Kyoto, Japan
from the foreign female perspective
Day : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

It was a marvelous day, mostly because we were able to put Utano behind us. I met the boys in the common area around nine, took the suitcase from Aaron so I could cram all of my things back into it, we threw our sheets in the laundry, and then got the hell out. Unfortunately we were not quick enough to avoid the ancient couple who seem to appear everywhere no matter the time of day. The old man clutches the old woman’s arm, trying to dissuade her from acting senile (which she very obviously is), and usually forces her to sit on the tatami floor of the traditional Japanese room adjacent to the lounge. She sits, working her bottom jaw, staring into space, clinging onto her plastic bag.

So much for Utano being a youth hostel. I usually love old people, but those two were just creepy.

I suppose I should also mention the pregnant woman who was staying in my room. We’re talking nine months pregnant, ready to burst at any second, and this woman was staying in a youth hostel. She had the disconcerting habit of rubbing her stomach and staring at people accusingly. It’s the reason I packed so fast, actually, as she had chosen me as her victim that morning and it was weirding me out.

But thank god, we left.

We ran into Cyrano again on the bus, he’s the most normal person we met at the hostel despite his rather distasteful reasons for coming to Japan. It seems he has half a dozen girlfriends all over the world, but he’s French, so what can you do. He’s very good looking, I suppose, if a little on the short side when compared with Aaron and Kyle and I. I’m sure his girlfriends all count their blessings when he deigns to visit their sector of the world.

We got some breakfast at a tiny little shop in the station, it was incredibly cheap and not too bad. Aaron and Kyle were looking the worse for wear after not having showered in half a week due to the disgusting facilities at the hotel, and I’m sure I wasn’t much better. Thankfully Mister Donut still loved us, as always. Good old Mister Donut, our refuge and sanctuary.

Because we’d been frequenting Mister Donut so much during the past week and abusing the free coffee refills like only caffeine fiends can, we had accumulated quite a stack of point cards. For every 200 yen spent, we were given one point, and despite not keeping a few of them out of ignorance, we had accumulated 8. When we sat down with our food this morning, we found a stack of them sitting next to us, just waiting for loving hands to claim them. With this mysterious stack, our previous stash, and what we received from our most current order, we had a total of 22 points. 10 were needed to claim a prize, so I got 3 little lion glasses, and Aaron got a big white cardboard box.

It was exciting.

After chilling for a while we finally packed up and headed to the Shinkansen area to wait for our train. I was stupid and forgot that Kyoto wasn’t the first stop on the line, so the train would not be there until only a few minutes before the time on our tickets as opposed to 20 or 30 minutes as in Tokyo. Kyle was full of loud noises and was generally obnoxious as we waited, but it was a nice change of pace from the subdued attitudes of everyone else in the station. And by then I was quite used to his outbursts. Without them the trip wouldn’t have been the same.

Eventually our train felt like arriving. We were riding the のぞみ新幹線, the fastest train in the country.

It was a smooth ride home. We caught the 中央 from Tokyo, but I had to leave the boys in 新宿 and hop on the 山手 to Shibuya, then take the Inokashira Sen to Komaba so I could sign for my scholarship and pick up my transcript as well as the course guide for next semester.

The boys had managed to make it home without me, paid my rent with the money I provided, and were in the process of cleaning themselves as I had requested.

The rest of the day was spent recovering.

Day : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6