We start our journey in Dubai, but we can easily skip this detail to arrive directly here in Terminal 2, Narita Airport. It’s summer, and I can feel it in the air.
However, here I can breathe, not as in other Asian destinations I visited. Look, mom, I’m in Japan! I landed in between an alien movie and the tidy drawer of my friend Sabrina. After repeating as many times as I can ‘arigato’ (thanks in Japanese), I finally try to find a logic in all this order. The navigator keeps telling me I must find a tunnel called B2F. I’m lucky enough to find it and even blessed, ‘cause two people address me in English!
Buy a ticket
Right now, what I really need to do is find out how to buy a ticket. It seems pretty easy to me, but understanding the amount for a single ride is still an ancient secret of Japan. Finally, I buy a Funabashi ticket, direction Funabashi Station. I’m pretty sure my pronunciation of Funabashi is quite as funny as ‘trigonometry’ pronounced by a Japanese. People here in Japan are super respectful of this funny gringo, and no one underlines my ignorance in pronunciation.
Ok, roger that
Ticket in my hands, a train from the future moves under me, I’m ready to go, let’s move! My first ride seems endless, mainly because I’m tired from 10 hours of flying and this new reality. Everything seems different to me, starting from light signs to how you need to address unknown people, finishing with the disposition of escalators. Yes, I will define it as ‘alien’ in this line, but please don’t find it offensive. That’s Japan, baby.
An entire world drew on black-coated paper, a dark black able to scratch the train windows with all its elegance. Tokyo appears like that, as it was a fascinating woman accompanied by natural grace. Elusive, it passes fast as the train, speaking an unknown language. The train is fast, a bit bumpy. Actually, this bumpiness is helpful as it wakes me up by banging my head on the window. With this sudden awakening, I’m able to descend to my stop.
I don’t know if it’s just karma or some ultra-futuristic item controlling my mind, but I managed to catch the right stop. Probably it’s my karma, but still, I’m open to the second solution. We’re in Japan, and you assume anything can happen here if you passed half of your youth watching Japanese cartoons.
If this is considered a metro, I’m in an alien movie, for real. It appears clean and tidy at 9 p.m. in a way that makes you think it’s better to put a pair of clean slippers on. The advertisement is a serial killer for my attention. Did you ever try to remember a secondary character’s name in a Dostojevskij novel while a group of darwish dance all around you but dress in Pikachu costumes? Right, you have a clue how difficult it is for me now to guess the station name, stay awake and at the same time, don’t get distracted by the advert in the metro.
Even though a part of me believes I’m trapped in another dimension, I come back to the Earth and thanks to a couple of good pieces of advice, I’m back on track. My two good bits of advice incarnate in 5 feet tall with big hats policeman. I cannot refrain from imagining how similar they are to the children’s carnival costumes. I’m dressed as a western man with eyebags and hairs combed by the wind (so fancy).
The subway is silent. Only the train speaks. All the human beings, digested in this multitude with caterpillar shape, are clean and tidy. And then, horror. A small plastic bottle has been left free to bang around the train wagon. That sound will be the only one sums up the train background. Bing, Bang, Bong, but no one says anything. Silently, everyone is expecting the noisy thing will suddenly be alive and decide to descend at the next stop.
Outside Tokyo seems like a video game, with the ultimate elegance of a top model. Lights are similar to eyes, a plague that seems to infect a good peaceful and solitary darkness. Everyone keeps their eyes on some smart thingy screen, even when a beautiful girl (probably coming from a manga comix) arrives and sits in front of me. I feel myself a man coming directly from the Neolithic, but she’s super pretty and I watch her from the corner o my eyes. In the meantime, the train keeps singing tu tum tu tu tum tu tu tum tutu tum.
I’m ready for the next station.
The second trip
The second trip is more convenient than the one before. I’m in Funabashi (so far, so good, Hubert would say).
But I still don’t understand:
- A. How can I get my ticket
- B. Where is the subway here?
- C. Which direction do I have to take it?
- D. There is any kind of cause-effect relation between the Yen I’m spending and my ride in the metro?
- E. Everything is controlled by Dobby?
- P.s. it seems there is a logic behind it. Obviously, it’s bizarre and alien, like a key to press on the screen (vodoo?).
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