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.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

First Shinkansen Trip

After teaching a full day of classes I caught the bullet train for Kyoto. I have to say that that was really cool! I felt very cosmopolitan. I had been so worried about the logistics of it all that I forgot to think about food. If I had been smart I would have grabbed a sandwich to take on the train with me. Luckily I had a hard boiled egg left over from lunch, so I was able to snack on that. I arrived at the Kyoto station an hour a forty minutes after leaving Hamamatsu and had to walk to the "Tour Club". It was a little trickier than I hoped, but I found it alright. I quite fit in with the demographics of the place. I'm certainly not the oldest person here. It seems to me the place is filled to the brim with non-spring chickens (does that makes us summer chickens?). When I set up in my room, I went out to the communal area and sat with a bunch of other women and drank saki. One is from Britain, one from Australia and one the Netherlands. This hostel is considered a quiet hostel, and there is a curfew time and a lights out time. The bed is harder than my mats and tatami floors at the aparto, and the woman in the top bunk's phone went off 5 times overnight. But all in all it ain't bad. Well, I'm off to rent a bicycle and find some breakfast. Oh, I might do a little sightseeing and shopping as well today. See ya.


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Wallflower3 said...

I came to the realization that I had no idea where Hamamatsu is located, actually, and I say this with much shame, only a vague idea of the location of Japan. So this morning I hit the local TARGET store and now I have my very own world atlas. You might say that my research has begun, and I have you to thank for getting the ball rolling. I am really impressed at your ability to just hop on a train and I am equally impressed with the availability of the trains. Would I be correct to say that when you are in a place where nothing is familiar that after a while the unfamiliar ceases to be so scary? I think I just confused myself... Good luck in your shopping, and tell that woman in the top bunk that you used to have violent psychotic episodes when you heard cell phones ring, but that you haven't had one in a while and that you think that it will PROBABLY be alright. Then just smile for a long time. I bet she figures out where the silence button on that damn thing is real quick. Have fun- try to get few pictures to post so I can see Japan until I get up off my ass.
- Melanie

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Natalie said...


I wish I could say things get less difficult, but that wouldn't be quite right. There are two things that get me out of the house when it all seems too difficult. One is that I am probably here for only one year. That time limitation makes you think "Well, I better go see some more of Japan, and less of the inside of my apartment." And the other thing is that I knew I did something scarier...moving here in the first place. So doing something unfamiliar like riding the train has got to be easier than that. Some days though you think "enough is enough - I just want a grilled cheese sandwich, to sit on my couch and watch the O.C." But it ain't an option, so you eat noodles, sit on your futon and post to your blog instead. And then you get to chat with people from all over the world who say really nice things to you. So it has really been worth it. My confidence in myself has really returned, and a feeling that I can control my destiny. Now if I could just control my destiny and watch the O.C. things would be even better.


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