Friday, March 10, 2006

Leaving a trail of crumbs to find the way home

Posted by kuri, ping, the pinglet, & mini-ping on 3/10/2006
MandeJ, guess what time I arrived at Haneda for my 8PM flight?

7:50

After a one-hour meeting for work in Tokyo that turned into a three-hour marathon, I was able to meet up with my good friend, MandeJ *wave!* for some long-overdue girl-talk...for 25 minutes. Our original optimistic plans to go out to dinner and chit-chat ended up with us sitting outside the Tokyo monorail station at Hamamatsucho in a crowded coffee shop, gulping down our drinks and talking as fast as we could.

Even though I am a country-girl from Kyushu and don't know how to navigate the Big Tomato, aka Tokyo, I am fairly adept at getting myself around town without too much of a hitch.

You would think that getting around a place you don't know would be more difficult than trying to get back to my own apartment from neighboring Fukuoka, where I've lived for 12+ years.

This is, of course, dependent on the fact that I get on the right train, going in the right direction. Which was not the case last night.

Getting from Fukuoka to Kitakyushu by shinkansen usually takes about 20 minutes. But when you get on the shinkansen going in the wrong direction--to Hakata MINAMI (um, where the hell is that?)--because you ran for the train so you didn't have to wait another 15 minutes for the next one, well, then you're pretty much screwed. Especially when there are no more trains to bring you back to the previous station...and not a taxi or bus in sight.

I can only put this down to the fact that I had just had all of my brain cells killed off in my one-turned-three-hour meeting, followed by a two-hour plane ride sitting between two people who, I pray, were gripped with kafunsho, and not colds. Oh, and who also had bad breath. Unfortunately, this "take a train in the complete opposite direction" obsession I have happens more than I like to admit.

I ended up (after tearfully calling Ping who was in the bath and whining about the fact that I was stranded in god-knows-where) finding a very kind taxi driver who took me back to Hakata station and got me on the final train with 3 minutes to spare.

And, who was waiting for me at the station gate? E7 in his pj's, checking out the coffee selection in the station's vending machine.

I really need to start reading some signs or get a seeing-eye dog who has a better sense of direction than I do.

6 of you feeling verklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves:

Andrea said...

hehe
Li and I accidently got on a wrong shink once. damn thing was a non stop from nagoya to yokohama and we needed to get off in the middle at kakegawa.
When we got to yokohama we jumped on the next train heading in the other direction and went all the way back to kakegawa. We passed out little town TWICE!!!!
I was sooo tired when we got home.

illahee said...

sorry to be LOL, esp. since i have never made that mistake. you need my phone number so if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of hakata i can come and rescue you!! :D

Belinda said...

Eek! Glad you got home safe and sound. Thankfully I've never gotten onto the wrong train like that, but I know of ppl who have. Being a total control freak and someone who hates being in a place she doesn't know, I'd totally freak out.

Glad all was well - LOL at E7 waiting for you in his PJs!!! :)

Cari said...

No shinkansen horror stories please...I'm about to play host to a friend and though I've done the route before (Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima) I haven't in four years and have no faith in my skills.

Yay for E7 being there though. Enjoy the well-earned weekend!

Mande's J-Life said...

Glad you made it home at last. I am surprised you even made it on the plane! But, in your own area of the country, you make a mistake like that? Maybe your next weekend should be spent in Hakata-whatever so then at least you'll know where it is!
It was great talking with you the other night!

fan said...

I've ever heard Shin-Kitakyushyu Air Port is nearing completion.
http://www.kitakyu-air.jp/index.html

(^_^)v

 

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