AIA#134 I almost lost my temper and Small town life in Japan Pt.1

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PHOTO CREDIT

I woke up at my capsule hotel in Tokyo yesterday.  The hotel was practically empty.  I packed all my bags and checked out.  I had two large bags and a backpack.  Pretty much everything I owned.  I did managed to get rid of some clothing, books and other stuff before I left China, but still my stuff was heavy as you can imagine.  My big suitcase has wheels and I can roll it and put my duffle on top.

I headed for Tokyo Station and went to the money exchange.  The man at the money exchange was young and a trainee.  It took a long time for them to do the exchange.  They had to count the money then they asked a few questions.  As I was leaving they asked me how long I was staying. Ugh… Because I was staying for a year they took the money back.  It made no sense sense I was only angry because they had wasted my time. I held back my frustrations and cussed them after I left.   They must not know about money exchange machines which are accessible to everyone and require no ID.  They also give a better exchange rate, which I was quite happy about.  These machines are popping up at places like 7-11 and train stations.

I bought a ticket for the Shinkansen and made my to the platform.  I looked at the ticket.  I could read a date but that was it. I felt like an idiot.  It was confusing because there was no train number or time on the ticket, but eventually I asked a guy in Japanese.  After I got to the platform, I double checked to make sure I was getting on the right train. I spotted a bento box shop and went inside.  All the bentos were neatly stacked and had well designed packages.  They all looked so good.  Finally, I bought a rice ball and some fried chicken and a green tea.

My train arrived and I got on, and lugged my bags behind me.  The train was very quiet and only three people were in my car. I found a seat and leaned back.  Plenty of leg room and a nice food tray in front.  If you haven’t travelled by Shinkansen I recommend it. It’s pricy, but my favourite way to travel.  It’s easy and you can enjoy the scenery.  After an hour I made it to my destination.

I’ve moved to a small city in the countryside.

I have two strong feelings about it.  Feeling A: I am a city man at heart, and I have a fear of not being able to make friends here in a small city and being alone.  Feeling B: I’ve lived in cities for most of the past five years and I’m ready to live in a more quiet environment.

Right now, “Feeling A”, is prevailing but I have to make the best of it.  For sure, my job here will be better than Tokyo.  And living here will definitely improve my Japanese skills.

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PHOTO CREDIT

My city does have some decent shopping areas, restaurants and izakayas (Japanese bars).  I’ve explored it a little and found some decent cafes and coffee shops and grocery stores.  I’ve lived in a lot worse places, a Chinese suburb with no convenience stores, A city blistering hot in Saudi Arabia, the very dense pollution of Beijing, I could go on.  I’m no newbie, when it comes to tough places to live in.

 

 

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