Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 176/365: I Was (Almost) Lost in Translation...

Here I am at an overpass quite near Shinjuku, Tokyo. We've just arrived after our 3-hour bullet train journey. You can see me sporting a fine, fine pair of Ken Done leggings/pants donated by the ever-delightful Cousin Christine.
I just *love* these pants for the wonderful detail of the shells. And clearly even Ken was pleased with himself, as he dated them '88. 1980s fashion at its finest, yes?!
Plus, look below at a painting Cousin Christine showed us at her house when we visited. It demonstrates that Ken has a long standing love-affair with beach culture. This painting of a shell was at the beginning of his art career, in 1974.
And an in-Japan story of a crisis averted. Journeying today with all our travel bags of *goodies* we hopped off the bullet train at Tokyo, and as the train was heading out, the LiP enquires, 'where's your new tea-pot bag?' Oh no!
We head straight to the 'Lost & Found' office at the station to find a man at his desk asleep. Imagine me if you will - with my limited Japanese, in a complete tizz - trying to tell the still sleepy attendant that I'd left my *special* tea pot bag, in a plastic bag, on the train. Confused, he asked what it looked like, I kept saying 'bag'... then 'tea pot'... then 'silver'... then 'leather'... then 'interesting'... then 'amazing' (you see, I could only recall adjectives from Year 8 Japanese!) I then added hand gestures to show its exquisite tea pot shape, alas to no avail. He had no idea what was going on... had I lost a bag OR a tea pot OR my mind?

Finally we played the drawing game, and I sketched an *uncanny likeness* of my leather tea pot, including shoulder strap and three-dimensional spout. Completely confused, but at least knowing which train I was on, he placed a call and they found my bag. I couldn't understand everything, but even I got the moment when he figured out that I was actually describing a tea-pot bag inside a plastic bag quite well. As he laughed with bemusement, all I could say was, 'funny'. He heartily agreed, although I'm not sure whether it was me or my bag that was being laughed at. Anyway, after another convoluted trek across multiple platforms, I arrived at another station office. I knew I was in the right place as all the men in the office were laughing at me too. With my beloved tea pot safely back, the LiP and I resolved to always count our bags before alighting a carriage. Phew! (And thank you, safe and helpful Japan x)

8 comments:

J.J. said...

I wonder if you and your tea pot were the strangest thing to happen at Tokyo station today??

Anonymous said...

thanks for the laugh - you too sound like your having a great trip:-)

birdmonkey said...

thank god! only in Japan would such a lovely bag still be where you left it. I know that over pass bridge- brought tears to my eyes.

Oh and great tights KD!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Awesome! Hope your having a wonderful adventure! love Sahba

Teaspoon said...

Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it is possible that the teapot bag did not disappear off it's seat on the shinkansen because it might have a limited appeal to anyone else other than your Sweet Self and possibly the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland?! Just wondering?!:):) - A Nonimouse

Anonymous said...

Laughing and crying as I read this! I am rememberinga life time ago being lost in a taxi in Osaka with only your year 8 vocabulary coming to the rescue!!!

skb said...

I think this is my favourite post thus far - I love the leggings, and I *love* the lost n found note drawing...great sketch and I am sure that some of that red writing says something about the crazy bag's owner! Can't wait for tomorrow's story. xx