Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last day with Austin

Yesterday, our last real day, was lovely and quiet.

It started pleasantly slowly. We pottered about. Austin and The Builder watched the last bit of the last quarter of the football match which the bulldogs drew. We wandered off in the sunshine (and in Austin’s car) for a final visit to the ¥105 shop and the Liquor Mountain. Not quite sure why we bought the bottle of vodka, mind you. I know The Builder has run out but we aren’t going to be in this evening for him to drink any of it! Oh - and there’s onl enough gin to make one gin and orange - Lindsey and Ian may need to make a trip to Liquor Mountain too. Although the supermarket also sells gin. And orange juice.

Anyway. It was lunchtime and I, at least, was hungry. We went back to the shopping mall and into the food lane for some lunch. Austin had spaghetti bolognaise Japanese style, with garlic bread, also Japanese style. It comes a a chunk o roll with all the garlic buttery stuff on one end. You have to mash it down in with a fork! It was all very tasty. But I might have had rather a lot, given that we were going out for dinner!

So. Back to Nagoya. We were on a mission for some converse shoes for Taffa and Freyja. They are about half the price in the shopping arcade that they would be in Sheffield. Expensive from my point of view, though. I don’t normally buy their shoes for them these days! Plus I put up some money towards Austin’s new pair of shoes too. That’s it! No more shoe buying for anyone EVER!!! Except, perhaps, for me :-)

We ambled around the shops, pottered about the city centre, called into a squillion shoe shops, drifted around the kitchen area of Loft and slowly made our way to the station where we caught a train to Kamayama where we were meeting Kaori for dinner. She is much better than she was over the weekend.

We were a bit early, so we had a drink in Starbucks then poked about Kamayama (it means Golden Mountain, or perhaps Money Mountain. I suspect they intended the mountain to be golden!). There are a surprising number of hotels around the station area. All big and gaudy and looking as though they had stepped over from Los Angeles or other tacky American tourist area. Austin tells me they are Love Hotels which you can hire by the hour, or three hours or whatever so you can play with your partner away from your parents’ eagle eyes. It would seem that the Japanese seldom move out of their parents’ home until they get married, or at least engaged, so there is a need for somewhere they can stay for a short time for playing purposes.

We went to a Japanese restaurant close by the station and hd lots of lovely food. Though it was certainly the case that I shouldn’t have had quite so much chicken at lunchtime. I wasn’t starvingly hungry at 7:15! Kaori’s parents had sent The Builder a little Samurai man. And Kaori and her mother had made for me, Taffa and Freyja little silk bags. Plus Kaori had made small photo albums with pictures from our first visit. Austin is a bit miffed. Presents for me, presents for The Builder, even presents for Tabitha and Freyja. No present for Austin!!!!

We didn’t stay late. Everyone was quite tired. We were still recovering from our mega-walk in Kyoto on Sunday - not to mention the walking we had done in the course of yesterday. My shoes are never going to recover. The soles have almost completely lost their tread under the balls of my feet! And Kaori, of course, had been poorly sick all weekend. We wended our way home where Austin got ready to go back to school this morning.

And now Austin is at work - or I assume he is. He left just after 8 this morning. The Builder and I are packed and ready to roll. We are heading off in about an hour to take a taxi from Apita to the station, then we get to commit ourselves back into the impenetrable mysteries or the ticket buying systems and to the comfort of the trains as we make our way to the Holiday Inn near Narita airport.

I am hoping very hard that there will be nothing significant to blog about this trip!

We are due back to The Sidings late evening on Wednesday 23rd. I’m not sure when I will next be online. I need an Australia-British adapter for the Mac’s power cable. Plus, I’m not sure what success I’ll have logging onto my wireless. Mac user’s often find it difficult - and Ian never did tell me how he logged his onto my wireless completely effortlessly :-(
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