I spent an incredibly frustrating morning stuck on the Yamanote line, literally crawling along and stopping for at least 10 minutes at every station. The most frustrating thing of all was that I had no idea what the announcer kept saying, for all I know there could have been a terrorist bomb, or JR could have been offering free tickets to Tokyo Disney! The irony of being able to follow post-modern Japanese theatre, but being completely confounded by a safety announcement was not lost on me. It wasn’t lost on the girl sitting next to me either, who just looked on aghast as I repeatedly hit my leg in a manner reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rainman’, but without any of the restraint.
The reason that I was travelling across Tokyo on a Sunday morn was because our friends Antonia and Thierry had invited Emily, Richard and me to lunch, and when I everntually got there I had a wonderful time. However, their beautiful flat left me feeling slight envious, as no matter what I might find on Craig’s List, space and class just isn’t for sale. After lunch I was in such good spirits that I didn’t even mind that it took me over an hour to find the damn ‘Ranking Queen’ in Shinjuku station that I was supposed to be meeting Rie at. At one point I had been wondering in that underground rat hole that passes for a train station for about 40 minutes without any sign of an exit, and so I felt perfectly within my rights to throw my head back and scream to the heavens to ‘Give me a flipping break!’, sadly my fellow vermin appeared not to agree. Lesson learnt today: Japan is not a place to publicly display one’s frustrations.