Sunday, October 07, 2007

Home at Last

I'm Home. It is a place that brings comfort to most of us during trying times as well as continued joy when things go well. Walking out of Terminal 5 at ORD and seeing my wife driving around the corner in the van was a moment of joy to me as it signified the end of a long journey that would soon be over. Short 45 minute drive later we were home and I was again sitting in my chair in front of the t.v. waiting for the long day to take over and put me to sleep.

My trip home started around 10:30 Saturday morning in Hachioji, Japan. JG, my traveling companion and I chacked out of the hotel and went out in search of the bus stop that was near our hotel. Nobody actually showed us where it was at but as to educated americans we figured ths would be no problem. We were dropped off right around the corner so the logical spot for pick-up would be the same. It wasn't. I went into the building that 10 months ago was the bus depoit and realized things had changed. I asked a lady at the desk for a bus ticket and she explained through broken english that we had to go across the way to the local bus station.

Our trip to the bus station was easy. We waited for the lights to change so we could cross the street legally and proceeded to the destination. The lady at the information counter was very helpful but had no answers for us. They don't sell tickets for the Narita Airport bus there. We still had an hour before the bus arrived so we had time. We headed back to the hotel. Most of the people at the hotel desk spoke a resemblance of english so we figured this would be our best chance. We explained our problem as best we could and one of the men behind the desk came to our rescue. He scampered around the desk as we follwed along behind with our baggage to the front of the hotel. He pointed in the direction we had just come from and said there was an information sign across the street. We headed back in the direction we had come from and found the sign which was in clearly readable Japanese. OK...what do we do now. We have 45 minutes until the bus arrives. After a short discussion we head back to the bust drop-off area and wait.

We stand there until 12:00 and I take a look at a map that I was given by my boss. It shows two buss spots on the map...the one we are at and another one across the street from our hotel. We decide to go back since this was a drop off spot and we were the only people with bags. As we headed back we made our contingency plans if we missed the bus and proceeded with little faith in our results thus far. We saw a bus stop sign but nothing that suggested that it was the one we wanted. We waited in silence and watched for the bus that would take us to the airport and continue our journey home. That's when an old Japanese guy walks up and says"Narita...Airport bus?". Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee...we found the right place just in time.

The bus trip is long but we got to see thing in the day time and saw much of Tokyo from the freeway point of view. It is a huge city that has no comparison unless you have every driven for 2 hours straight at 60 MPH and had houses in all directions as far as you can see. We had a few hours to kill at the airport and had as close to an American meal as can be had in a far of land.

When we finally got on the plane we went to our seats(we didn't sit together so we could each have a window seat) and I had the fun of sitting next to an older lady who had a bad cold and hacked up a couple of lungs during the flight. Anyway, I actually slept a little on the way home and felt good when we arrived back in Chicago. It was a good trip and I will be going back in January. This is a little video that I'm putting together for work. I actually have a few videos but this is more of a fun video. I have more to add and it needs some more editing but here it is.


jusdealem said...

Cool video, there's no way I'd attempt driving there. LOL

Instant Tragedy: Just Add Sean said...

The driving on the wrong side of the road would drive me CRAZY!

Welcome home my friend!