Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Felt cheated!

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:21 PM
I felt cheated. Didnt want to leave Kyoto. Didnt see what I wanted to see in the ancient capital where I dreamed of shoguns with topknots, samurai swords, wooden buildings with wooden sliding doors, girls in kimonos and Japanese flipflops, rickshaws and paper parasols, narrow cobbled stoned alleys lined with noodle houses with cloth banners. Perhaps there would be some other time. Two and half hours of smooth Shinkansen back to Tokyo. Someone sat on my reserved window seat and I loudly and impolitely asked him to remove himself. They must think we're so rude! No wonder Japanese dont like foreigners! The bullet trains zipped through cities and towns, and everytime a train passed by on the opposite tracks, I got thrown back on my seat, and a second later, jerked back to upright position. Is the what 280Km felt like? The weather cooled down and we found ourselves in the 4-star Daiichi hotel in Simbashi. This time on the 12th floor overlooking (again) the rail tracks. Bullet and JR trains all crossed below us but we hardly heard any noise. The Daiichi was most comfortable. Again, with hot water pot, Asian tea cups, robe and slippers, full compliment of toiletry, and a bathroom Vegas style with separate shower stall. Since we didnt see anything of the Imperial Palace, we subway'd there but it was Friday and the East Garden was closed to the public. It threatened to rain. It smelled tropical rain. Nevertheless we walked to Ginza and started sampling every shop. The Sony Center was another disappointment. I imagined it bigger and brighter and more high tech. M. felt in love with the card radio, a radio that is the size and thickness of a credit card, and she bought it even though it didnt quite make the minimum for duty free. Matsuzakaya was another well known name from the past. We sat on the 2nd story cafe at the corner of Chuo-dori and Harumi-dori, at the very heart of Ginza to people/crowd watch. No locals in blue jeans or shorts, hair always colored. My feet were hurting big time from so much walking and my ankles and legs were swollen out of proportion. I couldnt stand up any more and needed to sit but M went for cosmetic shopping. The day ended quietly with McDonalds french fries, rice cake with smoked salmon, coke, BBC News (in the London subway, the police shot a terrorist suspect), and hot green tea from the hotel room.

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