Last weekend was a terrific weekend. It didnâ€™t start out so good, but I convinced myself to turn my frown upside down, pack up my troubles, sing halleluiah and get happy, and not let it bother me.
My friend David (or Dave) from Los Angeles / San Francisco was visiting Japan with his from David (or Dave) from San Francisco. Apparently, Nagoya isnâ€™t interesting enough to warrant a visit (sigh) so I made the trek up to Tokyo. Thatâ€™s a huge sacrifice of course, having to go to Tokyo.
Dave (my old friend and not his friend) and I planned to meet for dinner on Friday night at 8:00 pm in Shinjuku. Dave had met my friend Jin during his visits to LA so I invited Jin to join us as well. Of course, I had to work, but was planning on bugging out early to that I could get home, drop the work clothes and computer, grab my bag, and head to Tokyo. Of course, I had a meeting run long, and it really wasnâ€™t a meeting I could leave. The intensity level was ratcheting up, and I needed to be there.
With one eye on my watch and another eye on the mood of my Japanese colleagues, I was able to wrap things up in time to catch a 4:20 pm train back to Nagoya. I got home, did the drop, changed clothes, finished packing my bag, and high-tailed it out of the apartment.
It was a pretty muggy day, so I was feeling sticky before I really even started traveling. I got to my subway, timed it well, and was on the subway BACK to Nagoya station and it looked like Iâ€™d have just enough time to check in to my hotel and catch the subway to Shinjuku. I noticed a scary old man in front of me on the train, and the train was crowded too and I felt like I was knocking people with my bags. The scary old man got off the train rather quickly.
I too was moving rather quickly to the Shinkansen but had not yet exited the subway. As I was heading towards the wickets, I noticed a crazy old man (was it the same one) kind of looking at me and waving his hand with a goofy grin, and it seemed like he was tapping his pocket.
[As I write this, I hear fireworks exploding in the background. Has fireworks season started? What matsuri am I missing?]
So the crazy man caused me concern. Did I get pickpocketed and was he brazenly taunting me? I tapped my back pocket and, much to my surprise, I found no wallet. Generally, Japan is very safe and I maintained good judgment. I calmly thought to myself, â€œOh, dratâ€ and then broke out in a frustrated soaking sweat. I turned around, got on the subway, and headed back home, hoping that my wallet was sitting somewhere in my apartment.
This little round trip of about 15 minutes meant that my start location and end location of my subway ride were exactly the same place. I never actually LEFT the subway. I knew this would present problems when exiting, so I went directly to the attendant and explained I had forgotten something. He worked his magic and I was allowed to exit.
I got home, went to my bedroom, and there was my wallet sitting on my bed. Teasing me. Oh well. Now, of course, it was getting late. If I caught the 6:00 pm shinkansen I would be able to take the Chuo Line from Tokyo to Shinjuku with my camera bag and surprisingly heavy weekend bag (traveling with an extra pair of shoes and a computer adds weight), maybe find a locker, and JUST get to the meeting place in time to see David and Jin. I treated myself and went Green Car of course, and remained calm. I made it no problem right at 8:00 pm.