Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Japan - day 1 (Lost in Translation...)

Hello world, it is my first time outside of Europe. Japan an old country with so much history and culture.
Well the intercontinental flight was quite ok, I was very lucky to get the front seats in the economy class, which proved to be very convenient for a 12hour flight. First and only tip for these flights get a sit at the corridor, NOT the window, because you will go to the toilet and if people are sleeping it might be a problem :P.
So I landed in Tokyo, it was quite easy to get the railway pass I needed plus the itinerary for my trip. Didn't see much, besides being extremely tired, it just looked like a lot of apartment buildings. So I went from the airport to the station after Tokyo, and then to Nagoya. In Nagoya I had to catch the local train to Gifu, which proved to be tricky, well not tricky but I felt lost in the train and was afraid that I missed my stop. Why? Well it was all in Japanese...
But I got here, finding the hotel was easy, however the reception of the hotel was another matter. So the entrance to the hotel has nothing except stuff in Japanese and the lifts. So I managed to deduce that the reception was at the 5th floor, yes the 5th, and so I went up.
When I got there, I got my room sorted easily enough, just showed the paper, and got the room, people are very nice here, but their English doesn't allow for big conversations.
Got to my room just to realise that the plug adaptor I bought didn't work, so I went to the reception to see if they had any. This was when I realised that even the guy the spoke better English had a lot of difficulties understanding, but once he did, he got me what I need.
After settling down in my room, I went for a walk and for dinner. Luckily I ran into a friend that is attending this conference, he was here since morning and was very happy to find a familiar face, and a common language :P
We decided to to got a local place, like real Japanese, clearly we did not think this through :P
We sat down, and the girl spoke no English, it was very funny the process of getting food. Strangely enough the food was great, their little English was way more than our Japanese, and despite being hard to get the food, we got it in the end :P
The last thing to mention is the tip, we wanted to give a tip and the girl insisted on us taking the money, which makes me wonder if tipping is not good in Japan... I will keep you posted on that.
So you think I am done? Well almost, so I got back to the hotel and I wanted to get internet, so asked at the reception, after talking for a bit, the guy decided to go to the computer and use the translation tool from yahoo, he wrote Japanese and I in English ;P Honestly I know it is funny but it was the best way to solve the communication problems :P After a few minutes I sorted my internet.
The film "lost in translation" took place in Japan, I can honestly see why ;)

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