06/27/2010 - 06/29/2010
Chemi helped me find an english speaking clinic in Tokyo this morning as we both decided that me loosing my voice was probably something I should have looked at. It also was necessary because for Australia I have to get a medical examination. We only figured this out recently, but the visas we got for Australia are no good! We can only tour on them, we can't work! Joe is planing on going to school, so he will have to apply for a student visa, and then we will see how that goes, because now I don't even know if he is planing on studying because it is touring out to be more expensive than he thought, and he isn't finding these miraculous scholarships he said he would no doubt get... but anyways, not my problem anymore. Anyways, since I spent 3 or more months in China, I have to get my chest scanned for TB, so since I'm going there anyways, may as well ask why I can't ask.
The train back from Chemi's was fun. The officer actually checked the date on my JR pass, and took out all his frustration on the multitudes of people who get away with this every day, all on me. He was yelling at me saying that my pass was invalid, and I was yelling at him (as much as I could) that my ticket was fooled up inside my booklet (lie), and that it fell out when he took my book! "I understand, I understand!" I kept telling him, but he didn't seem to accept my Japanese. He kept telling me in English I needed to buy a train ticket, and I kept telling him that I came from this station, and I pointed on a map, and that I would only pay him for that short ride, and he said no, I had to pay him! "I know!" My voice was gone, and I was crying now, and people were looking, and they were giving the ticket taker dirty looks. One old woman even scowled at him and told him under her breath that he should leave me alone. That made me feel better, but I still felt like absolute shit for one, being caught stealing in a foreign country, and Joe is not even here forcing me to do it, and two, not being able to speak, no voice, and now clue how to converse in Japanese. Finally I paid the man and he let me through, good god!
I went back to our usual district in Tokyo, the Asakusa station, and I tried to book a place at the regular hostels, but they were all booked up, something about Europe being on summer holiday? Fuck! The French were mostly booking up all the hostels, and they did it for weeks! I ended up staying at the hostel Joe and I stayed at his last night, but they only had one night free. T his hostel actually gives you little "cabins" they called them, but what they actually were were the dreaded capsules! I didn't mind though, because these were really big and they came with their won outlets inside the boxes and lights and a shelf, so it was like a little cubby space with a sliding wooden door. They had wifi too, so I got my laptop out, and decided to watch movies all night. I watched that movie thats like the day after tomorrow, but not, the one with the Tibetan monk on the cover watching the ocean overteak the top of the Himalayas. Well, I had to pause it, and right there, for the first time, I cried. I wept and I wept, uncontrollable sorrow. I cried for what had become of Joe and myself. I cried for not having him anymore, I cried remembering all the good times, and forsaking all the bad ones (admirably that ment I had to forget this whole year). I felt interminable sadness, and for the first time I regretted all of it. I wanted it to end, I wanted it over, I wanted us the way we were, I needed my best friend back, I was so sad! I could not stop crying! OMG please let me stop crying! I haven't cried since his birthday when he told me we should break up, and I shed tears when he left for Australia, but once he was gone, he was out of sight out of mind, and the only thoughts I had of him were ones of relief that we were through. This, this was the breakup emotion I thought would be healthy, I thought would be normal, and I cried for allowing myself to cry, knowing that these were healing waters washing away the indifference and denial.
The next day I made my way to Ebisu where the Tokyo British Clinic is, and good god did I ever get lost. I mean, check this out!
First I got off at a station I had never been to in a part of Tokyo that, well, its Tokyo, so its like the central business district for like 4 hours drive! I got out the west exit, wondered around for a bit, looking for the giant circle, can't miss it right? Yeah, on a map you can't, when they only list like 10 streets. There are hundreds of streets! None of them labeled, not that I had proper street name directions anyways, and then all these shops, the sushi shop, the peacock store, are label in Chinese! I ask around, but most people just ended up getting me more lost, and to boot, I woke up this morning with an eye infection. I had to pry my eye open from green sticky crusty slim for like 30 minutes, and now light really bothers it. Of course, it is another scorcher here in Tokyo... I am almost at my wits end when I finally find someone who speaks American! They sent me off with directions and landmarks that a foreigner would notice, and I finally made it all the way to the box with all the XXXX marks. Well, waiting in the clinic wasn't too bad, and the x-ray took all of five minutes, and the doctor seemed to take even less. "Open wide and say ahhh" he told me as he stuck one of those wooden sticks down my throat. Yep, laryngitis. And what could I do about it? Drink fluids, sleep, and for god sakes stop talking so much! It turns out you can get laryngitis from the over use of your larynges. Who knew? I left the office without asking about my eye, so I had to go back in. Thankfully he didn't ask me for more money, because the x-ray alone cost me 11 thousand yen! (about a hundred and ten bucks) He gave me prescription eye drops I was to use for the next week for my eye infection, and then he mentioned my zits. I have acne. NO REALLY? YOU THINK I FAILED TO MISS THESE HUGE RED BOILS ON MY FACE, REALLY MISTER? He said he could prescribe some antibiotics that I could take to clear it up, but that was like 4,000 yen, so I told him I'd wait until I had a job to keep dropping dough like its hot out of the oven.
