Wednesday, September 05, 2007
LOST IN TRANSLATION
We had spent the day in Kamakura, a small town that was the capital of Japan from 1185 to 1333 and contained many temples and a huge Buddha statue.
Brie wanted to visit a shrine that was right next to the first stop on our train ride home. She said: “If you guys are too tired you can go on home and I’ll go to the temple alone.” I was tired but not quite sure what I wanted to do.
When our train arrived at Kamakura station there was a first class car – a so called green car - right in front of us and I said: “That’s a green car,” and ran to the car in front, but Brie and Tony didn’t follow me. I wanted to find them before the first stop and when I went into the green car they were there, sitting all alone in the luxurious compartment.
“You can’t stay her,” I said, but Brie said: “Oh, it’s just one stop.” So I sat down with them, but just before our stop a railway lady came in and explained, mostly in Japanese, that we had to pay extra. The train had now stopped and Brie said: “But we get off here!” The lady began to explain again that we had to pay extra, but when Brie insisted: “We get off here!” she relented and said: “You go other car.” We jumped up and ran to the next car and straight to the door out, Brie first, then I, and Tony last. Just as Brie ran out the door it started closing and I stopped, afraid of being caught in it. We were separated. Brie put up a cheerful face and waved goodbye as the train started up and all the Japanese, who are normally so polite, laughed at us.
Tony wanted to go back, but I was too tired to follow and at the next station he left and I continued home.
I had been home nearly two hours when Tony arrived - alone.
“Is Brie not here?” he asked. He had not been able to go back because he didn’t know what train to take. The station was big and trains went off right and left. He waited to see if Brie would come and when she didn’t, he gave up and continued homewards. At the huge Yokohama station he got lost when changing trains, and when he finally found his way he took the express train that didn’t stop at our station.
Thanks to an herbal relaxation we began to see the comical aspect of our adventure, but when Brie arrived half an hour later she was quite mad. She had waited in vain for us to come back, and it didn’t help that we were giggly when recalling the Japanese all laughing at us, but when she understood that Tony had done his best to join her, but was lost, and with a helping of saké, she joined our mood and we all had a good laugh.