Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Jet lag has hit me hard and my days and nights are all backwards. Let's see if I can stay awake enough today to get something done.

My trip across the Pacific was uneventful. A full plane but I spent the 10 1/2 hours either reading or sleeping.

Once back on Japanese ground I went through the normal customs processes and retrieved my luggage. Nothing much new there. I don't know why but the Japanese airport seems less hectic than LAX. As usual I rolled my two bags and carry-on and computer to the nearest delivery service and sent one suitcase on up to Nikko. From there I hurried to the airport bus service and purchased a ticket for myself back to Nikko. And then I fumbled around in my carry-on for my cell phone to call Tetsu and let him know that I was back in Japan.

The trip to Nikko takes me about 3 hours. I have always used the airport bus because Tetsu gets sleepy driving and I do not trust him making the trip to or from the airport alone. With about 30 minutes before my bus left I sat down and tried to figure out how to use the dumb cell phone.

When I bought this cell phone earlier this year I was very pleased to find that it had global servicing. This meant that I could text or even call from the States, an option I have never had before. But I was warned that fees would be higher from the States and therefore to use my cell phone lightly. Which I did. When I got to the States I switched the cell phone to US region but after that I think I texted Tetsu only three times and a friend once. I never used it to call anywhere.

Once back in the Japanese airport the phone was still set for US region and it took me a few minutes to set it back to Japan region. The second I did, before I'd even pulled up Tetsu's phone number, it rang and there was Tetsu.

"I am on my way. Why haven't you called! I've texted you 4 times and you never responded!"

"What? What do you mean you're on your way? I just bought my bus ticket."

"Why did you do that? I texted you to let you let you know I was coming to pick you up. Why didn't you call me as soon as you arrived?"

Obviously one of us was confused and I wasn't too thrilled about being chewed out within minutes of my arrival. I quickly went back to the bus counter and returned my ticket. They weren't to happy about it either! Then I called Tetsu back to let him know where I was and to find out how far he was from the airport. About 30 minutes later he drove up looking very pleased with himself. For TWO reasons.

One, that he'd surprised me by coming three hours out to pick me up at the airport. He thought that it would be a great surprise to find him waiting at the airport lobby when I came through the doors. Unfortunately traffic didn't cooperate and that was why he was late.

The other reason he was pleased with himself was that he'd grown a mustache during the month I was away! Um. What can I say? I feel like there is a different man in the house. I can think of numerous men that Tetsu now looks like sporting a mustache but he sure doesn't look like Tetsu! I'm not sure I'm so happy about it either but I don't want to spoil his fun. I guess I'll get used to it. Right now I feel like I'm kissing Tetsu's older brother...

So all's well that ends well. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had waited to figure out my cell phone until AFTER I'd boarded the bus. He'd have driven 3 plus hours to the airport and then had to go another 3 plus hours back alone while I was stuck on a non-stop bus back to home. I'd say Tetsu was living dangerously. Is it worth a surprise to risk a disaster?

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