Tuesday 13 March 2012

Day 13: 157,496 locals. 1 little ol' me.

Soft guitar tunes fill my head, killing any memory of a dream I was having. "Urghhh. Fuuuck..."  I sit up, on the edge of my bed, face in my hands, I try to force some motivation into my mind that can get me moving my arse off this bed. My bags are already packed, so I go wash up and do my best to look presentable in as short a time as possible. "That'll have to do." I throw the dorm room's key onto Mister Ho's bed as I grab my bags and make my way out into the cold morning air. "I think the train station is...that way."

The highway bus is surprisingly empty. Booking two nights worth of accommodation for this seemingly unpopular destination, may have been a little excessive. However, a quiet town does sound like a nice way to ease myself into solo travelling. Might as well have a nap, there's not much to see on a highway.

The distorted sound of the bus driver's voice wakes me up. Unfortunately for me, he doesn't choose to repeat his little speech in English, making me nervous as to whether or not this is my stop. Looking out the window, I see no sign of a major station, only business buildings fill my view. My stop must be the next one. As we set off again, I try to look out for anything that might be of interest to check out later in the evening. A few cool looking shops and cafes, but that's all I note.

With Tokyo now half a day behind me, I'm finally in Nagoya. Hastily left on the side of the road with my luggage like at the end of all my bus journeys so far, I finally begin to feel the fear that a lot of experience when they first land in a foreign country by themselves. We'll take tonight slow. First, I need to get to my accommodation.

After checking and memorising (to help make me look like I know where I'm going) the directions I was provided, I make it to my new temporary home, where, the happiest little old man I've ever met greets me to take me to my dorm room. My "dorm" is a tatami mat covered room fit for four folks and their futons. A environment better than I expected. Three were already accounted for, which made picking a corner easy. Disappointingly all the dormers seemed to be out. So I took the hint, and a town map, and headed in the direction of the cool shops I spotted when on the bus before.

A few hours had passed by now, and I'm on my way back, hoping I'll find something nice to eat along the way. My wandering hadn't turned up much to report on the city. It's a city sized city, filled with regular Japanese city type things. It completed the role of killing time quite nicely. Now to find that dinner.

All my day dreaming probably had me walk past several perfectly suitable restaurants, alas, I hadn't been paying any attention. I need food. The next place that isn't a Yoshinoya, will be the one making my dinner tonight. Not less than a block from my temp home I notice a little shop front, labelled "Udon". I take my seat. The humble restaurant is empty bar a group of salary men and women. A cute waitress comes out from the kitchen to hand me the menu with a polite smile. I can't read it. All I can make out are the characters that pronounce "udon". I'm at a lose, so give up and ask for a recommendation and subsequently ordering Miso Udon. I've never had udon served in a hotpot before, but the meal was tangy good, even though its presentation confusing.

After paying my bill and bidding farewell to the sweet hospitality of the udon shop I detour around the local area before eventually making it back "home" to rest up. Tomorrow, I actually have a plan of where I'm going. Kind of.

Apologies for the horrible recounts thus far. Whatever writing skills I once had are now extremely rusty. Posts with more photos will return.

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