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, October 23, 2005

Hamamatsu Tour

The Suzukis were in good form today. They decided to show me some different parts of Hamamatsu. I finally visited the castle! I was warned in advance, by just about everybody I ever met in Hamamatsu, that Hamamatsu was not spectacular. Some people even laugh when I mentioned I wanted to visit it. It is pretty small, only a replica built in the 50's, and the worst crime of all, it is made of cement. But it has some museum pieces inside and the park in which it is situated is really quite lovely. The leaves are just starting to turn, in a few weeks it should be wonderful. And Mikio had two near disasterous falls in the span of 20 minutes. Yoko and I were ready to make him go back and sit in the car after the second fall. He scared us to death. It was pretty windy when we got to the park, but sunny. By the time we left the tempeture had dropped to an uncomfortable place, so we decided not to eat lunch there. Instead they drove me to another park. It wasn't exactly much warmer there, but we were starving. It was a nice, if small and hilly park. And when the sun decided to reappear it was quite nice. Yuuma and I played some catch. Real live catch, with baseball mitts and everything. I can't remember the last time I did that...High School, maybe? Then we headed to Hamamatsu Self-Defence Air Base. It's their Military, but they won't admit it. They believe in peace, it is not a military. Or at least that's what most Japanese people have told me. The Suzukis call it the Military, though, they don't sugarcoat things. It's one of the reasons I really like hanging out with them. It was quite a humorous experience. They have this big Air Park Museum there that explains all things aeronautical, it's a really cool setup, I was quite impressed. At the start of the museum the Yoko grabbed me an electronic tour guide setup. It's sort of like one of those English Tape Guided Tour things you can get all over Europe, but not quite. You hang this digital contraption around your neck, clip on the ear piece and then when you walk into a certain zone it tells you about the stuff in that area. Except it didn't always work. And there I was trying to figure out with aid of a map where to go for the next announcement. But I couldn't always find the right location, so I was walking around like a human antennae trying to find the next hotspot. I looked like a robot who was lost...walking up to one thing and then backing away and trying another. The Suzukis thought I was a riot. It only worked about half the time. Sure hope their military works better than this electronic guide. And then we walked into the hanger with lots of different planes. And I'm playing around with the gadget and I look up and hanging right infront of me is a WWII Zero.
It's like being in the grocery store and running smak-dab into the Big, Bad Wolf. All our lives this little plane has been an emblem of evil. I was shocked that I could even identify it, but I could. It was very surreal. The hanger is so cheerful and we were all having such a good time and there was a Zero hanging overhead. And the most ironic part was when Yuuma climbed into one of the big F-1's on display and I got him to pose and he automatically gave the peace sign. It was hysterical. And sweet.


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