On the second morning following my arrival in Japan, I was struck with a case of terrible food poisoning. Simon and I had gone out for dinner the previous night at a nearby restaurant that served sushi and other cooked items like tempura. Not being able to eat raw food, I ordered only the cooked items however, there must have been some cross-contamination between both types of food and I ate some by mistake. This consequently made me terribly ill, enough to make me miss the shinkansen to Kanazawa on the next day .
Luckily, the JR services (which operates all trains and shinkansen) have a policy of changing your ticket for another time or day however, this can only be done once. While I was recovering from stomach sickness with the help of Simon’s girlfriend (she fed me some vitamin water Green Dakara, which I then made a point of drinking every day thereafter for health benefits), he rushed to the ticket agency and changed our departure times from 11AM to 4PM on the same day. Unfortunately, the rest of my group had to take the earlier train to Kanazawa so we were separated for our cross-country travelling.
We travelled from Sakura > Chiba > Tokyo > Niigata > Kanazawa via two different shinkansen lines and a few different trains.
When Simon and I finally arrived in Kanazawa, its was 10PM and our hotel’s front desk was closed. Having no way of getting into our rooms, I figured I’d go around the hotel and try to locate my friends by their voices. In all honestly, I’m sure I came across as a huge pervert, listening in on every room until I found one where I could clearly hear my friends.
We all went down to the lobby together and decided we should call our teacher back in Montreal … which in retrospect might not have been such a great idea. For one thing, he was mad that one of the girls in the group had decided to separate herself from us and go to a different hotel than the one he had booked. Although our conversation was enlightening, it didn’t do us much good as we were still stuck outside of our rooms.
In the end, someone from the hotel had called the Okami-san (owner/manager) to come down to the front desk because there was “a weird foreign girl and boy with suitcases walking around the hotel” (obviously the man didn’t know we understood Japanese and so banked on that to call us “weird foreigners”). Okami-san was extremely kind, she recognized us immediately as being the two missing gaijins from Tokyo and allowed us to join our friends (the man who had told on us felt bad afterwards for assuming that we were a couple of odd gaijin trouble makers).
The next morning, we got up early and had breakfast at the hotel (our first encounter with Japanese style food). After saying our farewells to Okami-san, we departed for our school (which was only a block away) with our suitcases in the pouring rain.
Cheers to the start of a new problem-free day!