I’m back. ALive, weLL (at Least untiL I caught fLu from office peopLe), broke, and head fiLLed with more memories. Oh, and some extra pounds of fat in my beLLy and zits on my face.
TaLking about face, some of the memorabLe thing about this Japan trip are the faces of the peopLe I met aLong the way. So just as I’ve done here and here, here’s another “It’s the peopLe that made the journey” post. And it’s going to be a Long post, okay?
The Trip Partner, Si Kampret, because she Likes to caLL other peopLe “Kampret”. Office mate. FeLLow One OK Rock Lover. Not my first choice for a Trip Partner, but I was aLready too desperate to go I’d just go with anybody. She was the one who ‘pushed’ the dates of traveL because she wished to ceLebrate Taka’s birthday in Tokyo and pLanned to staLk Roppongi in hope of bumping into him (And guess where he was on his birthday? Pittsburgh! Ha!) To be honest, I can write 5 more paragraphs about Kampret, but to put it shortLy, the more time I spent with her, the more I wish I had gone with someone eLse. Or aLone. It’s tiring to be a 24/7 interpreter.
Ban-chan, a staff that checked us in at the first pLace we stayed in Tokyo, toco guesthouse. A super taLL girL with an easy smiLe.
“Everything on you are orange! Sugoi!”
Nae-san, the owner of Retrometro Backpackers, the second pLace we stayed in in Tokyo. She is a bit preserved around the guests, but on our Last night she took us and some other femaLe guests to a sento and went drinking after the bath. DefiniteLy the best night in Tokyo so far (and now my face is forever onLine on Retrometro’s Instagram oops).
“I know a few words in Indonesia, like nasi goreng, selamat pagi, and saya minta kopi.”;”I onLy hire staffs with good smiles.”
Momo-san, a Retrometro staff. She is Learning anaLog photography and cooking, and can speak some Mandarin. Everytime we mentioned her name, she thought we were caLLing for her 😄 so cute
“Wait, Michelle-san is from Hong Kong, Evon-san is from Taiwan, but why are you talking to wach other in English? Why not talk in Mandarin?”
Evon, a Retrometro guest from Taiwan. A super LiveLy, souL-of-the-party foodie. Never a duLL moment with her. She has TWO notebooks fuLL of addresses of her wishList restaurant in Tokyo, and was aLways eager to share her ‘knowLedge with us. I wish I am traveLing with her.
“What, there’s a gay bar nearby? Let’s go! We don’t even have to put make up on!”
Michelle, a Retrometro guest from Hong Kong. The day before we went drinking was her birthday, we just found out on that day, so it was ceLebration time. A super Lanky and cLumsy girL who dropped everything from food to camera, and I was afraid if the wind bLew too hard she wouLd be bLown away, too. She is practicing anaLog photography, so every night she compared photos with Momo-san.
“Even though I’m traveLing by myseLf, I never feeL aLone because you guys are here. Best birthday ever!”
Bran, a German guy we bumped to at toco and again at Retrometro. A quiet guy, I onLy Learned about his job (game designer) by eavesdropping his conversation with another guest.
“Oh, hi! You again!”
Super Duper Charming Handsome Jinrikisha-san who stoLe my heart in Nara. I actuaLLy had my own probLem about riding a jinrikisha (man-puLLed rickshaw), but! We were coLd, and we stiLL had to waLk some 20 minutes from Todaiji to Kasuga Taisha, so when he approached us with his dazzLing smiLe and warmer than sunshine greeting, the rest is history. His buiLd was just sLight, but he said he used to hoist up a sumo-san weighing doubLe than me + Kampret totaL weight and I’ sure he said something eLse but by jove his smiLe was so distracting. UnfortunateLy I forgot to ask his name 😦 He actuaLLy wrote his name in a survey card we had to fiLL in after our ride, but I couLdn’t read it :(( but damn his smiLe wiLL forever be engraved in my memory.
“Tired? No no, I’m ok. I’m strong man!”
>> I actuaLLy got a super nice video of him, but I can’t upLoad it directLy from my phone because WP said I need a (paid) VideoPress upgrade to do it. Erm, no. I tried to upLoad it to my Tumblr, but it kept faiLing after.. 19 tries. So, sorry, guys.
Maureen, our roommate in Khaosan Kyoto, haiLing from Massachusetts US. I think she has a hearing probLem, because she kept saying “I’m sorry, what?” everytime we said something.. Long to her. On our first night in Kyoto we went expLoring the whoLe Teramachi bLock with her, something that made me wish I couLd move permanentLy to Kyoto.
“Are you catching a cold? Because I have this awesome Chinese stuff that can kick some ass.”
Catherine, a UK Lady we’re rooming with in Khaosan Kyoto. She was reminiscing her previous trip to Japan, which she was so fond of, but what she got now were hordes of Chinese tourists (a probLem for us aLL, reaLLy). She aLso taught us an important Lesson about packing Light, which was: Layering!
“Oh Girls, don’t get old. I used to ask why people said that to me, but now I get it.”
Super FriendLy Kushikatsu Guy from a kushikatsu pLace near Tsuutenkaku, Osaka who showed us the way to Tennoji Zoo (even though it was impossibLe to get Lost between Shinsaibashi Subway Station and the zoo because the signs are in EngLish and as cLear as day). He was so friendLy that after Kampret had her animaL fiLL, we decided to go to his shop to had earLy dinner, but it was cLosed from 2 to 5 PM so we just did some souvenir shop to wait for it to re-open. And boy, aren’t kushikatsu deLicious.
“Ahaha why only order vegetables? Can’t eat pork? No problem, we can fry cheese!”
UnfortunateLy I didn’t met any interesting peopLe in our hosteL in Osaka because I booked a doubLe room, and the guests were mainLy 1) Japanese who onLy taLked to other Japanese; 2) reserved European; 3) Koreans who onLy want to speak with European-Looking guests.
So that’s that. Now back to sorting out and backing up the photos.