Alright So this is how my planning went for this trip. About a month ago I figured out when we had reading week. It is essentially like fall break in the states. It is a week long and I knew I wanted to go somewhere during that time. So what did I do? Search flights for that time? Find a hotel and flight bundle? No, I went onto Kayak.com and searched for the cheapest flight in the month of October. Luckily this flight was the only flight going in and coming out of Japan during reading week.
The price was insanely cheap. I spent just under 200 U.S. dollars for a round trip flight to Osaka and back. Once I bought the plane tickets I did nothing for about 3 weeks. Yeah, I didn’t book a hotel or anything until about a week or so before my flight left. I haven’t seen my mother’s face since I arrived in Hong Kong but I bet she has grey hairs from all the stress I’m giving her right now.
Anyway, I finally decided to rent some hotel rooms. I looked on Kayak.com and didn’t find many cheap place, most hotels on the site cost more than my plane ticket and for only one night. So I quick made an account on Expedia.com and found some really nice, really cheap hotels. After about 30 minutes of looking at different hotel options and where they were in conjunction with the airport I was landing at, I rented 4 nights at 3 separate hotels. 2 hotels in Osaka and one hotel in Kyoto.
At this point I was ready, kind of. There was a tattoo convention in Hong Kong the same day that my flight was leaving. So I went to the convention to check out all the tattoos. I’ve been wanting to get a tattoo forever but just never got around to it, so I figured I’d check out what good tattoo places are around Asia. I ended up leaving the tattoo convention a little later than I wanted to but whatever. I was still making good time so it didn’t matter.
Since I have already been to the Hong Kong International Airport, I knew my way around. So arriving a little over an hour before it took off was no problem. I got on the plane without any issues. I somehow managed to get the emergency exit seat with extra leg room. It was awesome! Once I got off the plane was when the fun started. I was in a hurry to get to the airport so I forgot to exchange any money. So basically… I arrived in a foreign country. One that speaks little English. With no Money. No internet. And no idea where I was. Oh… and I arrived in the airport at 2:10 AM. When you see unprepared in the dictionary, my face should probably be next to it.
I managed to find an exchange machine in the airport but of course, being in an airport they completely killed me with fees and a terrible exchange rate. After wandering for about 15 minutes I realized I am not a magical unicorn and cannot figure out where I am going. So I asked an info desk person where I needed to go to get to my hotel. Luckily the internet was fast enough for me to pull google maps to show him. He told me I needed to get on the last bus at the last station just outside the doors. By now, it was 2:45 AM, once I figured out you didn’t need a ticket, you just pay when you get off, I thought I was all good. Until I saw the sign saying my bus only drives thru once an hour! Oh, and it leaves at 2:50 AM. So I sprinted to the stop and managed to get on in time.
Another lady was on the bus with me as well. I don’t know who this person was but she is a saint and deserves nice things in her life. She totally saved me! I frantically ran to the bus stop to get on in time, so I forgot to set google maps to my hotel. So I had no map or sense of direction to get me where I needed to go. This lady pulled up google maps with the location of my hotel, screenshot it, and sent it to me via Bluetooth. I didn’t even know you could do that with Bluetooth!
She also told what stop to get off at. I got off at the right stop but it was pitch black outside. It’s 3:30 AM at this point. I have no idea where I am. Just imagine for a minute, a nice quiet street, it’s really dark. Then you see a 6’2″ white male with a hiking backpack big enough to store a body in, just walking around at 3:30 AM looking puzzled and pissed off at the same time. I’m surprised the cops didn’t stop and question me. They passed the area I was walking at least 4 times with concerned and upset looks on their faces.
I somehow managed to get myself turned around and going in the opposite direction! Does anyone remember how it felt when you lost your parent in a store when you were a kid? That sinking feeling in your stomach. The sudden urge to burst out in tears for help. The longer I was lost, the stronger I felt this welling up inside me. I fought it pretty well but I don’t think I would have bursted out anyway, I hope not at least. For the sake of my man card I hope not. I probably walked over a Kilometer before I found a different hotel with free WiFi where I could pull up google maps and find out where I needed to go. All I needed was a large enough bird’s eye view and what direction I was facing currently. I got my answers shortly and I was off to the races.
I arrived at my hotel at about 4:15 AM. I could see the frustration in the clerks eyes. He was smoking a cigarette with the same look on his I imagine a father would have on when a boy comes to pick up his daughter for prom. I had called earlier that week to let him know I would be arriving past check-in time, but I didn’t mean that long. I got checked in and boom, I’m in my small, 1 bed 1 bath smoking room. Even though it was a smoking room, the room actually didn’t smell that bad. That made me happy, my roommate in Hong Kong smokes in the apartment all the time and I want to strangle him every time he does it.
I made it!!! My borderline breakdown was averted and I was able to find my hotel! I hope you enjoyed my struggle and I hope to get day 2 uploaded very shortly. It is a little less stressful but you still get to laugh at all the mistakes I made along the way.
I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!