Tokyo Hello!

February 10, 2011 at 3:54 am (By Amba)

Sitting in a Starbucks in the subway station under Narita Airport.  One of our group took a different flight via someplace cold like Minneapolis or Detroit (to score miles) and is delayed an hour and a half; our trip leader left her backpack somewhere, she thinks at the currency exchange.  There goes a beautiful drug-sniffing German Shepherd . . . It’s 3:42 a.m. in your world, 5:42 in the evening here.  I’m a vampire at home so my circadian rhythms are nicely in tune with Japan’s.

We traveled via NYC.  Having had 1/2 hour of sleep last night (we left for the airport at 3:30 a.m.), I fell asleep in the little commuter plane, like being inside a toothpaste tube.  Was awakened by a blaze of light:  sunrise pouring in the plane’s right-side windows.  Looked out the left side and saw the windblown blue-green estuary they call the Gateway, recognized Sandy Hook, NJ on the left and, way up at the narrow end of the funnel, dwarfed by the contours of land and water, a modest, dark, preoccupied little cluster of spars giving off puffs of smoke and the glint of one sunstruck skyscraper:  Manhattan!

What an amazing reintroduction!  Then we disembarked, walked into the airport and smack into a huge sign:  WELCOME TO NEW YORK.  I took it very personally.

(Couldn’t find my camera last night or would be showing instead of telling.)


  1. Ron said,

    Bring rice. Not from New York that is…

  2. wj said,

    Just remember to smile and say thank you. Which is dozo — pronounced dough-zo (the letter “o” is always pronounced the same, like in “zone”).

    My experience tells me that knowing how to say Thank You gets me further abroad than any other single thing I can do. (Although knowing how to say Hello is not far behind.) Not least because everybody knows that Americans don’t speak anything but English, and meeting one who is at least willing to try gets big points.

  3. amba12 said,

    Great, except “dozo” is please. “Domo arigato gozaimashita,” maybe.

  4. wj said,

    I really must get more sleep! Glad you already knew better.

  5. mockturtle said,

    I know you’re familiar with Japan. I’ve only been there once but loved it. My fractured Japanese served me very well. My only faux pas [how do you get italics on this site, anyway?!] was getting into a company car I mistook for a taxi. ;-) Fascinating country and people. How long will you be there?

  6. wj said,

    If I recall correctly:

    Italics: em (for emphasis, I believe) surrounded by
    Turns off with a /em just as you would expect.

    If you care, you can get bold by using strong and /strong

    Trivia for all occasions — that’s what we can provide.

  7. wj said,

    Ah, now we discover that pointed brackets won’t show up at all. Maybe in quotes…””

  8. Randy said,

    Where in Tokyo are you? (Don’t need to “hope” you’re having a great time because I’m 99.99999% positive you are doing exactly that ;-)

    Aside to wj: I just tried the quote ” ” method and it didn’t work. Maybe this link will prove useful for anyone still interested. ;-) It covers how to set up and end italics. Here’s the link for bold type

  9. karen said,

    I have a friend that i graduated w/that moved there and married a native- they had a birth announcement of their daughter in the local newspaper here. I was beyond charmed that this brilliant guy found happiness and sired such a flower of a child.

    Our graduating class was 28kids- most of us had been together since the 1st grade(in my case- the 2nd grade). I think i’m missing my ~childhood~ lately:0). Nostalgia- is it a good or bad thing, anyway?

  10. mockturtle said,

    Thanks, Randy. I’ll try it: faux pas. Just in case, I’ll also try: faux pas. I like those sites where one can preview a post. One commits fewer ‘faux pas’ that way. :-D

  11. mockturtle said,

    Wow, it worked both ways, using and using . :-)

  12. mockturtle said,

    Uh-oh. Anyway, both ’em’ and ‘i’ worked.

  13. Melinda said,

    Looking forward to continued updates, especially once you find your camera!

  14. Randy said,

    Uh-oh. Anyway, both ‘em’ and ‘i’ worked.

    Yes. and either ‘b’ and ‘strong’ work, too. ;-)

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