Seeing Shikoku, Pt. 1

On Saturday morning I decided to sleep in. Unfortunately sleeping in for me means sleeping until about 6:30. I guess as long as my body thinks I’m getting enough sleep it doesn’t really matter. I did a few last minute chores around the apartment (though as I am typing this I realize that I forgot to take out the trash like I was supposed to. That is going to be an unpleasant thing to come home to, but hopefully since it isn’t too hot right now it won’t be a huge problem) and packed up Tomoko’s sewing machine for her. She had been kind enough to let me borrow it for two weeks to make a whole host of things. I made my Halloween costumes, a pair of slippers, a few stuffed animals, and other odds and ends.

Packed and ready to go.

Packed and ready to go.

Tomoko picked me up a little before 10 and we headed to the station. After a quick goodbye, I headed inside to buy my ticket. After discovering that the station I was going to was (annoyingly) not listed on the machine, I had to go into the ticket office to buy my ticket. For the most part that is not an issue (I know what to say by now) but sometimes they treat me like an idiot once they see I’m foreign. That is more of an issue than anything else. The worker stamping tickets at the ticket window made sure to tell me the track number in both Japanese and English.

My city’s train station has two tracks. One is for going north, the other is for going south. It does not change.

I made sure to say thank you in Japanese in the fastest, most native speaking way I could before going up to the platform.
After that the train was fairly simple. I’ve done it several times before, so I knew exactly where I was going. It’s a kind of long trip, but thankfully the scenery (when not going through the three thousand tunnels) is pretty nice. I arrived at the correct station, grabbed a taxi, and was on my way to the port. The whole process is pretty smooth if you can read/ speak Japanese. I took a moment to appreciate how far my Japanese has come since I did this for the first time two years ago. I got a little worried when I boarded the ferry and no one followed me for at least five minutes. I thought I was maybe too early or something, but since no one stopped me I grabbed a seat in the cafe area of the ship.

Since I bought the cheapest ticket, there are basically two options available to me: grab a bit of floor space in the 2 class rooms or find somewhere to perch elsewhere in the ship. I normally grab floor space and sleep, but I decided that a table might be a better idea this time. I had a booth mostly to myself. Despite getting a little seasick (it seems that caffeine makes me more seasick, I hope I can use this knowledge to my advantage in the future), it was a relatively easy ride.

The lady sharing the booth with me in the cafe area.

The lady sharing the booth with me in the cafe area.

 

Watching a documentary about samurai using guns.

Watching a documentary about samurai using guns.

Jen met me at the ferry port and we headed to her boyfriend’s place. Not only did I get to meet him (he’s a great guy), but I also attempted to solve his internet problem.  I also surprised Jen at  that time with the present I had made her.  She’s not a huge stuffed animal person, so I was a little nervous, but she loved it!

The three of us spent the evening hangout out playing games and chatting.  It as a lot of fun.  Brandon downloaded a game called “Heads Up” on his phone and we had a great time playing.  Jen also has a crazy number of musical instruments in her apartment.  Among them is a a violin, so I had some fun teaching her how to hold the bow properly and how to play Beethoven’s Fifth.  I promised to try and find a few other simple songs to learn.  All in all a great first day in Shikoku.

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