Mike makes a nuisance of himself & I have trouble with the facilities
26.03.2010 - 27.03.2010
In the early hours of this morning Sophie and I were awoken from our peaceful sleep on the tatami mats by a vicious, guttural, snarling and growling just the other side of our flimsy bedroom door. It was Mike either shredding our slippers laid neatly outside the door or trying to eat his way through the door to get to us. He only stopped after a man's voice told him off in Japanese. Even to me as a dog lover it sounded pretty frightening, so poor Sophie. I reassured myself that the door was locked and went back to sleep trying not to imagine Mike flying through the plywood towards my throat. Sophie and I now hope not to need the loo in the night - there is a squat-style toilet next to our room but the western-style loo we prefer is down a steep, narrow staircase and in pitch blackness at night - pretty spooky. This means we have to weigh up the risks of accidentally weeing on our pyjama trousers using the squat, or encountering Mike (or something else) in the dark on the way to the nice toilet... hmmm....
I should say here Naomi feels sorry for Mike and thinks he gets a bad press but she slept peacefully through the 'hounds of hell' demonstration wearing her earplugs.
Later that morning I got locked in the shower room due to a dodgy lock. The shower experience wasn't the best anyway as the glass door is only frosted and pretty see through to anyone that walks down the corridor. I really needed a shower so decided to just turn my back to the see-through door, so at least they wouldn't get to see much - great plan til I found the other side was also a frosted glass window to the garage / utility room... In my concern over being seen I forgot to take a towel in with me from where they were laid out for us outside the shower room, so (post-shower) I had to pick careful timing to sneak out naked and grab one, which was when I discovered I was locked in. Without a towel. I tried calmly to free the lock for ages but got to wondering how long I would have to be missing for Sophie and Naomi to come and see what had happened. Preferring not to be naked when my rescuers arrived I decided I would have to dry myself on yesterday's clothes and put today's on. Unfortunately in my fluster I dried myself on today's fleece so it was too wet to wear. Bugger. And then I managed to get the door open - I was free!
This was a bad day for me and bathroom facilities because my shower trauma was soon to be followed by a toilet trauma: After we'd used some cheap internet in a big public building, we were taking it in turns to use the disabled loo in the lobby (as it was a western one). Whilst I was sitting on the loo I was plunged into total darkness and couldn't see a thing. I called to Sophie and Naomi to see if they could find a light switch on the outside. Unfortunately all the electrical buttons only had Japanese commands on them, so Sophie, in her efforts to help, pressed one that caused the extra-wide door to glide open, revealing me sitting on the loo, trousers round ankles. The light went on at that moment. Excellent: my humiliation was well lit. I was rather taken aback and instinctively stood up but realised that was more revealing so quickly sat back down again, pleading in a panicked voice to them to 'Do something!' In between falling about laughing, they pressed various buttons and the door shut. And the light went off again. Well we all had a good laugh at my expense and went off to hide in a Sushi restaurant - one where a conveyor belt brings the dishes past. I was cheered up by the fact it was very tasty and tentacles were totally avoidable. Sophie was well chuffed as she even managed to get chicken nuggets, chips and chocolate cake.
Don't want to bore you all by writing much more but I should briefly summarise the sights we saw in Nagasaki (other than me naked): Temple Row (I feel I should have known a bit more about Shinto and Buddhist beliefs to fully appreciate these famous, very old temples built along one road), Glover Gardens (a collection of old houses of various European early settlers / trade merchants, etc, re-assembled up a hillside, set in landscaped gardens, with escalators for easy/ lazy access - there was one called 'Walker' House, so obviously I went to visit my Japanese heritage) and the Performing Arts Museum (where they keep Chinese dragon floats and accessories for an annual festival - bit disappointing as not much there).
The cherry blossom is starting to come out now so I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of it.
On Sunday morning we left our sweet granny hosts who'd been looking after us very well, and bade stinky Mike farewell as we moved on to Osaka.