Then I walked all the way from Hibiya to Shibuya to save some money on the train. I got some groceries along the way, and a green tea popsicle. It took me like an hour to make it to the next train station, but I knew what the Shibuya station looked like, so I figured it was worth saving the money, b/c there were signs for the large train station, whereas the Ebisu station was quite small (Tokyo standard) and I would probably have a harder time making it back there.
Back at the hostel I packed up my gear and moved to a hostel that had room in their big dorm, but I had to stay half my week at one location, 2 different rooms, and then move to their other house a few blocks away for the rest of my time. Fine with me. My first room had about 7 bunk beds, all filled with the rudest Japanese tourists ever! They come in like bats out of hell, talking in all sorts of loud giggly Japanese, and then throw shit around, looking for their next best outfit "KOIEDESU!" "SO CUTE!" I was ready to punch them in the face, I was so tired and sick feeling. Then I got moved one floor down, and stayed in a 2 bunk dorm with these 3 French boys. They were all black, but the one looked like he might have some Japanese in him, or maybe it was the awesome long straight anime hair he had. The tallest of them had these really cool blue eyes, and the other one had bright hazel ones. All very cute, and sweet, except for the Japanse styled one, he was just quiet and moped a lot. They all figured out that I was sick with laryngitis, and they understood that they couldn't catch it, so after inviting me out with them, they tried to be as quiet as possible as me and the quiet one spent most of the time sleeping and going on the computer. I watched a few more movies like the new Karate Kid with Jackie Chan. That was really cool just because I recognized a lot of the locations, especially the ones in WuDang since Joe and I spent over a week there (isn't it sad, I can't really remember anymore?)
The next morning, the hostel had me move to the smaller almost house like place down the road. I loved this hostel so much more! It was a townhouse they bought and turned into a hostel. It looked like a real home, and had about 1/5 the number of people in it. I was usually alone most of the days, and I had the run of the kitchen since everyone else here seemed to eat out. Occasionally there was this nice red head I met at the other hostel, but she understood that I had laryngitis, so when other people would think I was being rude, she would explain to them for me. I really liked her, we would have probably made friends, if I could talk. At the other hostel we were always the two on our laptops, so we kinda bonded like that. Now we sat in the kitchen in the mornings, drinking tea, checking our emails, and enjoying the not awkward silence, because I couldn't talk, even if I wanted to. At one point this really annoying guy came in and was relentlessly hitting on her, when he finally left, I gave her the I'm sorry I couldn't say anything shrug, and she understood. He didn't hit on me at all, I think most people who didn't out right mention "Whats up with her?" just figured I was a moody bitch. Fine by me.
When I started feeling better I got out more often than just to buy my daily groceries (the shop was 5 minutes down the road, so I just got daily needs for the most part to get me out of the hostel for a bit). The "shopping" temple wasn't far, and it is what Asakusa is known for, and I didn't have Joe to be completely uninterested in my browsing habits I picked up in my material-less phase. I made my way there soon to be a daily basis, stopping at my favorite sushi train restaurant for lunch, and treating myself to a green tea or sesame ice cream when I made it to the temple through all the shops.
This is one of the the bridges I could pick to cross everyday to get to the train station and the temple:
This tree covered street is where I just came from, and where I go when I'm heading back to the hostel:
This is the mammoth building with the giant squiggly yellow cone on top, I think I've shown a far away shot of it before:
I pass by it everyday on the way to the bridge. I went inside once and rode to the top floor where they were having an art gallery. It was expensive, and it all looked like dada or doodoo, whatever you call it, so I just took the elevator back down. Don't really know what else goes on in there. Its a mystery building.
My subway station entrance:
Those are the guys who will run you around with you in the little boxes on wheels:
Now, the entrance to the shopping markets leading up to the temple:
This is underneath the large lantern hanging in the entrance way:
Recognize those wind chimes Laura? They are the same ones like the chime you got at the Japanese temple in Hawaii. I was thinking of getting you one, but I couldn't find one I liked in particular, and I didn't feel like shipping anything else home because thats expensive!!!
Shops in the side alleys on the way to the temple:
The temples inside the inner temple grounds:
Washing hand station:
And finally now, the temple:
and its under construction! Ahhh! Oh well, inside:
And now back outside the temple in the gardens scattered with Buddha statues and food shops: