Today was one of those days in which many things must have happened but I am darned if I can remember what they were. Most of my thoughts have been intruding reminders about the trip to Japan, which would be more useful if I wasn’t housebound. Linda is off on an all day conference tomorrow and is probably glad to be away from the phone calls from me: “Did you remember to pick up xxxxxx?”
The news of yesterday was that our fridge started making noises that I have heard watching NASA launches as “fire ignition booster rocket” My GOD! Can that thing make noise. This is where actually having a Butch in the family might be useful, as we turned it off and then after a while of various prayers and offerings turned it back on. It seemed to hum but we noticed that it wasn’t freezing anymore. This morning at 5:40 it went back into “Launch mode.” So Linda shut it off for a few hours.
She came home because FRAN, the manager refuses to talk to me, or come up to our apartment anymore (oh, what a horrid tragedy, how will I survive?). Linda filled out a “service request form” and then Fran, refusing to SEE Linda, talked with her on the phone and got a repairman to come TODAY because the other alternative was him coming tomorrow when I was home. Fran said she wouldn’t send in the repairman if I was home alone (I don’t actually EAT people, that’s just what they say on on-line forums). Anyway, the repair guy said that Fran was a piece of work but she wasn’t the worst manager in the city (second worst, ya gotta try harder Fran!). Apparently, the worst was a woman same age who was SURE a tenant was smoking on their balcony and she ran full out, fell down and split her head and broke her arm. Did she stop? No, with blood pouring from her head and her broken arm, staggered up and kept going to break down the door and get the PROOF of the person smoking on the balcony of a non-smoking building. He met her later with the arm in cast and a bandaged head. Okay, I admit it, that beats Fran....so far.
Anyway, our fan is frozen (no irony here) and our fridge, “Not worth repairing” and while Linda wanted to talk to Fran about it Fran would only talk to the repair guy. So anyway, it seems we are getting a new fridge sometime (expect random phone calls?), and that either Fran has been told to stay away from me or honestly believes I suck the blood of children, or both.
I want to make a final appeal to people if you haven’t send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to do so and you get a nice postcard from Japan (FREE!), as we are doing the stickers this weekend. And here to let you know the first part of the trip details (please don’t come over and rob me!):
April 1: Arrive in Tokyo, take the train directly to Nikko
April 2: Get up to watch the shrine maidens due the sword dance, likely have Linda ‘think’ she is recording it but has just pushed the ‘check light’ button instead while all I see are a bunch of Japanese asses and backs blocking me from the stage viewing. Break down in tears. Then catch the Bullet Train number 20 to Kakunandate. See the landscape and mountains of northern Honshu from the train. Arrive in time for pictures of cherry blossoms at sunset (anticipate rain and more crying).
April 3: See the cherry blossoms and the Samurai houses and then take the Bullet Train back down to Tokyo where we stay for two days. Linda and maybe I are taking a night tour of Tokyo on the river.
April 4: I HAVE the tickets to the Ghibli Museum where I will probably die from anime excitement. Only 300 tickets a day are available. In the afternoon/evening we are going to B-lily, the Yaoi theme café, woo hoo!
April 5: Shopping, culture, who knows? We are still deciding this week, but I am likely to go to Otome Row (Maiden’s Row) where women buy Yaoi and Yuri manga, figurines and all things geek. We also want to do a big department store and see if we can get the gift buying for relatives done AND have THEM do the shipping.
Well, that’s all for tonight. We still have a LOT of planning to do, particularly in the shopping department. As Tokyo is our shopping and “low” tourism site while the rest of the trip (except Beppu) is all about “high” culture. We both have computer flash sticks and Linda said she will post what I have written if I am too tired/ill to leave the room in evening or if there is only a computer in the lobby to access. So we plan to post for the whole trip if we can.
The reason I put all the crying in is because I get these very BLUE times when I go on journeys and then all the anticipation (much like a child) is ruined by rain or is closed or I am too tired or ill and I get GLUM. Like, stick out my lower lip and cry glum. This is usually when Linda finds me and there is a slightly incoherent ramble which will likely be something about how “This was SUPPOSED to be great but I didn’t RESEARCH enough and things are going wrong and now you are thousands of dollars in debt and everyone is unhappy and I don’t know what to do and I am going to go now and solve it all by wheeling into the SEA!” Drama Queen much?
The problem is that things DO go wrong and when you are tired and hauling ALL your stuff every day, things like a missed nap and no food for a while can make things which aren’t that important seem REALLY important. And then I will convince myself that because I am not feeling happy, that I have ruined the trip. So, we know that and we will put me to bed with drugs and then about two hours of TLC and some beer and I’m usually, “well, maybe the WHOLE trip isn’t ruined.” Because, let’s face it, we have planned all these things we want to do and things NEVER go exactly as you plan and instead you are on a 6 hour train trip next to a family that farts continuously. Or who get drunk and start belching while I am trying to soaking in “the amazing and ancient heritage” of Japan which I paid and saved and worked months to get over here. And my health will fail. And I will burst into tears at least once. This is what trips are like. But then I will also be happy, overwhelmingly happy. And I will watch Linda going over the pictures at night like a person counting their gold and I will know that it was right to take this trip. And we will ship painted umbrellas to nieces and buy kimonos (summer ones) and traditional sandals, and maybe some original pottery and ship it all home. We will check into a LOVE HOTEL in Tokyo for an hour JUST to take pictures (how tragic is that a statement about our sex life!). We will wheel through the thousands gates of Kyoto and watch the geisha’s on their Geta clacking to work in the twilight.
I think the most important part of every trip is that the up and down, the wonderful and the horrid: Linda and I experience it together. And later on some program about world heritage sites I say, “Hey, that’s where you got food poisoning.” Or she says, “That’s were you had a tantrum and around the corner I got you a beer and calmed you down” (Linda is a big believer that a slightly tipsy Beth is an easily controlled Beth).
And I hope this time, we can share it all with you too.
4 hours ago