Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day Two... feels like a hangover... but not a hangover....

So I got up this morning at 6 am to leave for Tokyo, and my head was pounding still from the jetlag. Luckily, I had bought breakfast with my hotel room from "Super Lucky Fun Time Airport Hotel," also known as Narita Skycourt Hotel, although both names have equal weight in the logic category. The "breakfast" was overcooked scrambled eggs with funny little awkward breakfast sausages. I really wanted to take a picture of them, but I didn't want to be rude. The little old lady that had made the food looked so thrilled that a white person was eating it, so I took a small bit of both and flushed it down with a pint of "Koffee." I really wanted to eat some of the japanese food that was also available, but I couldn't figure out what it was, and I didn't want to spend the rest of my day traveling with a stomach ache.
Before I get ahead of myself, I need to address the AMAZINGNESS of the toilet in my hotel room:

Amanda, this is for you. And I am still terrified to do anything more than touch the flush button, fyi.   

And these were the directions of when the airport shuttle for the hotel was supposed to be there.
Seems pretty self explanatory, doesn't it? :)
Anyways, after finding my way into the train station in the basement of the airport, I tried to buy a ticket to Tokyo on the express train. I have been perfecting the phrase "Eigo-ga wakatimasu ka?" which means "Do you understand English?". The ticket lady did not "wakatimasu". It took just under five minutes of bowing and polite smiles to get a ticket from her, but I finagled my way through it. Apparently most people speak something they call Eigo-Neghongo, or Japanaglish. It's a very bastardized version of English with lots if sign language and grunting. Also, it is considered quite rude to hand someone money. It's customary to leave the money in a little basket on the counter, so that your hands don't touch. Found that one out in the most awkward hand dance situation I have ever seen. But I'll go more into interesting customs later.
The country side view from the train was absolutely gorgeous. My iPhone camera did not do it any justice.
The train passed all of these little adorable towns with beautiful gardens everywhere. The attention to detail the Japanese give every aspect of their lives is amazing. And today seemed to be National Hang Your  Laundry Out Your Window Day. Every single house in every single town we passed had clothes and bedding draped out of the windows and some even had spread it out on rooftops.
The architecture in Japan seems to reflect the Yin and Yang concept that they apply to every aspect of their society. Some houses are stunningly detailed with ancient stone carvings and beautiful designs, while others look like they were designed with by a five year old with a block of concrete, just grasping the concept of the cube.
This poorly taken picture was supposed to show that stereotypes can be true. This very petite asian girl was drinking a very tiny version of starbucks, while typing on a very tiny computer.
Up next; my exciting subway experience!

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