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Published: June 15th 2007
A whole week has gone by since I first arrived in Japan in what has been a flurry of a vacation before I hit Singapore for 4 weeks. I didn’t really have any jet lag but I did, for reasons completely unknown to me, I wake up between 4 and 5am almost every morning and hit the sack pretty early in the evening. If you know me, this early morning rising is unheard of outside of necessity. Alas, I’m writing this in the air somewhere between Tokyo and Singapore (closer to Tokyo I believe). Reflections on the past week? Like I said it was a flurry of a vacay but good nonetheless. No energy to blog while I was there so I am gonna catch ya’ll up, but I’ll separate it into 3 or 4 entries so it’s not so much. Here we go:
Day 1/2: YOKUSUKA/YOKOHAMA
I arrived at Narita about 45 min outside of Tokyo Saturday evening. A high school friend of mine is stationed on the naval base in Yokusuka and we had made plans for me to stay out there with her a couple of days before beginning my Tokyo plans. So Ms. Connie
Yokohama Bay Star Fans
e-mailed me directions…2 trains…no problem, right? Ha! I was good on the first train from the airport, through Tokyo, and on to Shinagawa where I was to transfer to another train after calling her from a pay phone. Shinagawa. Oh Shinagawa.
Think Jennifer Love Hewitt in ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer” w/ her arms spread out turning in circles yelling at the air - except it was me in the train station surrounded by masses of people and kanji turning around in circles w/ two bags and the hope that the right train info would jump out at me. Kanji. I can only contrast it w/ being in Europe where even if I didn’t speak French or German I could make some sense out of the words and figure out what or where was going on. But Kanji? Nope, I can’t do anything with that. Some random dude came up to me and asked if he could help. Yes you can. He got me to the right platform (sooo not where I was) and stayed with me till I bought my transfer ticket and took off walking in the right direction. Ok so I’m at the right
track waiting for the train…now for a payphone to call Connie. Except the piece of paper w/her number had 1 too many numbers on it (which I of course did not know) resulting in me getting what sounded like a busy signal every time I called. Figuring something had to be wrong, I got some guys attention, pointed at his cell, and asked if I could use it. After an exchange of hand gestures he dialed the number (I guess he figured out which digit to take out) and I talked to Connie. Cool. She would meet me in Yokusuka. Train ride was cool. Yokusuka was easy to get out of…except I still needed to call again and same prob…busy signal. I saw two Black guys walking towards me, figuring them to be Americans, I said hi and explained the phone problem. They looked at the number and told me there were too many zeros and dialed away. 15 minutes later, Connie scooped me and we were off to the base.
She lives off base and didn’t want to drive home so we stayed with her friend Bret on base. You ever go someplace and just feel at home?
That was my evening with Connie and Bret and the cat. Just chilled and talked, while I sat on the floor in front of the mirror and twisted my hair.
Sunday morning we got up and it was raining…ugh. So we hung out at the apt. for a while before heading to the officer’s club (sounds so cool) for brunch.
Afterwards, we picked up some supplies from the naval exchange (NEX…which is like a big dept/grocery store). I guess I should explain for anyone like me who hasn’t been on a base in a foreign country that it is AMERICA. Not Japan. Everything in USD. Starbucks, movie rental, dept store, post office, hospital, etc…it’s a safe spot w/ everything you need. And lots and lots of Black people.
Anyways, we hop on the train and head to Yokohama for a baseball game…Yokohama Bay Stars. Japanese people are so into their baseball. I’m talking jerseys, cheers, chants, a band, cheerleaders, mascots - the works.
Bay Stars won, it was a home game, fans happy. Cool. We took the train back to Yokusuka where we got dinner at a Thai restaurant. It was okay. Atlanta spoiled me on
Thai food so I’m quite picky. Stayed at Connie’s house where I had a lovely soak in the bath.
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