Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Japanaventures 2: Day 1 (I know. It’s confusing)

We left for Japan Sunday at 1pm and arrived Monday at 4pm. After the 11 hour flight to Tokyo, we had to take a 1.5 hour bus ride to Yokohama. Not so much because Yokohama is that far from Tokyo, but because Narita airport is that far from anything. We got a good view of Tokyo Disney as we hurdled down the freeway on the wrong side of the road.

The bus took us to Yokohama Station where Diana’s sister met us to lead us the rest of the way. Our journey, which had started on BART, now needed JR railway and a cab to get us to A & T’s apartment.

Their building had small darkly lit hallways lined with tiny metal doors and aluminum tubes jutting every where. A said they were upgrading the building to digital cable, which meant drilling through the wall’s into everyone’s bathroom. Fun.

The apartment itself was very nice if tiny. And I don’t mean “tiny” in terms of its square footage, but in terms of ceiling height. I barely fit through the doors. Traditionally they grew ‘em shorter in Japan, but I never felt particularly tall while riding the subway’s or anything like that. The Japanese are getting taller, which will make things interesting given their historic proclivity for short ceilings.

What did we do our first evening in Japan? Well, we didn’t get to Yokohama in time to go to the Baystars’ game, so we watched several episodes of Sports Night on DVD until we could finally allow ourselves to go to sleep.

Fortunately T works for an air conditioning company. They had a small unit that cooled one room really well and the one next to it moderately well. But still, even with the AC on, we slept on futons on the floor of the living room with no sheets or blankets of any kind. That’s how hot it was.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.