Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Summer in Japan

Leonardo Davinci's world
Hilton Hotel

The Disney Store

The Hawaiian Burger Place


I've been really really really behind on my updates. I wanted to update in Japan and Bangkok, but everything was mixed up in their language so I thought I'd update when I get back…and then university started and well you know how it is….

So I wanted to talk about my summer, but I don't think one update is going to cut it. I'm going to write about our trip to Tokyo Disney first ,then Tokyo w inshalla 3al next update I will talk about Kyoto. I don't usually take a lot of pictures, but this summer because of Wildy, I decided to take take tons of pictures. I wanted her to live the experience along with me. I'm no where near as talented or dedicated as my friend Blackpearlz when it comes to taking pictures so just bear with me everyone. I take pictures of what captures my eye and I might get so distracted by something that I forget to take pictures, that's just me lol.


"Fo Yo Boyday we give you JAPAN" My 19 year old sister Aisha exclaimed in her funniest accent as our plane started to land in Tokyo.

On the trip to Japan, I turned 22. We left Dubai on the 25th of July. It was seven hours before we reached Bangkok where we stopped for the day. The hotel was close to the airport and we were so exhausted we all crashed and slept. Later that night we had dinner at the hotel and then went to the airport on our way to Tokyo. I watched Blades of Glory on the plane and missed my cousin Sas. It was the sort of dumb pizza movie we would have loved to laugh at on a Friday. I read Harry Potter and I cried over every character. When it was done, I cried because it was over. I have been reading Harry Potter for years and I felt sad to see it end.
I continued watching movies and flipping channels until day break and the flight attendant asked us to open the windows. We were about to land in Tokyo, and it felt surreal. Going to Japan has always been my 15 year old sister M0oMo0's dream, and she reveled in it. I lost track of time on the plane, but when we landed, my father turned to me and said "Happy birthday, Shahd". It was the 27th of July. I switched on my phone and got my first birthday greeting from my butterfly of a cousin Mayoola.
My sisters and I shared this sense of coiled excitement as we walked through the airport. We couldn't wait to go outside and explore. Our first stop was Disneyland Tokyo where we stayed at the Hilton. Across the hotel, you could see the shuttle train with its cute Mickey Mouse windows. Buses with the same windows park in front of the hotel, picking up visitors to drop off at Disney land. Disneyland was two train stations away and Fantasea was another station further.
Check in is at 3 in Japan and not 12 like everywhere else, so we just sat and waited. There was this play area that was swarming with little kids who jumped around and squealed. We just watched them dumbly. We were too exhausted and jet lagged. My brother 8 year old 7amood curled up and went to sleep. M0oMo0 dropped off beside him. 3abdulla, the baby of the family being 5 years old, watched the kids in an offended way and asked questions. He lay on his tummy on a couch and growled if anyone came close.
There was a Starbucks in the lobby and I got bored and went to explore. My father gave me money to buy Perrier for 3abdulla and stuff for the rest of my siblings. Yeah, Perrier is essential to my baby brother. Handling the unfamiliar money was weird for me. I'm used to going to the same countries over and over, so I always have an idea about their currencies. Green tea is the elixir of life with the Japanese. Its in everything! My mother wouldn't stop preaching about it. She fell in love with Haagen Daaz's green tea ice cream and was offended when she found out there is none of it back in Dubai.
Later that night, we went to the nearby station which was a quaint little shopping district. We explored the shops, marveling at how different everything was, the clothes, the shoes, the food. Everything! Everything is unique like something you would only find in a catalogue and never find anywhere else no matter where you travel.
We had dinner at this burger place that had this Hawaiian vibe and had surf boards on the walls. Back in our hotel room, my sisters ordered cakes and desserts, sang me sappy happy birthday and I hugged them both. Outside our window, Disneyland twinkled brightly in the night.
