That night I didn’t sleep at all . But thanks to that I was able to talk with my family (because of the time difference we often have a problem with that) and to pack my things, because I had to change accommodation. I was going to the apartment of two working Japanese, located in another district, 40 minutes by Metro. Due to the fact that they leave apartment before 8am, from the hotel I went out already at 6 and … I was surprised.
So far, I was leaving hotel during afternoons and no one was there, now I left early in the morning and the streets were full of people . Most of them were walking toward the subway station (just like me ), but some of them were sitting on the sidewalk. I have written on Facebook that in “convienence store” you can buy anything, including hot tea / coffee and a meal. These people were sitting on the sidewalk sipping tea and eating soup. Some of them also smoked cigarettes ( in Japan, very few people smoke because insurers offer discounts for non-smokers ) . One of the old men sitting even greeted me by saying ” Ohayo ” which means Hello / Good morning. What is interesting you can say Ohayo only till 10 am (once I said Ohayo at 1pm and did not hear the answer only when I told Konnichiwa which also means good morning.
Subway was crowded. Because of the large backpack and a suitcase I crushed people around me. During the transfer to another subway line I asked the men to help me with a suitcase and never met with refusal . When later I told a friend what I said he laughed that it was too dramatic . And I just told: I’m sorry , please help, suitcase, up . Which was: Sumimasen , tasukete kudasai , baggu , appu ( Do you see here some similarities to English ? Baggu – bag , appu – up)
I was already at 7 am at my target station Toyosu. Delighted, because on Google maps it was written from the station to apartment of my Hosts ( Couchsurfing ) I had to walk 15 minutes. I was walking .. and walkin, walkin, walking . After 30 minutes, I came to the conclusion that something is wrong . I began to ask people for directions , and even though I didn’t understand enough, I was looking at their surprised faces. And it was more difficult beause of the fact that in Tokyo streets have no names ! Really ! There are only numbers and the district name. So when I showed a card with the address written on it I was expecting at least pointing directons. But no one knew… eventually someone said that it was not that district that maybe I should take a taxi , it might be perhaps there or there ..
In addition, I was in Tokyo at rush hour and on the sidewalks there were a lot of people, once a bus stopped full of Salaryman ( term for people who work in corporations and at work a very long time ) and they all headed towards me so I literally found myself in a sea of suits. When I pulled out a small map with difficulty I found the place where I was and where I should go . Still on the way I asked the people and the faces of them began to fade. They were not sure about the address, but at least I was in good neighborhood.
After a while, people began to show me the way to ” Polisu boxu “. In Tokyo, there are a lot of police station, if they don’t have real police station they have at least a box to sit in. I finally found a cop and a cop needs to know his district. He pulled out a huge map and pointed fingers and carefully explained to me how I need to go. I found it!
White- blue block of flats ! I had to be there about 8 am, and I was about 10 am. THREE hours looking for this apartment. Yes, I did take a break because I was tired , without sleep and it was hot . But come on – three hours !? In the meantime, of course, I gave them know that I would be late .. The apartment was empty , but they left doors open for me ! There was Couchsurfing sticker on the door and on the table there was Rules ( Yes, they are experienced couchsurfers and came to the conclusion that it is better to have some rules in the house). The apartment was on the 11th floor and the views were breathtaking .. You could see Tokyo Bay . In the apartment I took one hour nap and went to the meeting. Again, the CouchSurfing ! It ‘s time for Akihabara !