Live vicariously though El Dommo as he reports back from his tour to watch Bledisloe 4 in Tokyo
Tour Diary Entry 30-11-09
The overnighter (the Second Leg) and first hours in Tokyo
I sit at a bar (I’m assuming there are many) at Changi airport, knocking back some bourbon and coke, making use of the free wireless but lamenting the fact it seems slower than old school dial-up. There seems a small dedicated contingent continuing to Japan for the game, I notice a few matching polo’s with Bledisloe embroidered across the breast. However, everyone I think is weary from the flight and coming to terms with the 7 hours left to get to Tokyo.
Its midnight and we are aboard the A380, it is huge. When I say huge, I don’t mean Palu huge, I mean Kefu huge, or Brad Thorn huge. Four engines start to power up, and we start takeoff, but I can’t hear a thing, it’s quieter than a Hyundai Getz, definitely the most impressive plane I’ve ever experienced. We will land at 7am Tokyo time, and I’m not optimistic about the quality or quantity of sleep I will get.
Waiting for the Airport Limousine (shuttle bus) to take us to our hotel, and it occurs I have been going non-stop, for 24 hours. I smell like jersey bags at the end of a season, and due to a lack of sleep, almost begin a conversation with a plant. Getting to the hotel we have four hours to kill before we can check in. We decide to explore our surroundings. I take out some Yen, and sign us up for a Japanese buffet lunch costing us 1000 or about $13. I bow about 10 times to each of the staff on the way to our booth, some local woman (a customer) helps me serve myself up some grub, obviously concerned by my unknowing combination of dessert items with some curry and stir fry.
Next to the hotel, is an 80 lane bowling alley. The Gnome and I decide to break out our rolling game, and I get comprehensively beaten twice, most likely after did myself some damage try to bowl the flipper to pick up a spare on just my second frame. We finally get to check in and our lodgings are slightly larger than a well stocked cleaning closet, however, right now I could sleep on a plank of wood. A shower is a must before a power nap, and entering the bathroom, it becomes evident the toilet is no ordinary piece of ceramic, and there are engineering courses that are required to fully appreciate how to operate it, kitted out with seat-heater, some water shower thing and of course an in-built bidet.
After taking a 6 hour power-nap, still not quite enough, the Gnome and I venture out to see our surroundings nocturnally, and by 11pm everything is closing up from dinner, so we are forced to eat at McDonalds. Gnome has a Big Mac, I get adventurous and eat a McPork (no explanation will convey the reality), and decide some 7-Eleven sushi is necessary. I also pick up some Suntory Lager, some Yebisu Premium and something else, supposedly “Brewed for Good Times”.
I start up a bit of conversation with some fellow Round Eyes, and I hear the AB’s are staying in a hotel about 100metres away (one of the towers on the building lot). I also get into a conversation with Wayne from Canberra, about what the Reds need to do to get back on top. Much is said about heart and getting good players like Hynes and Ioane the ball, finally getting a number 8 who doesn’t look like a pastry chef, and my deflection after being lectured (as if I have any QRU input) mentions the useless Waratahs, to which he laughs and says to enjoy the game.
We also research some Bledisloe news and hear that Brittle Barnes has gone down again with an ankle injury. Unanimously, expletives are directed at the website, and talk of JOC having to be brought in make us consider catching a baseball game tomorrow instead. Just for a second anyway. I look for my debit MasterCard and can’t find it. More expletives fill the air and I organize to get it all cancelled. Luckily, I have already ensured I have the cashola to party tomorrow evening.