Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Louise: Day Two

I wake up feeling terrible - I have a super-strength mutant type of cold that's making my head gooey and my stomach turn, and it's making me feel homesick and tired. But, I'm in Tokyo, and I'm determined not to waste the day. I pluck up the courage to attempt the 15-minute walk to the train station, despite the fact it's baking hot, a confusing route and I feel mildly like I'm dying.

photo by Tradewinds
I get really lost amongst the elevated walkways and alleyways and eventually give in and use my basic Japanese language skills to ask for directions. A kind man not only gives me directions, but walks me to the station when he notices my blank, sick-looking face. I was literally about 20 steps away, but the overpasses makes everything so confusing.

I'm thrown by being lost, and feeling increasingly homesick, so I decide to head somewhere familiar and set out for Shinjuku to tread the same area that I stayed in 2008. I take the train to Ueno before joining the Yamanote line, and feel a massive lump rise in my throat when I hear the familiar station jingles. I miss Rob so much.

photo by destination360

I wander around Kabukicho, and feel comforted by the familiarity of the area, but also a little more homesick for being alone. I manage to find the 7-11 and withdraw some money from the cash machine, which plays me a friendly little tune, before presenting me with my money in a magician-like flourish.

I play in a few arcades, but the games are much harder than I remembered, and everything I do seems to remind me that Rob is many miles away, and I haven't seen him in three months. It feels wrong to be here without him. I head to the 100 Yen store in the Shinjuku Prince hotel, but being in lobby and lift of the hotel I stayed in with Rob is agony. I make a concious decision to spend lots of money to cheer myself up, and then to avoid areas that 'belong' to me and Rob.

After buying a months worth of ramune-flavoured sweets, lemon juice and Pocky, I eat dinner in a rough-and-ready counter restaurant among tired-looking businessmen. I eat greasy, but delicious gyoza and hot, salty edamame.

It's starting to get dark and my head is throbbing, and Tokyo feels like the loneliest place in the world at this moment in time. I head back to Minami-Senju station, I then get epically lost trying to find my hostel and resort to hailing a Batman-taxi again, which costs me 710JPY (about £5) on a 5 minute taxi ride. GRR.

I go to bed feeling sad and tired. Surely tomorrow will be better...


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