KKM forwards another "bad day" story, with a nice international flavor.
The Tokyo Report, Part I
I spent about a week at my parents' house. I spent a big part of it reading about sprawl, playing computer games, and watching a bunch of movies I should have watched over the past couple of years. It was fun. One point- game developers have a thing against Great Britain. I am sure of it. Every computer game I've played for Great Britain I've lost. They do have a thing in favor of the Soviet Union though. Go figure.
Coming to Japan started was an unpleasant experience, big thanks to American Airlines. I was flying from Atlanta to Chicago, and from there to Tokyo. Since my final destination is international, AA sent me to their "international check-in" and refused to check me in otherwise. I spent 1.5 hours in the line for the international
section. By the time I got to the counter it was "too late to check in your bags, sir." After several not-so-pleasant exchanges with the lady, she finally promised to get someone to take my bag to the plane.
The catch? The bag had to go through "special security."
The special security involved a dude literally dumping all of my neatly-folded stuff on a table and looking through it in search of a "weapon," sniffing my colognes, and then jamming it all back in. Charming.
I get to Japan. I get to the real estate office renting out my place without any trouble and get my key, even though I was running the risk of getting in late. Amazing!
As I leave the office, I realize that my rolling suitcase keeps careening and falling over. A block later, one of the wheels of my rolling bag falls off. Probably thanks to my dear friends at AA. The bag is way to heavy to carry. Taxi is an option but it costs about $200 a trip. I rule against the taxi.
I move through the crowd and get on on the subway, taking a breather every half a block. I successfully find the right subway and get out at the right station. My real estate office was nice enough to give me a map locating my apartment. Nice. I lose the map somewhere during exiting the station. Not nice. I figure that I remember where my apartment is "sort of."
I am slowly making my way through Roppongi, half a block at a time. Finally, I see my apartment. Things are turning up.
As I walk in I hit my head. The door is designed for someone at least a foot shorter than I. That's the 1st time of many I hit my head. I am just too darn tall for this country. Shower and toilet doors are no different. The 4th time it happens I start planning a negligence suit. Oh wait, I am in Japan...
A few general observations:
1. I am starting to understand how hot girls feel. People stare at me. They do not have a good reason to stare, like when your pants are unzipped. When I meet their eyes they look away, pretending that they weren't starting at all. But, their stares are still obvious and a bit discomforting.
2. Restaurants with English menus are expensive. Restaurants with pictures or a plastic replica of what your food would look like are not. That means that most of my dining experiences involve pointing.
3. Tokyo's subway system is really not hard to navigate. Everything is subbed in English.
4. Nigerian guys should stop offering me to go to "titty bars." I know that many westerners like those. I know that I live right off the strip club street. I know that Nigerian strip club owners have families to feed.
I am not impressed. The worst part is that I still can't find a way to rid of them. "I am not interested" certainly does not work. "I live here, I am not here go to a strip club" does not work. Even "I would like to talk to you about Jesus" works only for some. Hopefully they'll start recognizing me soon and won't bother me.
5. I have a huge office and a beautiful secretary. Life's looking up.