Rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. I don’t think people use the word rejoice enough. This is my new philosophy. And for every question someone asks me that I don’t want to answer: rejoice! For thorn bushes have roses. (Maybe throw a little confetti) then run away. For every lull in a conversation: rejoice! For every tense conversation I do not want to be a part of any more:..rejoice! 

For every morning I spend sitting in a government building waiting for my ticket number to be called so that I can hand in a piece of paper and then….go sit and wait some more: rejoice! For thorn bushes have roses, and what a wonderful idea that is. What an amazing combination of words and letters. What a great thing the english language is. How awe inspiring are those that have a solid grasp on it, the true wordsmiths. 

Rejoice! What a great word! For thorn bushes have roses! What an uplifting idea. Isn’t that a smile that flickered across your face? Isn’t that amazing? How great! How beautiful! 

Oh and p.s. I think I’m going crazy waiting in this dumb government building. I am just so very bored. 

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” — Albert Einstein PART TWO

Subtitle: Buses and Blizzards

Today, dear friends, we return to the exciting adventure of our hero, Samara. When last we saw our intrepid adventurer, she was waiting to board the flying machine that would take her to the frozen north, Hokkaido. Has she arrived? Did she accomplish her quest to ski? And, if so, how did she do it? I will keep you in suspense no longer! Thank you! you will exclaim. Thank you! I’ve been worried sick over all of it! 

And to this I say, calm down and we will begin!!

Indeed, our hero did arrive in Hokkaido safely. The flight, though delayed a few minutes, was soon up in the air. It was a short flight, and the adventurers next to our hero shared their gum with her.

She was most grateful for such an alliance, and began the second leg of her quest in high spirits.

The airport in Hokkaido was nothing, easily explored. But, unknowingly, she walked straight into the second test.


Our hero was smart about planning her adventure, even if her packing was a little..last minute. She had been assured passage from the airport to the quest location lodgings. However, the second test was not to be so easily conquered. She would need to discover the place of departure for the bus. The first step: procure a map of the location. Quickly done, our hero had a map of the location of the map.

If she had a map, you interject, how hard could this test be? And your questions are not unfounded. Our hero too, took the test lightly, proceeding to catch some lunch and lazing about by the cars for hire.

In fact, this test was not one of difficulty or intelligence. This test was one of group thinking. Our hero, having understood the directions she was given, proceeded to the location of the bus, only to find out that this was, in truth, not the true location. She’d been duped!

If only, instead of trusting the counter dwellers she had negotiated with for the map; if ONLY she had read the map, she would have realized a second step to obtaining the true map. For indeed, she only had a map of where to find the map of the bus!

If she had followed the other lost looking foreign adventurers, she would have known. Eventually though, after asking help from a herder, she found her bus.

At last! you think. She is truly on her way now.

And so she was. The trip was a long and not particularly dangerous one. Over hills and around harbors they traveled, the outside world obscured through a veil of snow.

How is that not a concern! you interrupt, again. And if you had let me continue, I would have describes this veil, thus: It was a threadbare veil. The majority of the cloth holes.

You sigh, and slump back into your chair relieved.

Truly the only point of interest at the place in our narrative is that somehow our hero had picked up an unknown sidekick. A small ladybug rode with our hero part of the way, until it landed on her face. And since our hero had no knowledge of this companion, swatted it away to search for a more welcoming party.

The sun set, and our coach finally reached the lodgings out hero had secured. It was quite nice lodgings: warm with central heating, which is all out hero could really ask. She quickly was shown to her room, and without a moment to lose, set off to truly begin her quest. She sought out, the dreaded rental cave!!!

The lodgings, catering to daredevils such as her, had its own questing site, complete with lift and storage for the various items one needed to equip for a large range of quests. Or hero need not delay from her quest, though the sun had set.

In fact, her lodgings were well equipped for NIGHT QUESTING. 

Ah-ha! Night questing! Could it be so easy?!  you ask, curiosity running over and around your tongue, tripping it up. So much so, that your exclamation sounds something similar to: Ah-ha! Nigh guesting! Cout ib eezo izzy?!  But I understand you dear listener, I do. My answer to your question is INDEED IT WAS! Within the hour, our hero had been equipped with weapons for defeating the downhill slope, and set off to do just that! And in the process, she conquered another mini-quest.

Another?! Could it be? Did she really?

But don’t forget, dear listeners, this is Samara, hero and adventure! Of course she managed such a feat!

The mini-quest: gain secret intelligence. Our hero: easily completed this task, while looting for the perfect equipment to slay the mountain dragon! The rental cave denizens, suspecting our hero to be just another traveler, happily chatted away in front of her. It was not until she was leaving that they discovered her understanding, and amid smiles and laughter all around she set off to ski!