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February 03, 2003

Day Two: Saturday: Handea Tokyu Hotel.

Oops. Didn't need that 6am wake up call for the 7am shuttle bus to catch that 8:20am flight. It's a 2:20pm flight. Was looking at the return flight, not the outgoing one. I forgive myself in the name of laggedness. That was after getting to the hotel. Shared the bus from Narita airport to Handea airport (90 min) with an Austrian woman named Britta. She was with the 2012 winter olympic committee. Or 2010. She spent the entire trip, when not explaining the intricacies of olympic committees, alternating between trying to make her cellphone work in Japan and wedging a wad of swedish tobacco under her upper lip. I remember it as snuff, but she had another name for it. Just the thing for long journeys. I think I watched Spider Man 3 times last night. Made it worth the 1500 yen it cost to see it, but I just couldn't sleep, after not sleeping for the last however many hours it had been since I had last. Did get some down time between 11 and 3 local time. I think hotels are all about maximizing usage. I guess that's why I don't make an ideal guest. Had to have a shower and a bath. Watch a movie thrice (well, I think I saw it in sufficient fragments to count as merely two in total.). If I'm charged 1700 yen ($24) for breakfast, I might as well have three of them. Strangely enough, I did. A western one, then a Japanese one, then a fruit and salad one. Oh, four. After being so good, I had a plate of sausages and french fries (the Japanese version). [Pictures: hotel room, view from buffet, Mount Fuji from the hotel, out my hotel room window, Haneda Airport, Cyber Cafe 1, Cyber Cafe 2] It is now 8am. That is 6pm Canadian time. And I've got 3 more hours to poke about until checkout. Time to find an international telephone and let yuka know I've arrived safely. When I talked to Alan last night (he's in Tokyo) I asked him to email yuka to let her know I'd arrived. But still... can't call too often when abroad. Especially since I totally suck at remembering to send postcards. (Though if you want one, email me your snail mail addy!). Yuka! I called Yuka just now. And she got the email from Alan telling her that I arrived. Not too much has changed in Canada over the last 24 hours. She seemed to get a kick out of my observations on being back in Japan, for the first time since 1995. I'll get to the observations later on, but they're joyful and sympathetic observations... not the ""gee, they don't do it like this at home"" sort. Wow. I overheard a great conversation from some guys explaining how to get from the hotel to Akihabara (do a web search), the greatest electronics shopping district in Japan, and probably the world. Alan's promised to take me through his favorite haunts if I can get back down to Tokyo during my trip. This guy was explaining how he was able to get from here to Akihabara for 390 yen. Everyone else was paying 1200, so they gathered around to hear. Turned out that he was from the Cook Islands, and the other two were from the Philippines and Brazil respectively, in for a conference on Airline security. A real growth business. Don't know much about the Cook Islands, beyond what you get from high school geography, so it was a neat discussion on comparative cultures. They use New Zealand for all their foreign affairs, and all that. Then it was time for the bill. First time I've ever paid $291 for an evening's stay (though that included the luxury of a single beer, breakfast and a movie). No wonder people can't travel if it is not on business. But then again, I guess I AM on business. Not looking forward to next year's tax time, that's for sure. That's enough for today. I want to keep every day's post under 500 works, otherwise no one will bother to read them."

Posted by jason at February 3, 2003 12:38 AM