Doe, A Deer

Hey guys, I’m a new contributor and this is my first post! First a little background: Drew and I met in college and I left for grad school on the east coast around the same time he caught the travel bug during the infamous European Adventure of 2005. I lived vicariously through Drew’s Facebook updates for a while, and then met my beautiful wife, who also loves to travel. We’ve been to a couple places now, and will be going to a couple more. My posts will be about these adventures, trips to come, and my general thoughts on whatever pops into my head. So here we go!

Ever been to Japan? If you have, have you ever been to Nara? This is Wikipedia’s first paragraph on Nara: “Nara (???, Nara-shi?) is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture. Eight temples, shrines and ruins in Nara, specifically Todai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kofuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gango-ji, Yakushi-ji, Toshodai-ji and the Heijo Palace remains, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara“, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

This is the first thing I would have written if that was my entry: the deer in Nara are crazy! If you want to see them, head over to Nara Park and get ready for a show, because it’ll be a wild ride. The wife and I had read about the deer, heard stories about the deer, seen pictures of the deer, but you really can’t understand the deer until you actually go pet and/or feed one. If you want to feed the deer, you’re going to need these special rice crackers that vendors sprinkled throughout the park will sell to you. I didn’t buy into the idea of the rice crackers, so I just figured I’d feed them with whatever was in my backpack. I basically ended up trying to feed them the equivalent of Japanese Doritos and it didn’t go over too well. I picked out a deer that was standing by itself, walked calmly over to it, and tried to feed it (we’ll call it Carl just to make this story more interesting).

I figured the deer would be happy to eat anything, but that is most definitely not the case. At first, Carl ignored me, then he rolled his eyes at me, and finally, when I persisted in my attempts to feed him, he kicked me and left. My wife, who is much smarter than I am, purchased the special rice crackers. So I stole one from her and reapproached Carl. Now Carl was happy to see me. He let me pet him, let me hug him, and he even let me feel his antlers (they felt like velvet). Carl  became my Facebook friend and we talk all the time. Ok, I lied about that last part, but it was awesome. So what did I take away from this experience at Nara? Japan is just a unique place. They really know how to domesticate deer there. And run 7-11s.

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