Bleh… vacation time passes too quickly. Am back in Singapore, back at work after a week in Tokyo + 2 days of medical leave (picked up gastric flu as a “souvenir” on my last day) and feeling more dissatisfied with my job than ever. I need a change in that aspect of my Life soon, and will start making changes but that will be for another post, another time… if ever :Þ
Oh yeah, right, the trip.
Before Tokyo 2013 becomes a distant memory and “too old to blog about” like Chengdu, China 2013 & HCMC, Vietnam 2013, thought I should at least do a summary of events – to remind myself to chronicle at least the highlights of the vacation, especially since I fulfilled the following objectives on my 35 before 35 task list:-
- Around the World… well, almost. Check. Tokyo being 1 of 10 new destinations \(^_^)/
- Head in the Clouds. Check and check. Mount Mitake (929m) + Mount Takao (599m). 2/10.
- Yuck! Check. Am certain horse meat sashimi & smoked whale meat falls into this category!
40 achievement points in 1 trip, not too shabby! soz, am a gamer, I have to brag XD
Anyway, while I managed to do most of the items on my itinerary, there were too a handful of disappointments. I didn’t manage to visit Tsukiji Fish Market as it was unfortunately closed on the day we went down & I didn’t have any other spare days left. I didn’t walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba and hence didn’t take the amazing pictures that I thought I’d have. I didn’t get to savor the frog meat sashimi that I was looking forward to. I didn’t get to sleep in a capsule hotel and I chickened out (more details in a later post) of the Mt Jinba – Mt Takao hike that was supposed to be the highlight of the trip >_<”
That’s cool though. I wasn’t expecting everything to go 100% according to plan anyway! I mean… how boring will that be? lol ~ there were other stuff, other experiences, that made up for those I didn’t have and I’m thankful to be able to enjoy another country, another culture for 9 days.
Some of what I DID manage to do was… visit a cat café, hike Mt Mitake, hike Mt Takao, saw a traditional wedding procession @ Togo Shrine, experienced a small shrine festival, crossed the famous Shibuya Crossing, navigated the crazy metro & subway lines, relaxed at Ueno Park, stood under the iconic Tokyo Tower, indulged my inner-child @ DisneySEA, ate all the Japanese food I wanted… etc. Phew ~
One great lesson learnt though, is that… when it comes to going on vacation, it’s not the WHERE but the WHO that matters. Ugh. I know, I should have seen this coming… and I have. I ended up following my heart despite the initial dilemma, hoping that it would turn out different from what my pessimistic nature predicted. It didn’t. While I wouldn’t say that the trip was a f**k up. I was a good trip. I just didn’t enjoy myself as much as I hoped and it could have gone a lot better. With the right people.
Note: The following paragraphs will be tainted with negativity and make me seem like a selfish b!tch. While I do not apologize for being one, I do apologize for once again revealing this side of me on the Internet. However, there are some things that I need to get off my chest, to rant about, cos that’s my way of letting go and moving on…
While J & E aren’t exactly the travel companions from Hell and I’ve had worse (think Phuket 2012), based on this trip’s experiences, I’d say they are the totally wrong people for me.
I’m the organized one who is obsessed about having a “strategy”, to ensure that I don’t forget anything when I’m there. J & E both couldn’t care less about it. All J thinks about is visiting Akihabara and the AKB48 café + the life sized Gundam at Odaiba while E, well, I don’t know what she thinks about if she even thinks anything in the 1st place. Neither of them had a plan, and J ended up tagging along with most of my itinerary despite me telling them multiple times that they can go ahead and do their stuff if they aren’t interested in what I’m going to see.
Right. So what’s the problem with J? Well… she complains, a lot. Constantly. At almost every location I’ve visited, she’ll just spend like a few seconds taking 1-2 photographs, then declare that she is “done with the place” and attempt to rush off. All that while I was trying to relax and take in the surroundings, before taking photographs. The result? I felt pressured and hurried. I didn’t manage to take as many photos as I wanted to, and whenever I did stop for a photo, I had to tolerate the frustration of searching for J in the crowd after as she would simply just walk away. We are on VACATION ffs, what the f**k is with all that rushing around? It’s not as if she even cares whether I visit all the places in the itinerary since she isn’t keen in them to begin with!
Furthermore, by mid-day, she gets tired, puts on a sour puss face and mumbles. Yes, instead of talking, she mumbles. WTF. If that isn’t sufficient, at the end of the day, at the ryokan, she whines to Princess E how much she has walked the entire day (which is not much I can assure you) and how tired she is. Look, I didn’t force her to come with me. She could have gone her own way if she had a plan… but wait, she didn’t. Ugh.
Then there is Princess E. I knew she was gonna be trouble, and she didn’t prove me wrong.
She refused to wake up most mornings. Yeah, apparently her idea of a vacation is sleeping in. And I don’t mean sleeping in till late morning. I mean sleeping in till late afternoon… like 4-ish? tbh that might not have been a totally bad thing considering that meant I didn’t have to put up with 2 whiners.
On the one day that she managed to wake though, she took more than an hour to get ready (seriously… wth is with women and their make-up?). That caused us to leave the ryokan 1/2hr behind schedule, and thanks to her ordering seconds during lunch & taking an eternity to finish eating (lunch was 2.5hrs long, no f**king kidding), I had to omit Sengakuji Temple off my itinerary and even so, with further delay caused by her, we ended up at the Rainbow bridge at 19:00hrs. 1hr after the bridge walkway closed, 2.5hrs after my initial planned time. Thanks, babe.
The icing on the cake was when, one evening, I overheard the conversation she had with J when she thought I had gone to shower – I actually only went to brush my teeth @ the sink outside and the walls were thin enough so I could hear their every word. She complained that my itinerary was too packed & there was a lot of rushing around (yeah… so cluttered that you could enjoy an extended lunch, eh?) and that due to following my itinerary, she ended up not having time to “do her own stuff”. Uhmm… hello? Princess only came along ONE day. We had 7 full days in Tokyo. Am sure she would have plenty of time to do her own stuff if she didn’t spend 4 freaking days SLEEPING in the ryokan till late. Yep, 4. So what the heck is with that accusation?
Oh… and she also complains about how difficult it was to share a room with me & J. Uhh, well, who was the one who needed to sleep with the light on (she got her way – and trust me, it was annoying), and who was the one who makes the most noise at night, yapping away cos she wasn’t tired? Well played, Princess.
Needless to say, that was the last straw. I simply went solo for most of the last 2 days there and I was glad I did. It was only then that my vacation actually felt like a vacation. I was finally able to take as many photographs of stuff that I want to whenever I can, cos I can… I was finally able to walk at my own pace w/o being hassled by a grump… and I finally didn’t have to go thru’ the frustration of trying to wake someone up in the morning (and fail). Oh, and I didn’t bore myself as I’d worried I would when I travel alone!
Lesson learnt, indeed.