My Asia Adventure: First Day (The Flight) Part II

Like all lost tourists, all I could do at that point was to wander aimlessly around the platform. I have no doubt that I looked calm and collected on the outside like every other local who knew where s/he was going, but inside I was panicking and I felt absolutely asinine for not being able to locate my destination on the train map (especially since there is also romanji underneath everything!). Feeling desperate, I scoured the platform looking for a friendly-looking local to ask for help without betraying the fact that I was, indeed, a disoriented tourist when I seemed to blend in so very well…

There was an office-lady looking woman standing alone on one of the waiting lanes, so I walked toward her, saying “すみません” (excuse me). She bowed slightly and moved herself, thinking that I was just trying to get through. I was little discouraged, but as I could not stand the cold much longer, I decided to throw out the little Japanese I could muster at that time. It was evident that my Japanese was negatively correlated with my anxiety, but thankfully she seemed to understand that I wanted to get to this station called “京急鶴見” (Keikyutsurumi). The train came, and despite receiving instructions just minutes earlier I became stumped again because it was an express, so I had no idea whether or not I should get on. I ended up staring very hard at the train announcement boards to see when the regular train would come. The gentle office lady had already gotten onto the train, but she must have been unable to withstand my stupidity and jumped off the train to tell me to get on the express. Yikes~ >.<

My next trial came upon arrival at the station. Google map and all hotel reviews said my hotel was very close to the station – after all, just turn west and walk for two minutes! I had no idea which way was west and had to ask the station officer again. He had no idea either, but produced a map and proceeded to give me the wrong directions that sent me heading into a quiet alley. I felt a little suspicious of the directions, so I went inside a hot-foods shop and asked for help. Sadly/strangely, like the station officer, the clerk had no idea which street their own shop was on and gave me another incorrect direction (“go out and walk straight right”). Seeing how I just seem to be continuing deeper into this dark alley, I decided to go inside an ethnic restaurant that showcased menus written in one of the other languages (traditional dialect) I spoke; I was hoping that the owner would speak it as well, as after going in the wrong direction I lost confidence in my own Japanese and the locals’ knowledge of their own community. Luckily, the owner spoke in one of my dialects and even though she, too, had no idea where the hotel was, offered to take me to her suspected direction, and I soon spotted the sign that made me cry hallelujah inside even despite the long staircase (no elevator or ramp, strangely) leading up to the main entrance.

My Japanese returned temporarily as I checked in, but it checked out as soon as I found that I could not turn on the lights in the bathroom – after all, having 潔癖 (a cleaning obsession) that was the most important aspect of the hotel room for me! I called the receptionist, who told me to put the keycard into the slot. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I feigned understanding and hung up because I did not want to cause any more confusion than I already did – the poor man became exasperated when I, a guest who, minutes earlier, just checked in using Japanese, suddenly switched to English entirely and despite his best efforts he could only speak Japanese. I was left dumb for two whole minutes trying to figure out what exactly does the English-sounding word, “kiikaado”, is, before I realized, to my embarrassment, that it was “keycard”…

All I could say after that embarrassing first day was that at least the bathroom was clean and the bed was nice and soft 🙂

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The small, but functional Japanese-style bathroom with bidet toilet ^o^
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My incredibly small but comfy room~
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2 Comments

  1. I would say thats a good first place to stay.

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    1. Chibimoekko says:

      It was 🙂 The cleaning obaasans were very sweet~

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