Monday, February 18, 2008

Jet lag

I have an incredible urge to rent Karate Kid II and Lost in Translation. It was all very surreal. We just got back into the country. It was an odd feeling showing up in Chicago, and most people speak English.

Just yesterday, we rode the subway into Tokyo. At which time I found out it was the day of the Tokyo marathon. Tough luck I wasn't signed up for it. I didn't see it, but I imagine we were a mere few blocks from it at some point. On the way back to the hotel, I did see a guy on the subway that appeared to have run in the marathon.

The gig is up.. all those cryptic posts and here I am back from a week and a half in Okinawa followed by a few days in Tokyo. Here is the short, jet lagged version of a report.

Day 1: 13 hrs of flying, followed by 4 hrs of not flying, followed by 3.5 hours of flying, followed by an esoteric ride in my brother's van on the other side of the world (in Okinawa). Visiting then sleep.

Day 2: My bro and I did guy stuff ( looking at guitars and such ), whilst the women and children hit up the Orchid festival. We missed out on being under dressed and getting flu the first day of a two week vacation on the other side of the world.

Here I will stop breaking down by the day for a bit and just toss out some notes:

  • We hit up some wild shops where they sell TONS of used "cool" stuff.. All probably too cool for me.
  • I was able to manage chop sticks enough to be on a weight loss plan until I figured them out better.
  • Yep, that container at the grocery store might be cascade, ivory soap, or sweet potato candy.
  • Even after 2 weeks, they were all still driving on the "wrong" side of the road.. I didn't get used to that.
  • Great plan for drinking and driving.. they have a VERY cheap service that is like a cab, but they drive your car home too.
  • No cell phones while driving. They aren't kidding.
  • Own-a-guy-shimas... A humble wish (please).. Say it after everything. Then say it some more.
  • In Germany you can look up the word for "EXIT". In Tokyo, the subway near the airport has English and Kanji. The subway downtown might not have English. You may want to keep an handy note of the Kanji for the subway station you want to go back to.
  • Any self respecting Hello Kitty fan must make a pilgrimage to Japan. (see also, pokemon and about 10,000 other characters I have never heard of)
  • Vegetarians might have trouble ordering things without pork. Non-vegetarians may have trouble ordering something that they know what all the ingredients are. That said, the food is amazing.
  • You need not go without beverage. Even down the smallest 1/2 lane road in Okinawa, there is a hot/cold drink machine every 3 blocks or so.
  • Yes, they have 5 dollar coins. That pile of change might pay for three fancy lunches.
  • You've heard it before. The mass transport is on time. So on time it's silly.
  • One final tip, I can't say I needed my Garmin Forerunner 305 for every run in Okinawa. Certainly it was a nice safety net. One could get lost going to the corner Coke machine.

OK then, the cat's out of the bag. I fizzled out on my report though. To sum up, if you have the means, I highly recommend it.


Triteacher said...

OH MY!!! Mystery solved.

Tokyo?? Waaaay cool. I am jealous.

Triteacher said...

So this was all pleasure? (Especially surveying the Hello Kitty merchandise, I imagine!)

I reiterate. I'm. Jealous. Especially with your brother there to show you the ropes - new culture with a safety net in place. Nice.