Well, creating this post has been a lot like my day: full of false starts and missed turns. I’ve already written about 500 words, but when I tried to add a picture, I lost them all. This is my first time posting from my iPad on the WordPress application, and I just don’t know the ropes yet.
“Pour me a glass of wine, will you,” I said to Bill, “I need to start over.”
So, what I started to tell you was that today has been a day spent being functional idiots. We logged 10 to 12 miles, mostly lost in side streets with names we couldn’t read. First we were looking for our lodging—an apartment owned by Asia University. Later we were on a temple tour that was supposed to be only 10K, but I’m sure ended up being closer to 15K.
Starting on Sunday, I’ll be traveling alone to visit three shrines devoted to female deities (research for my next book), so today Bill wanted to accompany me on the “Musashino Seven Deities Good Fortune Course” in the Musashi Sakai/Kichijoji area of Tokyo. The main good fortune we experienced was the incredible kindness of numerous strangers who graciously overlooked that we were in their country without being able to speak or read a lick of their language and who nevertheless painstakingly directed (or even led) us to the destinations we were seeking.
We did see some pretty cool temples:
At the end of the day we ended up on “Sun Road,” a very cool shopping area with everything from Panchinko parlors to kimono shops. Bill was looking for a place to get a beer. Again, the fact that we can’t read anything came into play. We gazed longingly into several restaurants trying to discern if it was acceptable to go in and order nothing but one drink. The only way we had to know if these places even served beer was the picture on the door that showed a foamy glass of Sapporo. We passed at least a dozen places, deciding it would be rude to drink without eating.
Finally we found a standing bar, all of about 7 square feet, called “Bimbo.” The owner (I assume) poured Bill his draft Sapporo and used his high school English to engage us in conversation about the name of his bar.
“What is Bimbo in English?” he asked.
Hmmm. How shall I say this? It’s not a word I approve of, and the synonyms wouldn’t necessarily make the concept any clearer. “Well,” I began, “It’s a woman with many boyfriends?”
“I think it means poor,” he said. Apparently, he thought he was naming his bar the “poor man’s” bar.
Not so much.
We spent fifteen minutes looking up the translation for “bimbo” on his smart phone before thanking him and moving on.
Our last stop was the grocery store. I think I bought tuna fish, mayonnaise, and milk. Of course, I’m only guessing. The carton I purchased had a cow on it, so it’s either milk or yogurt—or sour cream—or whipping cream. I guess there’s only one way to find out. The tuna was even trickier, since I’m not entirely sure what a live tuna fish looks like. I hope it’s not a can of sardines.
C’est la vie friends. If you can read this, thank your lucky stars.