Tuesday, January 8

"The Ningen Da!" or "An Expensive Trip to Nagoya"

Extent of the festival, from the station.

I knew it would cost me, but little did I realize how much...

Finding themselves unexpectedly free from the grips of the BoE, The Paul-tachi invited me to join them on an impromptu trip into Nagoya. I hemmed and hawed, what with the state of my finances being what it is, but ultimately decided to join them after considering what my day would be like if I didn't: Boring as Hell.

Mask stand

Arriving at a main intersection downtown, it took a minute or two to register in my little pea brain as to why there were so many folks out and about: the festival. I'd only just learned of this festival the night before, so it hadn't had time to really sink in. I also didn't realize it was such a "big" event, and therefore finding parking before getting on a train hadn't factored in to my pre-train schedule. I did find parking, however, but The Paul-tachi had less luck, and we missed our train. No worries, we did an up-and-back of the festival, greeting kids, checking out the gastronomical offerings, etc.

While a former student looks on, The Paul-tachi help themselves to some fries.

So off we went, luckily finding ourselves on the Rapid - just as comfortable as the Central Liner, and almost as quick, but without the 310 yen surcharge. Sweet.

We eventually landed in Sakae and immediately found our way to the Denny's, as per CaliPaul's request. I wasn't adverse to it, as I thoroughly enjoyed my Corned Beef Hash Melt the last time, and had been thinking about it ever since.

It's a bronze Workin' Truck.

After lunch it was on to the Nagoya Center Building to complete CP's main purpose for going to Nagoya - to get a re-entry permit for his visa. It was on this fateful journey, just 8 or so blocks long for us, when, in a punchbug van-inspired frenzy of flying fists (my own), my beloved camera flew rather violently from my coat pocket and smashed onto the sidewalk, losing the shutter button (eventually recovered, in spite of The Queen's Paul initially hoping to replace it with a green piece of gum wrapper he mistook for it on the sidewalk). The damage done: while I was able to replace the shutter button, the impact jarred the top of the camera away from the body just enough so that unless you force it down, the batteries don't stay connected and it powers off. Nice. Just in time for my trip to Tokyo this weekend. Karma can be a spiteful b*@#h, can't she.

Just checking the route to CP's re-entry permit. And anticipating the delectable delight of my Strawberry Yogurt Hi-Chew's.

Aaanyhoo, we were in and out o'er at the NCB, and back to Sakae for a stop at Maruzen, where you can't leave without buying anything (I got a kanji practice book. Must use...)

After that it was Mr. Donut for dinner, and then another fateful trip, this time to the next-door Game Center. It was here that I managed to lose my super-cute usagi-chan change purse. If you've spent any amount of time in Japan, you know that change purses are indispensible, especially with the equivalents of the $1 and $5 being coins. So, while it wasn't an expensive change purse, and there was only maybe 200 yen in it, I did get it in Takayama and now I don't have one until I replace it. Poop.

CP's Simpson's Donut, in commemoration of the Simpson's Movie.
If you ask me, that glaze looks a little radioactive.

On that note, instead of waiting an extra 8 minutes for the rapid, we returned home on the Central Liner, as per TQ's request as his jet lag was kicking in. We thought we were slick nabbing a four-seater-with-mini-table in the back of one of the cars, but a couple stops in, we got booted from our trench by folks with reserved seat tickets. Ah, the Central Liner at commuting time. I must say, it was the strangest Central Liner trip I've ever had. We made our way up through maybe 3 cars, with no luck on the empty seat front, so we plopped down next to the Central Doors (which "will not open") and waited until Tajimi for someone to get off. Which, predictably, they did. Looking around at our fellow passengers, not only were we the only gaijin in the car, but the average age (not including ourselves) appeared to be around 50. I also seemed to be the main contributor of estrogen in the car, as the other passengers were all suit-clad males. And we were the only ones without a seat. No one else was standing by the doors. Weird.

TQ attempts to learn the tricks for playing Too Spicy o'er at the Game Center.
Put that kanji to work, Paul!

Anyway, we got home and all was well... until I had to stay up until 11 to phone the woman who did my taxes three years ago, as I've been audited and the New York State Deparment of Taxation and Finance wants more money than I'd like to pay (read: "more than zero dollars"). Seeing as I already had to pay them so much when I didn't work there. So, the lady wasn't even in yet, and this morning there was no response to the email, including the photos of the papers I received from the NYSDoTF, that I'd sent her. Boo and boo.

Where poor English comes from.
Gorgeous de Cutie
Good na Choice wo arigatou

After that I was all wound up, so I was up until after 2 just farting around and completing the Kanji Chikara (power) pre-test in my book. I got like a 70-something percent. Not great, but it is kind of fun to realize how much kanji you actually do know, and well. So cool!

And of course, being up so late, I slept until 10 this morning, when more like 8 would have been ideal. Actually, I did wake up at that hour to the strange sounds emanating - I hoped - from something not belonging to me. Turns out my neighbor's truck was having difficulty starting, so it took several tries to get him off to work. But not before I woke up enough to figure out what the heck that noise was.

And now here I am, reporting to you folks, while my laundry dries and I decide what to do with myself until gym time later on.

Please keep the peace.


Blogger Melissa said...

Did I miss the explanation of "The Ningen da!" ?

I hope you had a better trip to Tokerino (^_<)

2:39 AM

Blogger Abbey said...

It was the theme song for the trip. Click on the title!

6:06 AM

Blogger Melissa said...

Eeeeew Morning Musume! Don't go to the dark side, Abi-!

And FYI, the tragic loss of camera does not justify the total lack o' updates (^_<)

12:19 AM

Blogger Abbey said...

Sorry, I've been too sad and too busy taking care of sad and stressful things to put up an update. Downtimes have been devoted to turning my frazzled brain over to movies, TV and reading in order to allow myself the brief luxury of not thinking about my current state of affairs.

7:44 AM


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