Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday, Japan Day 6, 7/21/13 Brazilian Festival in Tokyo

We tried to squeeze so much into our last day in Tokyo.  Damian found out about a Brazilian Festival at Yoyogi Park.  We decided to meet up with more Japanese survivors.  I got a kick out of the fact that we were meeting up with:  Cancer survivors in Japan at a Brazilian Festival,  Random words that normally don’t go together!  We met a young Japanese Lymphoma survivor, a 30-year American born Lymphoma survivor residing in Tokyo, LiveSTRONG leaders:  Binzee with his son, and Anne from the Netherlands.  The Brazilian festival was A LOT of fun! There is something about the beating of drums.  It really connects the soul with something primal because it is so similar to a heartbeat.  Every culture uses drums.  To name a few: Native American culture, African culture, Asian culture, even the Hip Hop and Rock n’ Roll cultures uses drums! There is something about rhythmic thumping that penetrates my soul and makes me reflexively bob my head/sway my hips.  Brazilian music stirs that in me, but once I found out that capoeira is based on a martial art, I was intrigued.   It was so cool seeing Japanese people celebrating Brazilian culture.  In undergrad at the University of Michigan, some of my friends watched some movie with capoeira.  We use to chant “Far and Away” when we would pretend fight each other on the dance floors at local bars/clubs.  So funny!  We didn’t care what other people thought of us!  (That still hasn't changed!  ;) )
Before we stopped by the Brazilian festival, we dropped of our luggage at a hotel- pickup stop for the airport limo bus!  Our plan was to meet up with everyone at the festival for a couple hours then catch the bus to the airport. Of course we had to make things exciting.  We stayed a little longer than we expected, but we were still in time to get to the airport early.  I need to get to airports early because traveling with the mAss Kicker Mobile complicates things.  We lost track of time and missed the noon bus.  With new airlines, traveling becomes exciting because many of the airline front-counter-people don’t know how to check it in a person in a power chair/scooter.  Travel time for me is usually longer with security checks and mAss Kicker Mobile on-board plane storage/gate check.  I always try to get there early, a trait I picked up from my dad!  Punctuality is underrated in my book!  Punctuality always impresses me… especially in the land of “Filipino/Asian/California time”,  I digress. Damian was hungry, so he went off for a sandwich outside the hotel.  I deferred for a quick snack from the 7-11 in the hotel station.  I tried reconnecting with Damian, so I figured I’d go back to the luggage drop off and wait for him there!  Bags were being taken down as I waited patiently.  Poor Damian was stressing out outside waiting for me to come down.  He was out of breath and dripping with sweat from running around!  I felt horrible being the cause of his stress.  Once we were both safely on the bus, we both exhaled a huge sigh of relief.  The whole misunderstanding could have been avoided if we had walkie talkies or cell phones.  I think it would be fun to run around a foreign city with walkie talkies and "thriver call-signs" like in Top Gun.  That is something to think about for the next trip because there is potentially a larger group going.  Well, we got to Manila on a late flight arriving at 2230 and my nephew, Paolo and niece, Gela were waiting for us outside the terminal at Nino Aquino International Airport.  It was raining so it added moisture to the already thick and humid air.  I remembered the thick air from the last time I was in Manila.  We were exhausted!  We needed a good day of rest to explore the area around the hotel.

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