Showing posts with label boats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boats. Show all posts

Saturday, 31 March 2018

2 - Sleepless in Japan

(Tuesday 27th March, Sumoto) 

We (along with 4 other Japanese dudes) got the ferry from Kansai Airport across to Sumoto, Awajishima at 1:25pm (5:25 am UK time) and arrived at 2:30pm, but I was so out of it due to being up for 24 hours I took the opportunity of catching 40 winks stretched out on the seat until we arrived. If you've ever tried to have forty winks on a ferry you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Our (almost) private ferry
The wait in the foyer of the Condo until 4pm check-in time (8am UK time) was the longest ever. Sitting on those comfy leather sofas in that beautiful, luxurious foyer with luggage scattered around us trying to keep my eyes open was a losing battle, and I was conscious (just) that we were an untidy family cluster, but I had neither the will nor the inclination to do anything about it. Eventually a big official guy came along and efficiently swept us up in the check-in procedure and out the front door.

The main building is a hotel but they bought a few apartment blocks  nearby for self-catering. So once we got our key we drifted across the street like tumbleweeds up a flight of stairs to a nice clean two-bedroom apartment with a Japanese-style tatami room, dining room, TV, one hob kitchenette, shower, balcony, and most of the windows glazed due to such proximity with next-door apartment buildings. 

Rather disappointed to discover that my nice international electric adaptor I bought from Boots years ago doesn't seem to work. Now there was no way to charge my laptop or any of our USB stuff. Through the haze I was dimly aware the best way to combat jet lag was to stay awake until early evening at least, so after unpacking I stretched out on the bed with the curtains open doing my best not to plummet into a deep, bottomless sleep. Then we went out for some reconnoitre of the local area to hunt down some supplies. 

Matching retro mod con set

It was great to be back in Sumoto again after 7 years. It's a funny yet pleasant feeling to have such vague, murky memories refreshed after so long. The temperature was warm, the day still bright and welcoming, the heat rising from the pavements from the day, as we walked up and across towards the main shopping district. In Edion, the first of the huge stores, we bought my son an enormous Bayblade Arena, which he'd been looking forward to getting for the last few weeks, and now it was up to me to carry the damn thing around while half asleep. My wife succeeded in purchasing a UK-Japan plug adaptor, so that should be that problem solved. 

Lost in translation: A selfie sticker booth for young people 
In the second giant department store we met one of my wife's friends and her husband and I suddenly found myself in the unenviable position of having to converse on a social level in Japanese after being out of the country for so long. When we got back home I just about had enough energy to have some supper, read a few pages of Lord of the Rings to my son (making up delirious sentences here and there) before we both crashed out and knew no more... 

... except for the distant drunken singing, which my subconscious recognised to mean that we were located downtown and probably near and above a karaoke snack bar.

... and the unmistakeable sound of countless tiny Japanese children shouting and learning and having fun, signifying that we were probably near and above a kindergarten and that it was already (by someone's yardstick if not my own) morning. 

Read Day 3.