Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Japan Trip - Day 12

I woke up really early today, which might have been because my futon faced the window and the sunlight was barging in through the curtains. I saw that it was 6 am, and also saw that it was raining, so I thought, I'll go back to sleep.

Today was a travel day, so we didn't have anything on "the agenda". We were chilling in the hostel for most of the morning after breakfast. I had somehow developed a stinging pain in my leg, which hurt when I walked, and wasn't very heartening since we had a long hike the next day. So I took whatever painkillers I dared, said goodbye to Maru-san and Yuu-san, and hobbled our way to the train station, keenly trying not to miss our train and arriving half an hour early anyway.

Sayonara Sou-san!

We took a train to Maibara then through Nagoya to Shizuoka. Lunch was a quick delightful affair of a bento box hastily consumed along the train ride. I had started listening to LiSA's latest album in preparation for her concert, and fell asleep midway.

Sounds like a dish.

Our hostel in Shizuoka was another small place called Momotaro Guest House. It was larger than Pongyi, and it took up five floors of apartment flooring rather than a small side house on the knife-edge of the street. The office on the second floor was empty when we visited, but the lady came eventually, but she didn't speak much English. We fumbled our way through the instructions, and wound up on the fourth floor, being shown our rooms.

I like to believe that we stayed in a wide spectrum of lodging for this entire trip, and Momotaru Guest House provided most of one end of that spectrum. You couldn't really call them rooms - cubicles were more appropriate. The management used some false boards to partition out a couple small living spaces, with just enough space for a bunk bed, a small staircase/bedside table, a writing desk with a small stool and a television on a shelf, all in the space of an average closet. Don't get me wrong - I was not complaining, it was quite clean and certainly more comfortable than, say, a bunk on Tekong. It was just really small and narrow, and you start to understand that this wasn't a place to stay, just a place to sleep in. I bunked with JX, and there was just enough space to squeeze our two relatively huge backpacks into a corner.

Still better than army.
It was too early for dinner but too late to go sightseeing, and Shizuoka wasn't much of a tourist destination anyway, and my leg wasn't built for anything but lounging around in front of the television. So that's what we did. There was a French guy there using his laptop, but I'm sure we disturbed him enough to send him back to his room for more privacy. That was because we started watching the large communal television, and commenting on everything.

Those two hours were the basis for most of our inside jokes for the next two weeks. We mainly watched the Japanese music channels, one part trying to see what nice music could be found, and one part laughing at all the hilarious music videos in a language we couldn't understand. There was Mister Constipation, and the Funny Hand Signs guy, and a bunch of nice music and the Humping Girls.

We were inspecting the map to the city, pinned on the wall next to the television, deciding where to go for dinner, and were met by this half-South African, half-Japanese guy, who we chatted to, a bit, and it became obvious that he was one of those very liberal type guys, who could introduce us to his favourite oppai bar. But he also could introduce us to one of his favourite under-18 eating places, and we took his suggestion and trekked out into the persistent spring shower to hunt it down.

The best in wireless GPS.
It was a nice restaurant, where I had a nice tonkatsu donburi. Bryan kept commenting about Japanese people, sometimes not in a very positive way, and when we kept discouraging him, he just said, "It's not like anyone could understand me." So when we left, I said, "I bet all the other people in there are like, 'I say, those foreigners were bloody rude, if I do say so myself,'" in that posh British accent. Recurring joke number two for the day.

"My word, I cannot for the life of me believe such impertinent behaviour!"

On our way back that night we passed a Starbucks, and was tempted to try some of the local flavours and talk to the cute girl behind the counter.

It was soooooo good. The coffee, I mean.

Most of the rest of the night was spent watching more music videos, showering in the female shower because there weren't any of them on our floor and it was cleaner, and squeezing into the cubicle for sleep.

*All pictures in this post courtest of Bryan.