Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tokyo Day 1-The marathon
On Narita Express
Yesterday was the day from hell starting with my cab being late to get to the airport, but then I got a little good kharma and there was no one on line at the ticket counter, nor at security. The flight was perfectly acceptable but I was miserable the whole time 14hrs without sleeping and insane cramps, by hour four I was about to jump out of my skin. I watched three movies, four vampire diaries, and played pacman, majong,space invaders and then pretended to sleep.
On JAL flight
After 14 hours of torture, the plane was half an hour late arriving at Narita which meant I was going to have to be a speed demon if I was going to get to the Sakura house check-in by 8pm. Immigration went smooth hardly any gaijin (foreigners) checking in, but my suitcase of course was practically last because out of a massive plane only 13 rows were economy the rest were premium or first class and they get their baggage first, bastards!
Then I raced to the ATM machine and behold my card didn't worked in the HSBC atm, my bank of course, so I tried Citibank, bingo!
Got Money and ran to the JR Narita Express ticket counter on the B1 level, unfortunately the only non-stop to Shinjuku wouldn't arrive for another 40 mins so I had no choice, at this point I've called the Sakura house folks to tell them where I am and to please wait for me and not close the office. Got to Shinjuku station at quarter to 8pm (they close at 8pm) and Shinjuku station is the biggest train station in the world, literally so I had to quickly navigate through the tunnels with a massive suitcase, a giant knapsack filled with camera equipment and my smaller backpack. Finally got outside the west exit and then I have to fight with the tiled streets to get my bag to roll do the street. I made it! 8pm on the dot! Checked-in my credit worked fine which was my other worry. Grabbed a cab, I'm sick to my stomach at this point, haven't slept in 24hrs and haven't eaten in a while. I mimed to the cab driver with my map where I needed to go and after ten minutes of staring at the map he punched the address into the GPS and found my apartment, yay! Now for some more fun, I have to lug a 60lb suitcase up very narrow steep metal staircase. I'm home! It's freezing in the apartment, it takes me about ten minutes to figure out the kanji on the remote for the heating unit it never really warmed the apartment just a small section. I got my futons ready, I went down the street to some vending machine for a bottle of water and another of green tea, then off to the shower and bed.
Gross chicken teriyaki with unidentifiable sweet things on the upper right.