Thursday, September 24, 2009

I feel your glance at my status symbol

I'm so sorry to everyone whom I have kept waiting with baited breath for my next post. Yes, I feel terrible to keep you waiting a week and a half to hear what I have been up to in Japan. Therefore, I will get you up to date now! First, some explanations of things.

1) Flickr has a preset limit of how many photos I can post in one month. The fourteen photos I have currently available are taking up 47% of my limit. Since I cannot possibly limit myself to thirty pictures per month, I have decided to only post the best of the best on Flickr. Everything else will be put into a Facebook album.

2) Secondly, with regards to the photos, I have lost my cable that connects my small digital camera to my computer! No worries though, I have another one on the way, but it may take some time for me to get it in the mail. I'm sorry, but just imagine the intense joy you will all have when I unleash fire in a week or so.

Ok, shall we begin?

As most of you have probably gleaned from my current Japan Facebook album, I went to Hikone castle last Thursday. I am taking a class here at JCMU called Comparative Social Organization and Control: Japan and America. Quite an intimidating class name should merit some degree of difficulty. Instead, we go on field trips on Thursdays. So we tour the Hikone castle and museum which makes me realize, "hey! Hikone used to be super cool and war-like!" Who doesn't love that? Anyway, I took 150 photos and posted many of them on FB.

That weekend marked the beginning of what is known in Japan as "Silver Week." Following the weekend there were three holidays: Monday was People's Day, Tuesday was Respect for the Elderly Day, and Wednesday the people of Japan celebrated the Autumnal Equinox. Sweet. This just meant no school for five days. After class on Friday, I took the train to Tokyo and met my mother and aunt to spend some time with them during the break. However, the train ride did not go quite as planned.

I would need to go to Kyoto in the west before heading south-east to Tokyo on the Shinkansen (bullet train.) I mistakenly got on the local train to Kyoto which would take a large number of hours that I was not ready to spend. I thought to myself, "No problem! I will just get off at the next rapid train stop and get on an express train." But, I screwed up. I ended up getting off at the wrong stop where only local trains came and I ultimately had to wait an extra 45 minutes to get on the same train I had just departed. No matter. I eventually board the proper vehicle and am off to Kyoto.

While waiting for the express train an interesting occurrence took place. A small, shuffley old lady wearing a floral shirt and a floppy hat came up to me and asked in a raspy voice if I was a foreigner. Slightly confused, I said politely, "yes I certainly am." She laughed at me and sat down, proceeding next to try to converse with me. Completely in Japanese no less. I could tell most of what she said were not questions and so I would just nod and smile. If she laughed, I would chuckle too, though she was just probably laughing directly at me and my failure to comprehend more than 2% of what she said. She did, however, ask if my parents were well; how old I was, which shocked her to find out that I was not 16 but twenty; if I had a girlfriend; and what I thought of her. I told her my parents are doing fine, I have a wonderful girlfriend currently in Germany, I found her to be quite interesting for an 85 year old lady and that she had quite a bit of spunk. She kept telling me that I was handsome and had a big smile, which I wasn't really sure what to do with. I would laugh and say, "no no no," which is what one should do in Japan, but she just kept pressing. Eventually she wished me well and we got on separate train cars.

The rest of my journey to Tokyo was rather unremarkable until I stepped foot outside of Tokyo station. Alone and mapless I was left mainly to my own wit and cunning to find my way to a hotel that my mother was in. I saw a white man on his Blackberry and I asked the nice english speaker which way was Ginza, the district wherein I knew the hotel to be. Well, he lied and pointed in the wrong direction. So here I was, wandering around Tokyo at night trying to find my mother. By some miracle, I found a map and looking at it for a while, noticed that around the corner was my destination! Win.

A lot happened over the break while I was in Tokyo and nearby areas. I will keep you tentatively wondering what they may be since my post is going to end here. Don't fret, tomorrow you should get another post. Think of this as a "to be continued..."


  1. Never trust a white man with a blackberry. All we do is lie.

  2. In Kenya people think I am a least 27. People here don't seem to age. Its funny that she thought you were 16. My age is shocking too!