One of the nice things about arriving in Japan is that the bus which takes you from Narita airport to the Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT) in calls itself the ‘Friendly Limousine Bus’.
Now I know it’s silly to see anything in a name but, after a 6,000 mile flight, you’re ready to believe in anything which suggests it may be even slightly on your side. Mind you the girl organizing the passengers’ embussing procedure wasn’t that warm and fuzzy, she caught my eye as I wandered about, pointed to two lines on the pavement about two foot apart, and indicated with a severe finger gesture that I should stay between them. However, the girl on the bus was extremely user-friendly: “Do not use your mobile phones”, she said, “because they may annoy your neighbours.” What a star. There should be more like her. Then it was nice getting to TCAT because on the door it said ‘Friendly TCAT’. Though it wasn’t particularly, looking as unappetising as any other bus terminal, but was nice that it wanted to be a friendly bus station. Tokyo seemd strangely deserted and then I found out why. It ws a holiday for Gratitude to Grandparents Day. A group of oldies in the lobby sweep me into the lift and up to the 20th bar, laughing like drains when I say my room is on the 9th floor. They insist on me going in for a Happy Hour stiffener. They are really into it, giggling and chatting like teenagers on a spree. Don’t believe the myth that the older generation of Japanese are serious and austere, This lot were partying. They seemed to be on a Happy Hour bar crawl. Finally I get to my room and find the loo seat is heated. Now that’s friendly. TOMORROW MORNING: THE TEN BEST MEMORY CHIPS