Having slept at my friends Airbnb the night before because of a small homelessness situation, I woke up at 8am to check if I could head home to pack, but discovered that we were still locked out of our Airbnb. I slept again and woke up at 2pm -keys still had not yet been sent. I did the logical thing – I went to kill time shopping. As I was shopping, I got a panicky call from Mouna – the hosts had sent over the keys at 2:30pm but expected us out of the apartment at 3pm as they had new people coming in and needed the place cleaned. I was annoyed to say the least. Of course it was just an act of nature that the key had refused to work and we had been locked out of our Airbnb….but the hosts surely must have realized what an inconvenience this was. Mouna and Nguhi had to pay for a hotel room. I was lucky in that I crashed at my friend’s place. But after all that, how could you rush us out of the apartment? I was downtown, my stuff was spread out throughout the apartment….because well…I’m messy. That’s the life I live. I open my backpack and throw everything around. That's who I am. I did not choose this life. This life chose me.
I rushed from downtown like a madwoman with all myshopping. Poor Mouna had to pack my backpack as she was been given pressure to make sure all our stuff was out of the apartment before 3pm. She had a flight to catch. I finally made it home – managed to give Mouna a giant hug as I found her with my backpack on the corridor as she waited to leave for the airport. I packed the rest of my shopping on the corridor – as we now could not get back into the apartment. I was flustered. All these changes cut into the day I thought would be a peaceful day with only an evening flight to worry about.
Backpack packed. Running with giant backpack to get to the train station. Knees rattling because of how heavy my giant backpack is. I had gone a bit overboard with gift-buying on that final day.
I had put all my remaining yen into a train ticket that I thought would get me all the way to the airport….only to realize that the ticket I needed was a different one. Having changed trains twice and this giant backpack killing me, I kinda felt like the world was conspiring against me when I discovered that I needed to buy a new train ticket – which was sold 2 or 3 levels down….which when you’re carrying a backpack is the equivalent of being told you need to walk to Timbuktu. I got to the counter and was told the ticket would cost me ~$4. I had only $2 in cash as I had put all the money into the other ticket thinking it was the one I needed. The lady told me that I could find an ATM 2 levels up. She did not seem amused when I was pulling out Kenya shillings and Nairas from my wallet asking if I could top up the $2 with those.
Struggles with backpack. Walks back to Mecca (ATM) from Timbuktu (ticket counter) and the minimum amount one can withdraw from the ATM was $100.
I contemplated begging at the train station for $2, but I realized that I would only be giving Africans a bad reputation….So I took out $100 in Yen because I needed $2. I trudged back to Timbuktu from Mecca, paid for my ticket. I finally got on this train, but I was a nervous wreck as I don’t understand Japanese and was still not 100% sure that I was on the right train until I finally got to the airport at 7:30pm for my 9pm flight.
And with that I bid farewell to Japan! Such a wonderful, crazy, intense trip. Thanks Natsuno!!