We made it back to Paris safely and easily, after which we went “straight” back to the the hotel close to the airport (we had stayed there the night before flying out to Germany). Well “straight” as in all the way back into the centre of Paris, and then straight back to the hotel! Why? Well, it should only have been one stop from the airport, but as we failed to see the “express” sign on the train, we had no choice but to go ALL the way back in, to then have to come ALL the way back out! Neither of us were in the mood for a free joy ride, and adding on more than an hour when you are tired is just plain boring! We were both p!*@! d off, to say the very least. We finally make it though! Needless to say, it was shower and beddy-bye!
( “Nashville”) Mizushima, the parents of my dear friend Sayuri, who now lives with her husband, Tony, and little boy Kai (with Alyssa on the way!) in Hawaii. Sayuri was one of the Japanese staff at Nova, the English school I worked at, and Tony worked there as a teacher. Some of you may recall that I was in their bridal party in Hawaii, in 2002, just after my own marriage in New York (both happened on the same trip). All of these people constitute yet another one of my special overseas families and yes, we do manage to stay in touch.
Yuko and Nashville also took us out on a couple of day trips. The countryside around where they live in beautiful, with lots of Shinto shrines dotting the place. We also visited the Tamatsukuri Rainbow Tower, which ascends 60 metres above above Lake Kasumigaura, which has a superb 360 degree view. Not only can you see Lake Kasumigaura (part of which I used to go walking or jogging around when I lived in Tsuchiura) and Ibaraki’s famous Mt Tsukuba, but on a clear day, you can see Mt Fuji too! (By the way, I climbed Mt Fuji all the way to the top with Tony, Sayuri’s husband 10 years ago).
I should mention that we also went through Shinjuku (another Tokyo suburb)….more shopping, shops, people, advertising and lies being sold! Where does the madness stop? When do we stop believing that a Gucci handbag or an obscenely priced Lacoste t-shirt is not the ultimate expression of success, or personal freedom, for that matter? And just when you thought the cola “fight” was was over; first there was Coke, then Pepsi, followed by Diet (or Light, depending on your country) Coke and then Diet (or Light) Pepsi. But of course, we then have the whole “my brand’s better then your brand “deal happening, so Pepsi follows with Pepsi Max. Not to be outdone, out comes Coke with its new Coke Zero bandanna! What’s next? Yeh that…….Pepsi “Nex”? (Does this even exist in Australia yet?) Give me a break! Who buys (physically as well as metaphorically) this crap (again, physically as well as metaphorically)!? Same shit (similar, anyway), different brand. Who just got sucked in big time?
Note: Although it’s in Japanese, Taka has a blog too! Check it out and see if you can find a photo of someone you know!