Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Atsui

Or: in which Justine is asked several times what the Japanese word for “hot” is.

 

I’ve been neglecting documenting my trip, and while I am fully aware of it, I’m still going to blame work. I am finally done paying back my trades, which is AMAZING, as working six 12-hour shifts in eight days several times in the last month was not fun at ALL, and I am ready to not think about going to work for at least two or three days. Thank goodness I am off until Sunday!

 

I have a lot of other things to post about (makeup, birthday parties, etc) but I am still (somewhat) determined to post about my trip in fairly deep detail, so …

 

 

 

Okay I will sheepishly admit that I am sure Tomo and/or Kazumi told me the name of all the places we went, but given that I am not super organized whilst actually DOING the travelling (it all gets used up before, as I’m sure you can tell) I don’t actually remember where we were… but we were close to Tokyo Tower? Kazumi and Tomo had clearly picked up on my desire to see as many shrines as possible on this trip so the day after we got back from Osaka the plan was to meet up for lunch and then go to Tokyo Tower, which Tomo worked really close to. Luckily for us this also included temples (I love them and hope someday I can see more of them) and meeting even more nurses… much to Kelsie’s amusement/sorrow.

 

 

This was our first experience with Tokyo being over 30C (and it would stay that way for pretty much the rest of our trip) so we were both dying by the time we had gone through the traditional Japanese garden, the shrine, and finally the uphill walk to Tokyo Tower. But it was totally worth it! It was also randomly gratifying that when we stopped because I wanted a bottle of water EVERYONE bought one and/or used the time to stand in the air-conditioned convenience store. Huzzah, even Japanese people got hot! Kelsie and I felt less pathetic.

 

Tokyo Tower was lovely, and it was the only time Kelsie and I succeeded in paying for both ourselves AND our Japanese hosts … at least with Kazumi and Tomo. Although I actually think our own 'Calgary Tower’ is taller… there isn’t as much to see. Like it felt like we would never see the edge of Tokyo… which we didn’t.

 

 

Because Kazumi and Tomo were also alarmingly efficient, we went to Inokashira park right after Tokyo Tower… worth noting that at this point we had lost the additional 8 nurses we’d started out with, and it was back to being Kazumi, Tomo, Kelsie and me… this was fine with us! Inokashira park was a lot of fun (I loved all the street entertainers) and every time we stopped to watch someone performing, Kazumi translated all the talking for me :D

 

 

And much later, we went out for dinner and drinks in Shinjuku! We met up with two of Kazumi’s friends who worked for Hewlett Packard which made Kelsie happy… finally someone who worked in her field! One was a friend who was getting married that weekend, and the other a girl named Mapi who helpfully told us that Kazumi’s nickname was ‘Smile-man’ because he was good at making friends with girls. LOL.

 

For the record, I don’t think Kelsie and I ever would have found our way back to the JR station if Tomo had not walked us back there himself… and I think I have told pretty much everyone about the most embarassing moment of the trip (for me) which consisted of the following conversation:

 

Justine: Congratulations on your wedding this weekend!

Soon-to-be-Married: Thank you very much! I am very excited.

Mapi: Ah, all this talk about weddings… are you married Justine?

Justine: Oh no, I’m not. Kelsie has a boyfriend though.

Mapi: Oh, so you’re single? *smiles, gestures to Kazumi and soon-to-be-married* You must like Japanese men right? Which of these men do you like better?
Justine: *RED*

Kazumi: Ah no, don’t ask that!

 

And then I stammered out that of COURSE I liked Japanese men (and of course, Kazumi) and then I quickly vacated the room to walk back to the station with Kelsie and Tomo.

 

Finally, week one done! Next… Kyoto, Yokohama, and a week of KAT-TUN concerts :D

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