We’ll be shifing into travel blog mode for today, but I’ll have news from the Japan Wireless Expo tomorrow…
So I made it to Tokyo (obviously) but the trip over had a couple of rough spots at either end.
In the Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson airport I had to endure a slew of verbal abuse from some sales dude sitting behind me because I asked him to use his indoor voice while talking into his BlackBerry. I take full responsibility for interrupting his call (which was wrong) but honestly, the guy was talking so loudly that the entire lounge could hear him. As soon as he hung up he proceeded to lay into me, calling me, among other things a fat-ass (technically correct, as I’m not yet at my ideal weight) and faggot (a bit of a stretch, but I could at least see where he was going given that, unlike him, I wasn’t wearing a golf shirt and khakis and didn’t have one of those bad sales guy perm jobs).
It was one of those moments where I felt the need to stand up myself, but while getting into fisticuffs would make for a great story, it would kind of suck to be banned from Pearson Airport for life and not be able to travel again. Sorry for letting you down.
My fortunes immediately changed for the better the moment I stepped on board my plane. I scored a sweet, sweet bulkhead seat and had the pleasure of sharing my flight with a fellow young Canadian named Vlad. He was going to Japan for the very first time like I did seven years ago, but his command of the Japanese language put mine to shame.
Thirteen hours later we landed in Japan, and like all foreigners now got photographed and fingerprinted — no big deal for me, as Interpol already has my prints from the two security guard jobs I worked in my younger days.
Grabbing the NEX from the airport into town was also a breeze, but the second bit of trouble started when I got off. My hotel is connected to Shibuya Station, but the station itself is so large that I didn’t realize how far away I was when I walked out through the ticket gates. And it got worse. One of the streets I had to cross was so busy that it had one of these insane pedestrian overpasses that I had to drag my bags and my fat ass up and over. By the time I reached the check-in desk I was covered in at least a couple layers of sweat.
A quick shower later I was ready to buy some supplies and get a cheap dinner at my favourite Japanese burger joint. I guess I’m getting a little older and wiser, as this time ’round I’m really noticing the wincing and rolling eyes when I stumble through basic transactions in my awful Japanese. We’ll see if it gets any better over the course of the week…