Friday, January 12, 2007

Kanazawa to Kyoto

Tuesday 19th September 2006.

Again, we rose quite early (never got used to it) and took ourselves off to the German Bakery, once more, for breakfast. The fabulously geeky J-gay was there again. He said, "Oh, so you like coffee?" to me five times, each time emphasising a different word...

Oh, so you like coffee?
Oh, so you like coffee?
Oh, so you like coffee?
Oh, so you like coffee?
Oh, so you like coffee?

My breakfast was fabulous. Apart from my curry doughnut! I'd been saving it until last, thinking it would be full of custard.

What a sad start to the day. Curry does not belong inside doughnuts, dear reader. Definitely not.

Next to the German Bakery was a drug store. I was amazed at their lipstick for men stand.

Popped back to the hotel to collect our things and check out, then took the Thunderbird to Kyoto.

I adored the first fashion victim of the day, as seen above, not because of her look, although it is fabulous, but because she was obviously quite lost and spun, on the spot, clunking her platform shoes as she did, oh, and squealing under her breath, too.

I was a little worried about returning to Kyoto, having been there two years previously. I thought it might lose some of its gleam. Like after having been on a strict diet for a very long time, eating a plate of chips and egg is quite fabulous, but on the second day, another plate of chips and egg doesn't seem quite so wonderful.

I needn't have worried. Kyoto is still a gem.

From the train station, we took the subway and then the courtesy bus to the Kyoto Brighton Hotel. Our second and return visit!

Being quite early, we were informed that our room wasn't ready. Never mind. We checked in as normal and left our luggage in the safe hands of someone on the desk, returning to the city centre. Our search for lunch began.

We were both after something specific - and found it! Katsu! I ordered a dish or prawns and Ian, chicken. We then shared the meat and fish, both accompanied by a big bowl of Japanese barley rice, dipping sauces and miso soup.

It was delicious.

Before leaving, I found I needed the toilet. I got out the phrase book and found what to ask. I was directed downstairs. I soon found the toilet, it had a picture of a loo on the door. Just to make sure that this was indeed the toilet, moreover the men's toilet, I repeated my question to another waitress. Of course, because I'd asked in Japanese, she must have thought I could speak it well, and proceeded to yabber on at me. I had no idea what she'd just said, but thanked her anyway, tuned and opened the door. To my surprise and horror, on opening the door, I saw a young lady, sat on the toilet with her legs raised, wiping her botty!

Lord above us!

I guess the waitress was trying to tell me there was someone in there. I thought, perhaps, she was also trying to tell me not to try the door as there was no lock or bolt. But there was a lock. Why didn't the silly cow use it? She was so upset when she came out. She muttered something at me and bowed about twenty times. But worse was to come. She'd neither washed her hands nor flushed the toilet, leaving behind a huge floater worthy of a ten on rate my poo.

On reflection, I don't know which is better or more shocking, the tale of the girl on the toilet or the girl on the ship from Hiroshima on our last trip, the one I caught wanking. What do you think?

After eating, we walked to Gion, the Geisha district, seeing a couple of outrageously dressed girls on the way. We found ourselves in the very same spot where, two years earlier, we'd seen many Geisha and had a wonderful Okonomiyaki lunch. This time, we found no Geisha, but we did find a very camp, elderly, Japanese man. He spoke terrible English and looked at us with surprise when we asked him to repeat himself. Worse than that, was the rivulet of clear snot which constantly ran down from his right nostril and into his mouth. Blowing ones nose is a social no-no in Japan. Why, I'll never understand.

He said he'd like to be our guide. We made our excuses and left.

No, this is not Mameha, dear reader, but Phyllis!

And, no, not Sayuri, but me, Minge! Possibly the worst photograph of me ever taken, but I'm not proud, dear reader.

Tired, we returned to our room in the hotel, 603. Although a different room number and on the top floor instead of the middle, our room was exactly the same as our last visit. Welcome familiarity.

After a wee rest, we took the bus to an old haunt, the Funaoka Onsen. Again, unchanged. Water just as hot - and cold! The sauna was a bit too much.

We then had another bus journey into town for a Chinese meal. Lots of people hawking for business as we walked through the restaurant district. Huge portion, unusual for Japan.

It was a lovely meal and a lovely evening, but I was tired and desperate to get back and go to sleep. I put the night-shirt on, as provided by the hotel, washed my face, brushed my teeth and got into bed...

...while Ian watched a bit of telly and then made some notes in the journal.


Anonymous said...

Oh Dear. Fashion Victim #3 is UTTERLY fabulous. Tell her I love her. And ask if she still is member number 674 of the Boy George fan club.

Alan xxx

Minge said...

I'll ask her next time I'm there!


Anonymous said...

What a waste of a doughnut. Boo.

And I agree about the door locking on the bathroom. Hello! That's what it is there for. And not flushing? Ugh. Ugh Ugh. As to which is worse? I think the floater as you are left to deal with it. The other you can just cut and run :)

gab said...

eww curry dougnuts

wot wrong with them

Minge said...

They're insane, Gab.

Old Cheeser said...

Yes curry doughnuts sound .... not very yummy,

Fabulous photos, they really capture the whole experience. And I sooo dig your nightshirt, Minge...

Minge said...

I like nothing better than going to bed, covered in white...!

gab said...

id try it but dint think it would be nice