October 6, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Today marked the arrival of Taylor in Tokyo.

He has been traveling around Southeast Asia for over a month and is finishing his travels in Japan. We had been communicating sporadically via email since he doesn't have a phone out here and determined he could get to the station by Kelly's at 2pm.

I went down to wait for him at the station, but as the clock struck and then passed 2, I began to worry. Trains are very efficient here and rarely arrive late. I had no way of contacting him or finding out if he was on the train. Turns out he just missed the first train. Pre-cell phones, how did anyone do anything?
It's amazing that you can meet someone in a small train station on the other side of the globe. I remember being in Athens and coordinating with my friend Josh to meet up at my hotel (Josh was traveling around Europe at the time). It's a very unique feeling when you first see someone you haven't seen in awhile, in a foreign place. Sort of a "great to see you!" mixed with "the fuck are you doing here?"

The three of us spent the afternoon catching up and hearing stories of Taylor's travels over edamame and Deena's now-famous cold noodle salad (I went shopping again today and had what may have appeared to be a Japanese conversation, but was really just me asking where the teriyaki was and then nodding my head in response until the woman pointed).

We made plans to leave Tokyo tomorrow on a two day adventure in Hakone, which is a
beautiful area at the base of Mt. Fuji with a great number of Onsens (hot springs). I'll be able to check that off my list in a few hours.

Speaking of my list, I accomplished what would have been on Caroline's list: eat a street dog. While in Yoyogi Park (number 70) I found a street vendor selling 400 yen hot dogs (about $5). It's nearly impossible to screw up a hot dog. By nature, hot dogs are screwed up, but this particular street meat was less a hot dog and more an homage to hot dogs. After eating it, I was like "yeah, ok. I definitely see the hot dog influence."

"Hot Dogs" in Yoyogi Park

You can read more about my stroll through Yoyogi park here. It was a nighttime stroll, which was very fascinating, but I'd like to return during the day to actually take in the scenery.