waiting until you can afford to travel and live large at the same time….
Im not really a travel blogger, and those who know me know I prefer to let a picture tell 1,000 words. All 250 of them I posted on facebook for the benefit of family and really just for making y’all jealous. But I suppose the whole time I was thinking about writing a few things from our adventure to London, France, Spain and Tokyo.
Having a friend in London, who in a previous life had shared our humble Summer Hill flat for some time during a summer a couple of years ago, we set forth to claim some couch time back. The first leg of our trip was a flight into Narita airport Tokyo as a stop over to break up the flight. It’s Tokyo, but it’s nowhere near Tokyo city, or the surrounding suburbs popular with tourists. In fact there wasnt even a 7 eleven nearby that offered an alternative food source to that provided by the Nikko Narita airport hotel.
In our travel weary state, Mr P. and I were hanging for a Beer. And, while there was a Beer vending machine down the hall ( we later learned that you can certainly buy just about any beverage from a vending machine) we visited the Cocktail lounge on level 11. Asahi Asahi Asahi… things were better, after that. I still didnt have my head around currency conversion, and Im pretty sure the Beers were about $12AUD each, but that didnt seem so bad, considering we’d just had a 9 hour flight.
A little bit more level after several Beers, we headed to the one of 2 available restaurants in the building, which just so happened to be a Sashimi sushi restaurant.
After perusing the menu, and laughing and sniggering like a dumb tourist at some of the available delights, such as salted Bonito entrails, and Most fatty Tuna, and marveling at the fact you can just light up a ciggie sitting right at the table in a room full of other people; we decided to get a Mixed Sashimi bowl each.. When in Tokyo right? I have to say, even after visiting Tokyo city on the way back, it still strikes me as the best Ive ever eaten.. even if it should have been dusted with gold flakes for the price. Something like $300AUD for the meal? Umm… yup.. cool. Good start to the trip, Especially when neither of our credit cards would work on the restaurant machine. Panic started to set in. Was this a picture of things to come? Had our money been frozen by the bank? Do you even need to tell the bank you’re going overseas? Finally after some sign language interpretive dance moves, Mr. P managed to work out that he could pay at the font desk. You dont make it easy, Nikko Narita. Meanwhile.. I ogled at a Sole fish in a tank, which seemed so out of place and time, waiting on death row to go into one of those bowls.
I suppose I was a little over excited for the first leg of the trip. Wanting to buy souvenirs and quirky Hello Kitty oddments which amused me at the airport shops ( later we learned there are most certainly shops in Tokyo)
I purchased for myself a bottle of water in the shape of said cartoon cat of note, and it came with me the entire trip. and a wonderful “Kawaii” watch with little cupcakes inside the face. Perfect to suit my forearm tattoo. ( Later we learned that Tattoos are not particularly mainstream in Tokyo)
But the next day we were gone. Another 12 hour flight, which I will clock up to being particularly shit. Having had the luxury of the two back seats with no one beside us on the way to Japan, now having to share with a random dude was a little painful. Book your seats in early people. Thats the first thing Ive learned.
Japan Airlines’ seating is a little less than roomy. If you are a tall gentleman like Mr. P, sitting in the window seat of a three seat row is not particularly ideal. However, this was his want and I took the middle row. Much to my own ass’ demise. Maybe Im getting old, but my feet actually swelled up like balloons. This was both frightening and amusing.
The hosts wore cutesy frilly aprons, with pictures of hot air balloons on them, and did nothing to abate the stereotypical image of a demure, domestic female servant. with softly spoken, high octave voices, they did their best to speak English to us foreign types*
The airline food was actually amazing. Japanese style with several small dishes to choose from I was pretty much hanging for just the packet of rice crackers. For some reason I had gone into pure foodie holiday mode since the Uber fish the night before. This was the start of things to come… and every gram of the 3-4kg I put on while I was away was 100% worth it.
Next chapter: London.
*With the exception of one red haired Scottish ex-pat hostess who went from deep Scottish accent to high polite Japanese at the drop of a hat.