Monday, March 19, 2012

Tokyo yesterday, Perth today, Calgary tomorrow...

Sorry, no pictures in this post....

There is a flower called 'Yesterday, today, and tomorrow'...

The rationale for the name purportedly derives from the fact that the flower starts blooming with 'soft purple, changing to a pastel lilac and finally turning to a near-white before fading away'....(Source)

While not exactly yesterday, yours truly had the privilege of visiting Meiji University at Tokyo two Fridays days ago to attend a symposium...

Spent a night at a business hotel near Haneda Airport...

While having breakfast the next morning, sitting by the window watching the Tokyo Monorail zoomed by, snow fell... oooh, mid March is supposed to be spring season if we go by the calendar, but in reality, it is still very much winter...

At 4:00 AM last Wednesday, the alarm beeped as instructed...
My sweeto haato sweetly murumured 'ohayo' and I responded with a sleepy 'o...haaa...yo...'

Had to crawl out of my warm futon at that rather unholy hour...

Yes, I had to hit the road again... this time, it was to Perth to visit the University of Western Australia...

As with habit, did all the t-things like gargling and 'rinsing the eyeballs' (with water soaked in used teabags from the day before)... and of course, 'sitting on the throne' to clear the system for the new day...

Been doing this routine for as long as I can remember...

At 4:40, my sweeto haato got up to bid me a 'Have a safe trip' hug and kiss... the three-quartered moon was hanging on quite beautifully at the southern sky, and I was ready to mount the faithful Grasshopper...

But poor Grasshopper appeared to have 'cataracts'... her windscreen was laced with a thin layer of ice...

I poured water from a bucket but no cigar... the cold water had no effect on the cataracts... I got back to the house and asked my suweeto haato for some warm water...

Now, Kansai International is about four hours from Takamatsu Station... for many an occasion during our overseas trips, we used to park our car in the university, catch a cab to Takamatsu Station to take the limusine bus to Kansai International...

But I have decided to drive to a bus stop on the bus route, which is about 30 kilometers from our house, park the car there and take the same limusine bus to the airport... saves a lot of time and bus fare too...

Driving so early in the morning means absolutely no traffic... almost all the traffic lights blink amber or sometimes red, but it is smooth sailing all the way...
 
Reached the bus stop at 5:25 am... it was still dark... I shivered as my upper oriface emitted 'smoke'...

Perth being in the southern hemisphere, is experiencing some pretty extreme temperatures... just days ago, she had temperatures hovering around 40 degrees... imagine, we are having temperatures around freezing point in the mornings...

After the stint at Perth, I shall return to Takamatsu on 21 March... I get to sleep in my cosy, familiar futon, hug my love-bolster for three nights, and then, I am due to hit the road again, this time to Calgary, Canada, where I hope the temperatures won't be too punishing...

Update: Wrote the piece above while flying in midair but did not get the opportunity to post it. The internet connection in Perth is ridiculously expensive. Luckily, the Perth City Information Center offers free wifi.

Anyway, Perth is a really beautiful city... the majestic Swan River... the breath-taking night scene from South Perth of the northern city sky line... the meticulously maintained beautiful parks...the clean streets, the convenience of the CAT buses, the pretty colonial buildings... the magnificent churches... all in all, a very livable city...

Prices however, are extremely expensive, the food, in particular. I'd even venture to say that from my little experiences, I can eat better just as well for less in Tokyo. Hotel rates are also very expensive. Very, very expensive... While visiting Meiji University, I stayed at a business hotel, new, large room, very comfortable and one minute from the train station, decent breakfast, free wifi.... and the rate? 6500 yen.... Here in Perth, a three star hotel room will set you back by about 150 Aussie dollars... approximately 15,000 yen or 130 US dollars... and that, without free wifi... to me it is unimaginable that hotels these days do not offer free wifi... it is almost a given, I'd say...