I guess I'm a bit excited. He's a part of home. My old home, to be suree, but I went to high school with him and he was always great. Very funny, charming and somewhat witty.
I leave Ohtawara at 12 Noon and arrive at Narita airport at 3PM. Narita is the Tokyo area airport, but it's not in Tokyo... it's in Chiba-ken.. much the same way Toronto's airport is in the city of Mississauga... except that instead of Narita being in a different city, it's actually in a different prefecture/state/province.
His plane arrives 1-1/2 hours late at 4:30PM. Obviously it's not a Japanese airplane.
When I see him, I give him a big hug. The bastard has two suitcases and a large carry-on. The biggest suitcase is close to 70-pounds! What the hell is he carrying here for a short vacation?!
"Hey, AJ (my nickname)... that's from your mom."
We head down to Ueno station in Tokyo, with me dragging the heavy suitcase and then wait a half hour for Matthew who arrived the day before. Bastard's late.
He leads us to a hotel he has booked for the three of us. The hotel is a dump, but it's right in front of the Keo Plaza Hotel where all of the new JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme folks will be staying for orientation before heading out to their respective prefectures. So at least it's handy... and besides... we're there on the cheap... and will only be using the place to sleep off a drunken binge or two, I expect.
We each grab a shower - it's stinking hot!
We then go out and show him the red-light district of Tokyo in the Shinjuku-area. Personally, I've not been there, and I expect Matthew has only been around to see the sights--not top partake of them, because that's not his (or mine) style... why buy the cow when you get the milk for free... so to speak.
We then head back to our hotel after polishing off a few wobbly pops (beer) and some food.
There's only two beds and three guys. Personally, I don't give a crap because I'm sure of my heterosexuality. Matthew gets one bed because he's... well, Matthew, and because John is my friend sleeping in our hotel room.
John and I take the mattresses apart and each sleep on one.It's ridiculous, but if it removes any doubt of who is homophobic, I'm all for that.
Oh yeah... I look in the suitacse from my mom... she sent Inuit carvings made of soapstone? These suckers are like 10 pounds each! And there's three of them! Who will be the lucky Japanese people who get one?
D'uh... my bosses, Kanemaru-san, Hanazaki-san and their boss the Superintendent of the Ohtawara Board of Education (OBOE) of course!
John gave me a 12-pack of Molson Dry beer. Now that's awesome! No wonder the fricking suitcase was so heavy!
Somewhere having a beer in a dive of a hotel with my friends,
Today's blog title is by the US Military Band: MARCHING
PS: Hey Mom! How come you didn't send me any comic books?! Where's my Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy books?! Didn't anyone send me any t-shirts!? I'm not huge, but they don't make my size! I'm only 5'-11" and 180 lbs!!!
PPS: Photo is of the redlight district called Kabuchiko in the area where we took John.