Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

How do you pronounce Xiv?

Well, I'm exhausted but I had a great time. We went to the old Flower Expo (which has been turned into a free park) for lunch and walked around a little. Too hot to go very far. Then we went to the Grand XIV resort. Therefor the question in the title. I had to explain about Roman Numerals. And it was very grand. Bellhops, and men in suits, and people carrying placards. Very European. We spent most of the afternoon in the pool. Yuma is a great kid. And we played and splashed for ages. But sometimes it's like playing with my pets. Can't talk out the rules too much, so you just make it all up as you go along. I managed only to turn pink and not get sunburned. I was the only westerner there, and the Japanese don't really need suntan lotion. Must be nice. It started thundering and lightning (needed to explain that we have a different word for each), so we had to evacuate the pool. We went back to the room and played cards and watched a little tv. Then we went and did Japanese baths. So Yoko and Mama-san introduced me to how it all worked. I'm not sure I have ever seen that many naked women before. First you "get all naked" in the changing room (very nice in this case) and then you carry your towels into the sit-down shower stalls. Shampoo, conditioner, body soap and facial cleanser are provided at each little station. You sit on a little stool and use all the above products. When you are officially spotless you then enter the bathes. Here we had two choices, really hot and scalding. Yoko and I chose the first. It was like and really big, fancy kiddie pool. Mama-san chose the hotter of the two pools and didn't last very long. We stayed an extra five minutes and then headed out. We went back to the changing room and sat at these nice little dressing tables. Each had a disposable brush, cotton swabs, blow dryers, moisturizer, mousse, etc. It was great!! We then headed back to the room to change for dinner. It was a very fancy restaraunt. We had a private room and our server was dressed in traditional kimono. So they decided I should have the vegetable tempura for dinner. Then when the waitress came she told them it takes a long time to make and is enough for 2 or 3 dinner. So they asked me if I would like to try the tofu. Sure. So the tofu comes in about 5 minutes and it is 3 cubes of raw tofu with a little thing of sauce. So I eat it with chopsticks, even though Mikio made them bring me a fork after I told him I could eat it with chopsticks. The tofu was good. Then 5 minutes later they bring me the tempura. Huh? I thought I was wasn't getting tempura, and it certainly didn't take a long time (there was however more than I could eat)- Mikio and Yoko's dinner took yet another 10 minutes to arrive. All through the meal I am asked every few minutes if it is all right? Yes, yes, quit asking and eat your dinner. We finish dinner and go back to the room. The room has two large single beds and 3 futons. I'm asked if I want the bed. No, no I'll sleep on a futon! They then start to fight about who is going to have to sleep in the bed. Here I was turning down the bed to be nice and they don't want it! What was I thinking? So I say, sure I'll sleep in the bed. And that is what I do. 5 minutes later I'm asleep, exhausted by sun and fun and explaining lyrics to Queen songs. How do you explain the phrase "Mama Mia"? Next morning Yuma and I take a walk in search of the lake. Although we can see it quite clearly, we can't seem to get there. We would have to cross the golf course, and I know that is sacreligous. Back to the hotel for "Viking" breakfast. I was disappointed there weren't any vikings serving us. Viking mean buffet in Japan. But it was a really excellent meal. Off for more swimming for a few hours before check out. On our way home Mama-san invites me to go out on a motorboat on the 28th. She said her friend has a boat, but I think it is her boyfriend. As we are driving back to Hamamatsu (only about 30 minutes from the hotel) they ask if noodles would be okay for lunch. I firmly beg off. I am exhausted and just want to get back to my own quite little world.


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