When you're naked and the only white person among around 50 Japanese women, you expect to be noticed. But here I was wearing nothing but a folded hand towel on top of my head and not an eye turned my way. Whether it was from politeness or antipathy, I don't know, but I was very appreciative of the anonymity. Onsen are for relaxing and the stage was well set.
A year and a half has passed and no, I haven't won the Lottery. In fact, I didn't even sell a story about bathing in a golden bathtub (my fault entirely since I never pitched the idea to anyone). So while I'm pretty sure the golden tub didn't help my finances, I'm happy and thankful to have had the experience. It's these weird and wonderful moments that spark hope, make us think or even disappoint us, that make travel such a complex adventure -- and honestly, that's lucky enough for me.