Day 1, Tuscany
Oddly enough, Tuscany was the cover article of the National Geographic available at the airport.
I am sitting at the desk in my room, looking over my shoulder at Ikebukuro at night, drinking Pocari Sweat (it functions similarly to Gatorade and when it is 4AM one’s normal time and one has hours of stuff to do before sleep, one needs all the electrolytes one can get.)
Our plane was named the Robert F. Six. I commented that it sounded like a good name, one that would not plummet out of the sky – and so it didn’t. I honor the memory of Robert F. and the five others who came before our fine vehicle.
For our last meal in the US, we chose to eat at a local Indian restaurant that we like. After parking the car, we found that we had time already on the meter. I stepped out of the car and found money on the ground and P. (my wife) found a nail. I interpreted the signs to mean that we would have good fortune, good timing and good luck. So far, my prediction has been solid.
As I type this, Tsubasa Chronicle is on. TV. None of the original voice actors are being used…damn shame.
This trip has been a little scary so far, because everything has been perfect. That never happens. P and I have the *worst* travel karma in the whole world, bar none. If there’s a way for the airline or hotel reservation to be screwed up, then screwed up it shall be!
And yet, with the exception of the teeny-weeny little side trip I took at security, where they singled me out for special screening, all has been creepily smooth. The plane boarded early, the plane was almost empty, so we had plenty of room, and the food wasn’t nearly as abysmal as we expected based on past experience. (But we expect that that is as much because we packed food for ourselves. If we hadn’t been able to pack food, the food would have been inedible, I’m sure.
The trip to the hotel was smooth, the reservation was (gasp!) correct, thus breaking a 20-year tradition of no hotel ever having my reservation listed.
And, while we were leaving a message for Donna and Serge to call us, they walked in the door.
Now P, D and S are out buying food, and I, Sparkle and Gideon will be following shortly. Room party!
From the left, Sparkle, P, Donna and Serge. Expect to see alot of pictures of these folks…
Rica came over as we sat, bringing copies of the Yuricon ’05 program book – it looks great!
As people started to wilt, they left. But, even though all I wanted to do was sleep, no! It was off to the WANA Trap! Ladies event.. Yay.
So Rica and I left the wife to sleep, and trundled through the overcrowded streets of Shinjuku, as thousands of young people went out to have “fun.”
We met Takami (a Yuricon staffer and Rica’s good friend) at the Hanazono Jinja.
(A Jinja is a Shinto shrine. This one is notable for being a cute shrine in the middle of a vey busy part of town. Throughout the night, they kept trying to explain jinja-related things to me, but I kept saying that I knew and when asked how, laughed and said that I was a fan of Hana no Asuka-gumi. LOL But seriously, I like the Hanazono shrine and I’ve promised it 500yen, so when we go back on Friday, I’ll give it to the kami (resident god) then.)
WANA was being held in a teeny little bar/club – there seemed to be 25 people or so. I was told that there had been another ladies event the night before which is why it was empty. So I drank my lemon squash and watch all the kiddies dance, and felt very old and tired. We gave the organizer some chocolate as a gift, and a signed copy of Rica ‘tte Kanji!? and she was so happy she tried to pick up Rica. (Who had already fended off advances from a lovely, yet, young, lady early that evening. I felt like a fifth wheel.) I don’t remember having that kind of energy even when I was 20.
Eventually the caffeine wore of and we all left. I made my way back on the one of the last trains to Ikebukuro, in a crowd that would have been terrifying if I cared about such things. I can see how groping is such a problem in these cases. There was one little beady-eyed guy near me and I kept an eye on him in case he tried anything funny on the girl who stood near him, but then I forgot. lol
Went to bed, tossed and turned for a few hours and took Ambien.
And so, day one endeth after 39 hours or so.