Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, Japan Day 3, 7/18/13

After our raw chicken escapade in Shinjuku, we wanted to check out more of Japan in the day time.  We were going to take the cabs and subways again, but this time we would attempt doing it on our own without seeking assistance from the people at the subway stations.  Damian did research and determined that it would be easier to take a cab from the hotel to Shinjuku station and then take the subway to Ueno Park. The Shinjuku station is huge and one of the busiest stations in Tokyo, but the elevators are small there.  The mAss Kicker Mobile is compact, but I can't imagine a full sized power wheelchair/scooter in there with one other person! Everywhere I go, I get stares and gawkers.  Luckily, I’ve learned to ignore the stares, but it was something Damian picked up on right away!  When I catch someone staring, I always respond with a “I-know-you-are-jealous smile.” HAHAHA! Watching their reaction is priceless!  It sure beats the looks of “pity” I received when I was being transported in my manual wheelchair.  If you try to make me feel uncomfortable, I'll return the favor and reflect your sentiments.  The stares were something my brother noticed when I went on a family trip shortly after my surgery.  Oh man, I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to go off on someone... HAHAHA!  I guess I've learned to ignore the stares.  Maybe I don't notice them because they start staring when they are out of my line of vision.

Anyways, the subway was exciting because you only have a set amount of time to board the train. With no ramps, we had to carry the mAss Kicker mobile onto the subway car in a small window in time with passengers de-boarding and new people getting on! We both eooxhaled a huge sigh of relief when we safely made it onto the subway train!  Poor Damian got a workout helping me get on and off the train.  Luckily we made sure to avoid the subway during rush hour.

We got off at this really cool area: Ueno Park!  Lots of street performers, a cool fountain, and a zoo! Pretty cool park to hang out when you get sick of the city!  We only stayed there for a little while before we hailed a cab into Asakusa.  It was cool seeing the Buddhist temple and the street vendors!  Getting a cab back to the Ueno Park subway station was a bit more exciting.  Language was a huge barrier! The taxi driver took us to the wrong subway station.  Damian suspected early on that something was wrong because we didn't recognize the buildings/scenery on the drive back.  When the driver finally realized his mistake, he turned off the meter and proceeded to Ueno Park.  Other than that this rest of the day was uneventful.

Later that evening, we met up with one of Damian's friend for dinner.  The restaurant he took us to served a bunch of skewered items with specialized dipping sauces.  Of course we had sake with the meal, but I will admit: I'm a light weight.  One of my many nicknames is "Deuce"... funny story for another time!  I would not make a good "off-duty businessman" because of my lack of skill in the tolerance department.  I still had a great time eating the different samples of skewers.  I don't think there was anything too exotic, but you can never go wrong with grilled meat, chicken, and seafood on skewers!  The trip to Japan was halfway over, but there is more in the works!


Stay tuned for more updates.  We will be blogging throughout the trip.  Please consider a donation to help us spread our message of post treatment “thrivership”throughout Japan and the Pacific Ocean.  Click here to support us and stay tuned for the next update.

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