Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Haus Ten Bosch

Since Danny B. wanted to know if I was done “whining” about the time difference between Japan and Seattle, I was inspired to post the following story I wrote upon my immediate return from the land of the Rising Sun.

Returning to Seattle on October 23rd, I noted to family ‘N friends that I was seeing if I could make my way thru the day and break the long dreaded Jet Lag “jinx,” with that days two flights possibly helping? Leaving Fukuoka at noon and departing Tokyo around 5 PM before arriving in Seattle at 9:20AM the Very SAME DAY!

And many of you may be wondering what my Halloween costume will be this year? But I’ve already got it all picked out as this is a photo of my costume…

Actually it’s a souvenir picture from just “Juan ‘O” my many adventures while staying at Haus Ten Bosch, in Horseland with my MOST EXCELLENT Hosts Tanja & Albin. (Who are from Holland) They have been living & working at Haus Ten Bosch For the past 3 ½ years taking care of the horses on the premises as part of a six person Dutch squad…

And perhaps you’re wondering just what is Haus Ten Bosch, eh? Well it’s a one of a kind Dutch theme park situated in the city of Sasebo.

Sasebo is located in the northwest corner of Kyushu Island, Japan’s southernmost land mass, part of the four main Islands housing Japan’s 128+ million population.

As I’m not really sure how it came about, other than a Japanese resident was so taken by Holland that he thought it’s treasures should be imported to Japan, which ultimately spanned this unique theme park, complete with windmills, dykes, nightly fireworks and even Dutch styled cobblestone streets. And although this link is a bit dated, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the park is like; see Haus Ten Bosch Theme Park.

Yet Haus Ten Bosch is an eternal money loosing operation, having filed for Bankruptcy at least once. Thus the always financially undermined theme park has opened a few new multi-media exhibits this year, with one being the most surreal. As you first stick your head inside a box with a bright shining light and hold very still until a sequence of four multi-coloured lights commences. This is in order to scan your face into the computer…

Of course I messed up the first time, so I had to do it again, as they wish to get the perfect scan of my face for future “mug shots.” (Taking 4 separate pictures of your face, (Which corresponded to the 4 colour sequenced lights) as a female Japanese employee told me I was ok on the second try. Then we waited in the dark for 4 minutes before being ushered upstairs.

Albin & I were allowed to use the elevator instead of having to take the stairs like everybody else to our seats. And a nice Japanese man asked Albin “English?” Thus our headrests with inset speakers translated the soon to begin adventure into English for us.

So just what was this adventure you ask? Well it’s a mythical Space odyssey, (NO, NOT 2010) where everybody in the current theater session is a “bit player” with our faces being “morphed” into the animated space movie…

And as the show began Albin said “There’s me. And there’s you!” As we both appeared momentarily on the screen together… Unfortunately we were located in the very last row at the very top of the theater, which means I couldn’t make out anybody’s faces… Although I could see the body shapes and follow the story. And Albin kept a running total of my on-screen cameo’s. Which numbered five as well as me speaking Japanese fluently without any accent Albin announced!

Later he claimed I was a central figure in the movie and suggested my role was a “Guardian” helping against the “Bad Guys.”

Then at the very end the walls turned into towering “flat screens” as the whole theater became a humongous movie screen with the entire theater’s cast standing in line in our space suits looking directly at us, before the show ended while we awaited our return journey.

Although I told Tanja & Albin I wasn’t impressed with the overall movie theme, as we’d gone off into space to allow the Earth Restoration Robots to repair Mother Earth that we’d previously DESTROYED before finally returning home. As I commented to Albin; “But will there be anything left to return too?”

Then we were allowed exclusive use of the elevator once more before walking next door to retrieve the “Guardian’s” Star Gazer mug shot. And why yes that’s me in my “Make My Day” pose… As I was waiting for the frilling second scan to be taken…

“To Infinity and Beyond!”