Sunday, January 10, 2010

World Traveler, part one B - in which I realize during 4 hours in the Tokyo airport that I will never be a slave to fashion again

After we dried ourselves off as best we could, Lucy and I staggered out of the bathroom, where several Japanese women were giggling and hiding their smiles behind cupped hands. I shot them a look that would kill, had they been willing to maintain eye contact, instead of nodding their heads like a row of bobble head dolls. As I turned on my (very high stiletto) heel and stomped off, I realized that I was AT LEAST a foot taller then almost everyone else in the airport. So it was kind of hard to make a discrete exit stage left. There was that, and then also the fact that I was not wearing Buddy Holly glasses and a surgical mask. Because APPARENTLY I didn't get that memo.

The surgical mask thing was more then just ridiculous - it creeped me out.

A lot.

I mean, WHY were they wearing the masks? These were obviously a permanent part of their wardrobe, some were even decorated with smiles. They were made of various materials, in an array of colors. So what in god's name was in the air that they were protecting themselves from? Or were THEY contagious? Maybe I should be avoiding them, and whatever they came in contact with? And what was up with those stupid looking glasses with the clear lenses? Were they even prescription? Somehow, I doubted it. So why, then?

It was all too strange. Too many questions. Too many possibilities. Too many things wrong with the entire scene. So I did the onyl thing I could think of to do in Japan.....I went shopping for electronics.

The only other person nearby who was even close to my height was a black guy who had just gotten off a plane and was also in the market for some cutting edge technology. He and I stood, shoulder to shoulder, muttering about how fucking weird everything was, and trying to calculate the prices in dollars. It was a complete and utter waste of time - neither one of us could figure out the exchange rate, despite carefully studying the digital signs at the currency exchange booth a few stores down. Eventually we gave up and parted ways - he was going to go try to find some food that looked even vaguely appetizing and didn't smell like a dead body (fish sauce + crowded airport = CSI Tokyo).

As the kids stood mesmerized by the life-like erasers in the shape of various foods, and Sami leaned against the luggage cart wishing he were somewhere (anywhere) else, I went looking for a bathroom that Lucy would agree to use, because she had started muttering that her tummy hurt and even 3 hours after "the incident we shall never speak of again" she refused to go anywhere near a toilet, in case it shot her square in the face with toilet water.

When our flight started boarding, we were more then ready to get the hell out of there. We couldn't understand a thing the gate agent was saying over the PA, but it didn't matter - no matter where that plane was headed, we were going to be on board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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