Sunday, 30 March 2008

Oki-na Gaijin, Chisai-na Kuni (Big Foreigner, Small Country) #2

March 21, 2008 - Arrival in Tokyo

After a very windy landing (and much applause to thank the pilot for not killing us) we disembarked. Things moved well until we got to immigration and - like every other time I’ve arrived in Japan- the foreigner line-up was huge! Interestingly, you now have to give your fingerprints and have a photo taken of yourself before you enter the country.

After I picked up my bags, my friend Yoichi and his wife Keiko met me at the airport. After greetings we did not take a train into Tokyo but, instead, had his driver take us! Unbelievable! It probably took the same amount of time as a train but was much more relaxing.

As we entered my old neighbourhood of Tai Hei, near Kinshicho station, it was strange being back. There were many different buildings and business but the feeling was the same as I remember. In some ways, it felt as if hardly any time had passed at all.

I was still feeling perky so after a beer, we went out to a tiny Tempura restaurant around the corner. The tempura was the best that I’ve ever had. There was minimal batter with a host of wonderful seasonal fish and vegetables. The bottomless glass of sake probably didn’t hurt either!

I found, as we talked, that my ability to at least understand Japanese is improving dramatically.

We headed back to the apartment where I had a chu-hi and that slept very peacefully.


Heinz & Frenchie said...

OK now what is a Chu-hi? Guess you did not take anymore Ativan.

Dave Dixon said...

No way! Ativan is brutal stuff!

Chu-hi is a cocktail made with Japanese vodka (called sho-chu) and juice, water or tea. The name is actually a version of the words, "Sho-chu Highball"!

Conchscooter said...

As goes America so goes the rest of the world- photos biometrics and long lines for foreigners!

Dave Dixon said...

Yeah, the line ups and near invasion of privacy were not a lot of fun...