It happened again. I’ll give you three guesses.
Tokyo this weekend was really cool. And by cool I mean hotter than four hundred hells. I had an image in my head of what the “classy” picnic would be like at the American embassy… it was instead a roasting hot sweatfest which had The Italian, Aa-chan, and myself drunkish at 2pm. I was glad I at least had not worn pants.
I felt classy on the way there, though, because I was sitting pretty in my shinkansen seat, watching the morning world go by at bullet-like speeds, looking country-girl chic in my fluffy black dress and little straw hat (like all the Osaka girls wear). Once we got outside it was more like Sparta (see: madness), but that’s just August in.. anywhere.
But it was good to see The Italian (not a JET) and Aa-chan (a retired JET), my “Vanderbuddies,” as I playfully called them, and just sort of feel reconnected. I was worried that I would go all the way to Tokyo and only have a marginally okay time; that wouldn’t be anyone’s fault, really… I’ve been a bit out of it and distracted and on the whole a little emotionally unhinged lately. I assumed that no matter what I did this weekend, I wouldn’t enjoy it overmuch, but that I ought to do something. I had scheduled myself for Tokyo and Disneyland. Might as well.
But actually, it was rather fun. I got to see a bit more of Tokyo (Akihabara, for one), and a bit more of my friends.
We never made it to karaoke, and our legs and feet were dead sore by the end of Saturday, but by the time Aa-chan and I were running around Disneyland like the overgrown children that we are, I was having so much fun that I had thoroughly forgot I was supposed to be miserable.
Disney was hot, and it was crowded, and we didn’t get there very early, and the lines were long. But there was almost always a breeze, and lots of the waiting areas (for newer stuff at least?) are indoors, decorated to theme, and air-conditioned. The spinning teacups were way more fun than they had any right to be, and always had a wait of about seven minutes.
Japan loves Disney, and after visiting Tokyo Disneyland, I suspect that this park is perhaps one of that titan’s most successful endeavors. I looked out over a vast sea of people, and all of them seemed pretty happy. By the end of the evening, little kids were passed out on top of their parents and in their strollers all over the place. The park closed at 10, but my bus was supposed to leave only a few minutes after that, so we figure it would be best to get to the bus area sooner rather than later.
Okay. I thought my bus was supposed to leave at ten. It turns out 20:10? Is not that. There are three kinds of people in this world…
I happen to count in base ten, and I happen to have recently been to Universal Studios Japan, where there was a bus back to my town’s interstate stop; that bus left ten minutes after park closure. In my defense, it’s an easy mistake to make, although a very stupid one. In my defense… I was pretty distracted when I was booking the bus…?
So the lesson is, 20:00 = 8pm, every time, and that is something I will not forget again.
Unfortunately, that left me still in Tokyo, with no more overnight buses heading for Himeji that evening. And “work” in the morning, and out the money for the bus ticket, as well as the shinkansen ticket I would have to buy the next morning. Luckily, The Italian and Aa-chan were still around, so we all went back to the apartment of The Italian to crash. After a four hour fitful spell of sleep, I rolled out of his apartment at 5am to get back as quick as I could. I arrived in Himeji at 10, basically devoid of cash, and continued my mad dash, with a brief ten minute stop at home, to work, where no one said anything about my being four hours late, except to ask if I’d “had some trouble.” I chose not to call in and explain my lateness because I figured they’d make me take vacation time for that, and I did not want that. (I considered doing it and spending another day in Tokyo, but I had an engagement Monday night that I needed to be back home for by around 7pm)
The funny thing is, after days of having nothing really to do at work and wishing only to leave, wondering why we are expected to come in at all during the summer, the act of crossing half a country to get there makes you a lot more grateful to be there. I was actually rather productive in the few hours I was there before my VP suggested I go ahead and go home.
So I guess Tokyo was as it could be expected to be. Lots of fun. Very expensive. A bit of a dash there at the end. C’est la vie!
Just leave it up to The Claw.