Only a tiny bit, really….. well, I think it does. I’m not complaining, I just find it a little bit funny and I haven’t got anyone else to ask and test their sense of smell out.
So the holiday draws to a close and what a wicked way to end it; on my own, walking the hot streets of the metropolis Tokyo and all its flashing neon glory. Every Asian country I’ve ever visited or lived in comes flooding back to memory as soon as the plane doors open and I traipse down the gangway… humidaheat at its finest. Let’s be honest… women don’t glow, they sweat like horses. Or maybe that’s just me.
After years of learning Japanese in school, I finally made it to Tokyo. It’s amazing how the language can just kinda come trickling back.
For the mass amount of people there are in Tokyo (and I’m talking millions and millions, like the New Zealand population is barely a pinky toenail in the scheme of things), everything is orderly and conformed. Even the crossing at Shibuya made famous by Lost in Translation has some kind of messy cross-hatch order. Just go straight and you’ll make it.
For being in the inner urban jungle, you think there are some random birds flying around and nesting. It turns out that it’s just the signals for your turn to cross the road and different crossings have different operatic bird societies.
Going to the toilet is an experience. Electronic bidets are fantastic inventions. There are buttons to wash, squirt perfume and make bubble sounds so that you don’t have to disturb the cubicle next door. You may be sweating like a pig, but at least your arse is clean.
I thought I was doing really well by calming right down on the shopping front (’cause there’s no way this Western girl is gonna fit into any Japanese-sized clothes), and then I walked into a stationery store…..
I am without a doubt a plus-sized fatty in Japan. That’s ok, it will help me in my quest to exorcise my body of French pastries and desserts when I get back home.
There are some really kind people. An old janitor dropped his broom and escorted me to the vicinity of my hotel. Half an hour later, I was still pounding the streets with my suitcase in tow. Every time I got help, I was pointed in a new direction. If I wasn’t so jet lagged and sticky, I might have laughed out loud a little… maybe a snort or two. Another old man came to my rescue and took me to the front door of my traditional Japanese inn. If it wasn’t for the cross-country expedition, I’d still be glass-eyed at the train station.
I went into a shop because it was called Condomania. There were shelves of dommies, but also a stack of ‘Baby on Board’ car signs at the counter. If all fails, at least you can embrace it and let the world know.
Applying make-up on the train is the equivalent of wetting yourself in public. I know, because the sign on board said that such atrocities are uber embarrassing.
Tokyo fashion is more diverse than a single black lamb in a paddock full of white sheep. There are a lot of suits, innocent elderly locals wearing t-shirts that pronounce ‘Oh shit, OMG’, and the many shades of Cosplay and Harajuku fashionistas. There’s something about standing next to a young woman wearing a gothic Little Bo Peep ensemble topped off with a cat eared headband and not even batting an eyelash at her. It is what it is. I totally wish that that kind of acceptance could be sprinkled across the globe.
Plum wine is deliciously dangerous, but luckily there is a hangover cure. Why yes there is, in the form of a ginger drink at the 7/11. I actually brought some home.
You can do dumb stuff anywhere in the world; your idiocy isn’t limited to one location. I had my train ticket for the Narita Express and was standing diligently at the platform, waiting. I happened to be standing looking at the train I was supposed to take and probably looking directly at my assigned, vacant seat. The train left and then I realized that it was my one. Panic winked at me and I boarded the next train that stopped at every station along the way and decided to delay itself a couple of times. Standing with my over-sized suitcase and backpack, I nearly cried because a) I could potentially be missing my flight and b) my holiday was about to end. Then I sucked it up, whatever happens, happens and I don’t want my mascara to run so I look like I’m experimenting with Harajuku-esque make-up.
And so the curtains close on what has been a fantastic adventure. Self-control has still not been located, but it sure does make for some good memories!