The next day, I woke up bright and early. I woke up my sisters and bullied them to get dressed. I went to the room next to ours and bullied my younger siblings to wake up. My youngest sister, Shamasi whined and complained, but I quickly got her excited. She hurried to the bathroom to get dressed. I woke up 7amood, and then went to wake up my roly poly baby brother. He was curled up in a ball and I unrolled him and tried to wake him up. When everyone was dressed, we went to our parent's bedroom who blinked sleepily at us. We got our allowances for the day and went down for breakfast.
We went to Disneyland. As usual, 3wash and M0omo0 were my usual companions. We looked at the map and tried to figure out a plan to get on the most games in the least time. We got fast passes to Space mountain and the Phantom manor. We explored the place. The weather was hot that day and every kiosk I went to only sold ice green tea. Bleh, I don't know how they drink it, but I was so hot and it was so cold. My sisters laughed at the faces I kept making, but I kept on drinking anyway. The next kiosk that sold water was heaven to me.
My father called me and asked us to pick Shamasi because she wanted to ride Space mountain, too. She was bored of hanging around with the boys. I had to relinquish my fast pass and go the long way. All through the line, she kept pointing out the Japanese with Minnie mouse nail polish. She pointed out bags and stuff. She's only 10, but mashalla she has a good eye for the stylish. I watched the Japanese couples, the girl bouncing with a Minnie mouse head band and her boyfriend with Mickey mouse hair clips holding her hand. My sister whirred past us with their fast passes while we mulled over in the line. Every time we saw an escape pod, shamasi suggested that she leave and I dragged her along. There was no way we were just leaving the game after standing all this time in the line.
We rode Space mountain, went to Phantom Manor twice, meandered in the shops, but mostly we were too hot and too exhausted to stay around much longer. There was no day parade. There was just this train that came along and splashed water to cool everyone down.
Next day at Fantasea we had a lot more fun. It rained and the weather was much cooler. Tokyo Disneyland is the only one in the world that has a Fantasea right next to it as far as I know. The rides were different and more interesting, because when you've been to almost every Disneyland in the world, the rides get predictable. There is no surprise anymore, but Fantasea was something else. Shamasi was now an official part of our previous trio and we had to drag her along with us. We rode Journey to the center of the earth and complained the whole time because it just squeaked along slowly. Then suddenly it went whizzing up the mountain and we screamed our heads off. I rode the tower of terror with Mo0mo0 and we loved it.
We rode game after game until it rained and all the rides got closed. We rode in the ferry floating slowly in the water. We got back to Main street and did some shopping. I wanted to ride the gondolas but it was a long wait. It was really late by the time we got back. My parents and brothers had left hours earlier, but we were having too much fun to leave. We walked back to the train station, our feet aching, but light hearted and happy.
The very next day we were supposed to leave to go to another hotel in Tokyo. Shamasi and I walked to the train station sharing a caramel Machiatto. She was feeling cold and she likes the taste of coffee. We ran into our parents there and came back since there was only an hour left before we would leave to downtown Tokyo.
It started to pour and I stood next to the window of our hotel feeling its icy breath as the rain streamed down the window. I watched the buses and the train passing by with their Mickey Mouse windows. Strange how attached my family and I felt to this place even though it's only been a few days. All through the bus ride there, I sat withdrawn, my head against the window while my family chattered excitedly. I listened to the most somber tunes of Secret Garden and tried to compose poetry in my head to match my feelings, but nothing came close.

That's all my ramblings for today


5 comments: said...

I LOVE THE PICS!! especially the flower 1 w um etower. Marra thanyh take more pics.. now 7asaiit ani i wanna go to Japan! next time im so0 coming with u guyz =P said...

o O! dont forget to upload the pic with the dude lol

Fatema said...

Ohhh..Shooshii missed you my rambler sugar! Loved ur updated blog..Love to go to Japan thu..ma3 eni never ever thought abt it =D

Wild Adapter said...

a gust of freah air! thats what your posts are to my over-saturated med life! *hugz*

Amazing post! Luurved it!

Diddlina said...

Japaaaaaaaaaaaan <3 you're so lucky =D Im glad you enjoyed your time there and i hope i will visit it one day in sha Allah..
I Lovee your blog mashallah..wallah sometimes i read what you've written and i feel that its my heart speaking