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Nine years ago today, Yoko and I got married in Kochi, Japan, in front of 60 or so of our friends and relatives.

It was the first of two non-cloudy, non-rainy days in June that year; the second was a week later, on Yoko's birthday.

We were married in a chapel at a hotel on a cliff overlooking the ocean; the sun set as we began our outdoor reception.

Our wedding sparked a rash of weddings among our friends, some of whom are still married, and some of whom are not.

Our good friend Brandon, now a happily married man himself, hosted the evening adorned with the most godawful curly-haired black wig I've ever seen.

Our good friends Michael and Tim performed a song about us that somehow involved me biting my father-in-law's hand. I'm still not sure what that was all about.

Yoko's sisters conspired to make me skoll a copious amount of beer just as the reception was beginning. I had the hotel staff bring me coffee while I waited for Yoko to effect her single dress change.

My best man, Peter, was bitten on the hand by a centipede and had to be rushed to hospital. His hand swelled up like a catcher's mitt, but he was fine and able to rejoin the festivities.

I told my good friends Paul and Aron to Take Care Of my youngest brother, Darth (17 at the time), that evening; I'm given to understand that this mission was accomplished with the gusto and zeal I've come to expect from those two stalwarts.

My best friend, Owen, tried diligently to get me to come into Kochi City proper for the all-night drinking party; I saw him (and the rest of the revelers) onto the bus, and then I retired with my lovely bride.

Nine years, including: six countries; one funeral; a dozen or so weddings; three cars and one scooter; more trips through immigration than I can count right now; ups, downs, chills, thrills, spills, and the occasional hard pill to swallow.

I'm looking forward to at least 81 more.

Now go away while I retire with my lovely bride.

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Erik, the BFG

January 2016

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