Sunday. (Apologies that this is out of order, I posted the Monday accidentally before I am posting this. This will teach me for not posting things when I write them).
So as you may already know, I have 29kgs and it got to the point where I could barely walk with an instant massive headache. Shona said, ‘Yarni, it’s time to cull’. This is something I knew needed to happen, from the moment we left Narita Airport bound for our first hostel. I had been wracking my brain mentally flicking through all my stuff to try and figure out what I can shed but I couldn’t think of anything that I didn’t absolutely need. So after several arguments, some serious crankiness at our getting lost with the 29kgs on my back and the 20 odd on Shona’s, and a major headache, Shona & I pulled everything out of my bag and laid it on the floor. What ensued was an hour of Shona saying ‘why do you need this?’ and me justifying and desperately clutching said item to my chest to prevent her from chucking it out the window. In the end I got rid of a few, less necessary items of clothing and (tears here), my lonely planet Great Britain guide. After hours of debate, almost everything that was left was indeed needed and I had 2kgs just in the two lonely planet books alone. I was faced with the choice to ditch some toiletries, or ditch a book and as the UK is an English speaking country as well the fact that I need all of my toiletries to prevent myself looking like a travelling yeti, the Great Britain guide it was. I tore out a few of the more important pages, most of the maps and the guide to London & Edinburgh and threw out the rest. Needless to say, my back is now thanking me and I no longer acquire and instant headache when I have to travel somewhere new!
So, now a little bit on Yokohama, which is an interesting tale in itself. When we got lost, facing the prospect of a massive fight, we decided to walk to the nearest McDonalds to try & find wifi as we had not printed a map. We rounded the corner from the dank side street we had been walking down to head towards the throng of people and ended up on this beautiful little cobble paved street that was reminiscent of Aspen. We spotted a starbucks and rested our weary backs for 10 mins while we looked for the location of the hostel. Now, the hostel; there is a story! When we arrived I thought we had walked into the Yokohama mental institution! It was in this area that housed buildings that resembled correction facilities but I think that they were more like retirement places as there were old people everywhere! The hostel was set out over 2 levels of one of the buildings, the 1st & the 3rd floor, with residential in between. The room itself was the size and had the feel of a prison cell but with a window at least. It was clean though and the staff were extremely friendly so all in all, it wasn’t that bad. We went for a bit of an explore later in the evening, once we had recovered and discovered that across the canal from Aspen, was China town! We found a restaurant that seemed to have a good selection of tofu dishes and headed on in. Now don’t get me wrong, having the pictures of the meals is a godsend, who knows what we would have ordered had we not had those. The waitress didn’t speak a word of English and as I have done so far this trip, I left the little dictionary I had back at the hostel so we fumbled our way through the ordering, pointing at the pictures and hoping like hell we weren’t spending all of our money. In the end, only two of the dishes had pork in them, which I feel was rather successful. After the great pork debacle of 2010, I can no longer force myself to eat it and had to instead pretend it didn’t exist. Plus, in the end it all only came to 1100 yen so it wasn’t that bad!