Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sorry this isn't a real post - Tokyo

I meant to write a real post today- although I've forgotten what about- but it didn't happen for two reasons.

Firstly, I'm in Tokyo and I've travelled with my Japanese netbook. The keyboard is pain to type on, and the layout is in Japanese, which is fine until I try to press a symbol key. Please forive any strange spellings and punctuations.

Secondly, I'm on the school trip and the days are seriously long. It's almost midnight and I jst got in. (Kiddies went to sleep at 10 though.)

So, in lieu of actual post, I'm going to give you a round-up of my day.

The students split into groups today to wander around Tokyo/tour places/ do shopping. Most of the teachers had the day free. I'd have just lounged in my room- it's Tokyo, not Timbuktu. I think I've been here more than I've been to NYC- about 20 times,but who's counting?

Now all of this would have been fine, had it not been for the typhoon. Seeing as the other teachers seemed hellbent on me actually doing something, I wondered off to Shinjuku. I know that area really well, because it's where the newbies stay when they come in.

When I was leavng the hotel, I forgot to ask where the trrain station was. I hate looking lost more than I hate being lost. (Yes, I'm a man in girl's skin.) So I refused to turn back and ask where the station was. I just picked a direction and started walking. After about 10 minutes, I gave up and went into a convenience store.

Me: excuse me, where's the nearest train station.
Attendant: Next door.

Lo, and behold, there's a train sign not 50m from the convenience store exit. I swear they put it up while I was in the store!

I went into the subway. Figured out which line it was. Figured out which colour was the right line on the map. And then promptly read the wrong line. Went down to the platform. Got on a train, all the while wondering why it didn't say the station I thought it should. Got to the end of the line. Wondered where the heck I was. Only to hear'...departing for Shinjuku from track...'

Essentially, I got to Shinjuku purely by accident.

Bought a movie ticket for the only movie I hadn't already seen that I might like watching: Green Lantern. In an evil twist of fate, it was actually in English! I don't think i've ever seen a movie in English here. I watched the last two Harry Potters in Japanese. The Twilights in Japanese. Princess and the Frog in Japanese. Cars 2 in Japanese. Kung Fu Panda 2 in Japanese. And I go to a movie I'm lukewarm about and it's in English. Go frikking figure.

I had an hour and a half to kill before the movie so I nipped across the street to the bookstore. This is why I love Shinjuku. Huge cinema directly across the road from the biggest Japanese bookstore, which also boasts an English section. The only ting that would make it better is an anime parade down the road that seperates them :)

By the time the movie was over, the typhoon was starting up. I grabbed a Subway sandwich and then attempted to take the subway home. Only problem: I have no idea how I got to Shinjuku. As none of the lines looked familiar, I decided to use a different line, that would stop at a station almost as close to my hotel. But when I got there, I had no idea how to get back to the hotel.

I peeped at a map, but all Japanese maps suck, so I just kind of guesstimated. I suppose a random perk is that I found HOOTERS. I need to go there sometime, because the Japanese are notorious for NOT having hooters, so I ned to see the waitresses. :)

The typhoon was going at a good clip by now, and on the 15 minute walk to the hotel, I succeeded in semi-destroying my umbrella, and soaking myself from the waist down.

An hour later, after a near futile attempt at drying my skirt, we loaded into buses to go to dinner and the Lion King.On the way, we amused ourselves watching people get blown down the street. And we marvelled each time an umbrella met an untimely death. After a while, people stopped trying to use umbrellas. You were getting soaked anyway, and the umbrellas were just getting broken.

We passed the theater first. The theater and the restaurant hotel are literally back to back. It took us two seconds from the bus to the hotel door, but that was enough to be almost-drenched. We had dinner in a high-end restaurant. Japan has the dubious distinction of being one of few places where hamburger could be served as high-end.

Afterwards we walked around the corner to Lion King. The school nurse and I went last. One minute she's next to me, the next she's blowing towards Tokyo Bay with me and a hotel staff member chasing her down. We had to drag her back into the hotel and wait until the wind died down a little. Then I had to use my immense powers of Japanese persuasion to convince her out the door. (You'd be scared too, if you almost blew all the way to Australia.)

Lion King was awesome! It made me re-decide that I need to see something on Broadway. They had this ridiculous rule about taking pictures- I don't mean during the show, I get that- but even before the show and at intermission. Sigh.

When we came out, the typhoon was all over, and it was back to the hotel, put the kiddies to beddie-bye, and teachers' de-brief. All in, great day.

Off to rest up. Tomorrow is Tokyo Disney!

(In case you wonder about the typhoon, I don't think work is ever cancelled for them, although school might be - teachers still have to go though. I'm not sure, because that's one perk of the frozen North. In more than 3 years, we've only had one anywhere near.)


Marsha Sigman said...

Crazy awesome day! And if you find the Japanese Hooters again you have to take pics!lol

Jon Paul said...

I loved Shinjuku too! All the little coffee shops and boostores. Really made me feel at home.

Have a blast at Disney!