Monday, August 3, 2009

sumimasen, sumimasen, sumimasen!

Wowee. We are so incredibly inefficient as a nation. The funny part is that as an unseasoned sixteen-year-old my parents let me go off to America to stay with a family for several weeks. My transit involved changing flights and rechecking luggage at Sydney, and an overnight stay in a Tokyo hotel.

Disembarking at the Gold Coast Airport and again at the terminal in Narita today has given me a measure of empathy with their anxiety. Narita Airport hasn’t changed much in ten years and unfortunately, neither have my language skills (although I have a very nice accent which has twice prompted floods of incomprehensible Japanese from helpful airport/Japan Rail staff). Awesome.

A little less awesome is my current sleep quotient. I slept about 4 hrs last night, and maybe 2 more on the plane today? It’s now 10 pm Melbourne time (9pm Tokyo time) and I’m hurtling toward Shinjuku station via the Narita Express. Once I get there (eta 10.30 pm) I get to hang about for an overnighter train (leaves 11.59 pm, arrives 4.30 am) to Matsumoto. I hope my hotel (just across the road from Matsumoto station) has 24 hr reception or I may have to sleep in their lobby.

Darling husband, should you be reading this, I am VERY grateful you got up at 4am to drive me to the airport for a 6 am flight. I hope Open Day was wonderful and you got to play with lego robots and entice masses of students into the exciting field of Comp.Sci. Hopefully your free lunch and wonderful dinner at your mom’s place have made up for the very long day.

If it’s any consolation, mine too is dragging just a little. I’m very glad I took your advice and wore glorified pyjamas (baggy black pants, layered singlets) rather than jeans, as I think I’ll try a little light sleeping between midnight and 4am. (A, feeling your pain!)

Delightfully funny moment that could well have resulted in me hysterically exiting plane AS IT TOOK OFF from the Gold Coast; plane begins to taxi, faux-pop is circulated (you know, covers of stuff by cheap and nasty voices) and what do I hear with my little ear?

“I can’t stand to fly,

I’m not that na├»ve,

Men weren’t made to ride

With clouds between their knees….

I’m only a man in a silly red sheet…..etc. etc. etc. “

Oh, the delicious irony.

Otherwise my Jetstar flights were quite unremarkable. It was much nicer to eat breakfast and lunch of my own volition rather than being fed like so much cattle, although I did (on someone’s advice; I forget who told me this, but thank you!) buy a pie (dinner option) which was followed by a mini weiss bar. Hook me up with some more of those pies. Have nearly exhausted all of my reading material but bought a copy of Nick Cave’s “And the Ass saw the Angel” at the Gold Coast when I was seized by a fit of panic and forgot the two novels stashed in the top of my violin case.

About two-thirds through “The Pornographer of Vienna”, which isn’t quite as seedy as the title suggests, only nearly. Feeling a little desperate for a drink (alcoholic, non, whatever at this stage!) but I’m sure I can find something in Shinjuku with my ninety killable minutes. So, that’s currently the extent of my pilgrimage… will post when my computer finds a network. Jaa, mate nai.

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