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Japan from memory


Well, I thought I had better update things. I got very busy and stopped writing during the last few days of Japan, so I’m just writing from memory, and reviewing my photos.


On the 15th, I ended up getting lunch with Kengo at another Japanese place. Then I met up with his business friends again at Mister Donut. We all went from there to this Italian restaurant. It was Kengo’s party. The food was pretty good, and the company was interesting. I never found out or forgot most of the names, but from memory, there was Kengo, Alice, a guy whose name means “1,2,3” and Denise. There was an older man, a middle aged man, and a young man also. There was another woman there two. Well, “middle man” ended up getting a bit drunk, and “young man” clearly was interested in Denise. He was drunk too. So was 123. They were discussing something and tried to draw me into it. When middle man wanted me, he’d bark “BEN.” and I’d say “HI!” which is like Japanese for yes. So on it went. It was fun though. The Japanese are really big drinkers. When new people would come in, they’d act like a major crime had been committed when they saw I was only drinking water. I forgot to mention, I stayed up all night with no sleep, so I was trying to avoid any drinking since I was worried I’d fall asleep. I ended up capitulating, and getting a beer, which I sipped very slowly.

After the dinner, we went to a KTV parlor. I was pretty clear I didn’t want to sing, as I just can’t sing. Sometimes, when I’m a bit bored and I’ve have some extra energy, I sing or hum inside my motorcycle helmet. Its pretty bad, but its got to do when there’s no Ipod. Of course, I sing something that goes to the tune of “When johnny comes marching home.” Its the only thing I can sing a tune for.

They were nice enough not to make me sing, but this 60 year old Japanese woman came in (I guess Kengo invited her) and made me dance. It was pretty weird. I think she was drunk or something. She spotted me and was doing things like touching my beard. Basically, to be honest, she was dancing like an 18 year old college coed. I finally got up to dance with her since she wouldn’t go away, and she starts patting my butt. Of course, it was a little like one’s grandmother is dancing with you. The even weirder thing was her husband was laughing, taking pictures and giving a thumbs up whenever I looked at him. Oh, and the woman was doing this weird noise. It was like a high pitched “HAWWWW HAWWWWW HAWWWWW” sound. She kept doing it now and again.  I finally squirmed away and dived into the corner where it would be difficult for her to get to me. So she goes over and kisses the other woman and they grind a bit. I guess it was all in good fun.

Afterwards, the group had shrunk a bit, but they were going to a bar. It was really late, and I knew I was going to be really tired. Plus, Grandma Spears was likely to come along too. So I headed back to the hostel. Good thing to, since Kengo didn’t get back until 5 AM.

I left the next day, I left and went to Tokyo. It took me most of the day actually. I’d thought about going to some other place, but I was ready to go home. After getting to Tokyo, I think I pretty much just went to bed.

The 17th, I spent quite a bit of time in this enormous camera store. They had a huge number of display cameras, and not just cameras. Even lenses were on display. So there were at least 3 or 4 Canon 5D’s for example, several D300’s, a D3 and a D3x on display. Each of the cameras would have a different lens attached. It was huge. I didn’t buy anything actually. I didn’t want to spend my money. ON the walk back, I began to think that I should try to go home on the 18th. I’d seen Tokyo, and I’d just be walking around their shopping district some more. My rail pass was expiring, and I thought it would be fun to drop in and surprise my parents a day early. I stayed up all night again thinking that I might be able to get a flight on the 18th, and I wanted to just sleep the whole trip back.

So on the 18th, I went to the airport, but discovered the AA counter didn’t open up until 9 I think. They were able to move my flight up 1 day. So I sat around for about 6 hours I think waiting until the departure time. I got a day pass to the admirals lounge. It was pretty nice. 

The flight from Tokyo to LA was about 9 hours. I slept only 3 hours of it. I watched movies the rest of the time. Not much to say. I began to immediately notice that I was pretty much in America. Compared to China or Japan, Americans are pretty big. In LA, I had a couple of hours to kill. I activated my cell phone and called my bro. It was good to talk to him.

Oh, customs was nice. I have purchased a lot of camera gear in China. Some teachers spent their money on bars and drinking. I spent mine on cameras and lenses. I was worried that I’d have to pay a lot of money so for much of the flight over, and even the previous months, I was trying to decide whether or not I should declare my stuff. I ended up doing a partial declaration. Some things I purposely omitted, and some things, like the camera backpack itself, I forgot about. I figured I’d BS my way through customs. Well, turns out, because I was gone so long (over a year) there is no import duty on my things. SWEET! I really felt very good after this.

I got to Denver about 4PM. I took a taxi to my house, since I wanted to completely surprise my parents. Dad was pretty surprised but mom was upstairs. I tried to be quiet so that she would not know I was there until she came down, but Mom knew I was back (since I had rung the doorbell. When she came down, she started crying.

So that’s how I got back to the USA.

I’m going to put up more photos, but I feel that the monitor of my current computer is not color calibrated properly, so I’m waiting. I think I lost the code for the software required to run the color calibrator. So I might be able to pull the code off my laptop, but then again, maybe not.



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