Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I went to Tokyo for the weekend, and of course it was great fun, Tokyo always is.....But nothing is only fun. At least not in this BLOG.
A friend of mine was going to Tokyo as well and we decided to book Japanese style rooms at the Fukadaya Ryokan. Something went wrong, however, and instead of a Japanese style room, they confirmed a western style room for me. By the time we got a hold of them again they only had a Japanese style room for one night, only a western style room for the remaining two.
To keep things simple I decided to just take the western style room, it probably would be ok. My friend said, if I really didn't like it we could alternate rooms. I was not worried.
The Japanese style rooms are really great, spacious, comfortable, quiet. I loved it.
So I was quite shocked when on day two a prison guard knocked on my door and led me to a tiny cell in another wing of the building. It was dark, tiny, lacked toilet and bath and smelled strongly of formaldehyde.
I tried everything: I begged, cried, screamed, fainted and stood on my head. But to no avail. No other room was to be had. Upon inspection, my friend incidentally changed her mined about switching rooms. I don't really blame her....
It turned out that a bunch of Japanese Army guys were staying in the other rooms. They apparently feel a need to urinate frequently in the nighttime (I only know this, because they needed to slam the toilet door outside my room to do so).
In order not to suffocate in the formaldehyde atmosphere I decided to sleep with the window open, which didn't alleviate the smell much, but added a thick carpet of streetnoise to the toilet door slamming in the hallway. My nextdoor neighbor I could identify as being in the last stages of consumption. Poor guy.
At 7 am I decided to get up, certain I hadn't slept at all. But I must have dosed off at some point, when I was lying on my right side. And the 5 mosquitoes sitting on my wall had noticed: they bit me twice on my forehead. Once on my chin. 3 times on my throat. Twice on my elbow and three times on my hand.
This is my personal mosquito bite record. I'm almost happy to be back in my familiar mold smell apartment.