Intersections and Interruptions

So much has happened over the past few days, and I cant really write about it at all. So I’m going to do something a bit different… have a brief intro then a picture blog. I take a lot of pictures of random things, so it helps when I decide to do things like this! Each photo will have a caption below it. The next few days should calm down again, which will be nice after the hectic rush of the past days! So here goes.

22/06/17

Today we went to Asakusa, Harajuku and Shibuya after our morning classes. I bought a kimono in Asakusa, spending more than I originally wanted to, but it was totally worth it! I should have photos on Saturday or Sunday of it. Harajuku was not what I was expecting, but still an experience worth repeating! And Shibuya… not a place to go if you’re bad with crowds! And I thought the train home was bad today, but Friday’s was worse… super cosy is an understatement. We managed to get in some karaoke after an interesting talk on Bible mission work in the Caribbean, and boy was it crazy! Over a fantastic but tiring day.

A bike park near our accomodation.

Asakusa!

…Tanuki totem pole, anyone?

Playing spot the shrine in the city.

Main street in Harajuku (sorry for dodgy quality pic)

Other end of the street, featuring photographer-san.

Selfies at Shibuya Scramble! (Like all the other tourists)

Hachiko, the most famous pup in all of Japan.

23/06/17

Today was a long day. After our classes in the morning, we popped out for some sushi for lunch – an excellent decision! Then we went back for our afternoon briefing, in which we were to do some “pen-fleting”… like pamphleting but with pens! We got taught the basic Japanese phrase to use, go split into groups and off we went! Unfortunately our location had lots of tourists, and the website we were advertising was in Japanese… but we had a good time! Then we all met in Yoyogi Park and sang for a bit, the first for the week other than the karaoke last night. Riding the packed train home was not so fun, I was practically being crushed against the doors by some guys over 6ft tall. So not fair… but bringimg back the karaoke after dinner was so worth it! We went to a different place, pricier but nicer, and it was even better than last night.

The sushi “train” 😮

After sushi.

Apparently the spiders like Yoyogi Park!

Feeling the sardine vibe…

Having just a bit of fun!

Really getting into the Elvis songs.

~Tash

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Traipsing Through Tokyo

Above: …it was really good gyoza!

17/06/17

On arrival in Narita Airport, Japan, I could not have been happier to get off the plane… I absolutely love travelling, but sitting for 10 hours does nothing for my poor body! After making my way through customs (where the dehumidifier was not working) and following the crowd to the train station on the basement level, I finally was on the train to Tokyo. The Narita Express (N’EX) was a shiny white train, so shiny I couldn’t see out of the window for my reflection! With a limited view and tired eyes, I unfortunately didn’t get to see much of the “scenic” route into the city. 

But I did experience a slightly tame version of the sardine can trains! I’m glad it wasn’t rush hour, because it was cosy enough as we were let alone with more people… Crowds are not going to be the most enjoyable part of this trip, that’s for sure. I’m spending my first night in Japan on a futon, which is surprisingly comfortable! And tomorrow we should be getting out and about the city, so I’ll update this with more when I’m actually awake!

Below: Cool icicle patterns on the plane window as we were flying into Japan.

18/06/17

So today has been a draining day. After a decent night’s sleep followed by a 6am wake up, a group of us wandered down to the local 7/11 to grab coffee and breakfast. We ended up moving accomodation to a different house, one more appropriately sized for our Bible Week… and boy is this house amazing! An ex-Turkish diplomat’s house with semi-Western style and touches of traditional Japanese is our new home for a week, then back to the original apartment as we won’t need as much space then. I got really excited when I saw the room I’m sharing with two other girls, because not only is it big, but it has tatami mats, and a balcony! And futons! I’m super excited to be staying here.

After we sorted out our luggage and allocated rooms, we wandered out to find some lunch. The local train station (as most Tokyo train stations do) has a shopping centre in it, so of course we had to go there to get lunch! After fumbling through the ordering process, I finally got to sit down with a delicious cashew curry and an oolong iced tea, pictured below.

And yes, it tasted as amazing as it looks! Lunch was followed by some exploration in the shops and a trip to the supermarket for breakfast supplies and tea. I managed to find some loose chamomile tea, and almost cried from happiness! The pocky probably didn’t help either… The tiring part of the day was next; spending time with the kids… They’re lovely children, and we bonded over the Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, but it was exhausting. This was followed by further exploration for dinner – we found a tiny gyoza shop which was amazing, with the Japanese version of Radler or a shandy (beer with lemonade) – an epic quest for dessert which led to fish shaped pancakes, then back home.

Now this is a heavily condensed version of the actual events of the day, but it’s late and I’m tired and a friend who was supposed to arrive in Tokyo today hasn’t landed yet, so we’re waiting for him. I’m going to head to bed soon, sleep is catching me… But tomorrow is the first day of our Bible Week, so it should be fun!

~Tash

Above: Cashew curry!!!

Below: Half of our gyoza selection

Paris to Stuttgart: Why, Paris? Why?

It’s official. I have done something I had prided myself on never doing before. Though, it was bound to happen eventually. After all, I did decide to stop in Paris, and I don’t speak a word of French. I couldn’t even ask “Do you speak English?” which is something I can do in both Spanish and German (and English, of course). But it happened, and I’m glad it happened now and not later in my trip. I’m glad I didn’t miss a plane or something, those are much harder situations to fix. You can probably tell by now what I am going to say. That’s right.

I missed my train to Stuttgart. Continue reading

Dubai-Paris: That Amazing Feeling When…

…When you finally get to have a proper shower after travelling for 2 days straight. Seriously, nothing beats feeling the grime of the past forty or so hours disappearing as you can finally relax and not feel/smell like the living dead. Or the realisation that you did actually bruise yourself when you landed on the armrest on your flight to Qatar, and the evidence is a lovely tennis ball sized black bruise on your hip. No wonder sitting hurts!

It is currently 8:53am here in Paris, and I have to leave in about an hour to get to my train. I was going to attempt to get a little sightseeing done, but I simply won’t have time, and with the weather as it is, I wont have the daylight! It is still quite dark outside, and extremely overcast, so I think that I’ll just head straight to the train. After all, better to be there early than to miss my train! So with my plans cancelled, I now have time to do what I couldn’t last night; tell you of my journey to Paris! Continue reading