I give up. Here I am, writing my umpteenth offline update, unable to get on the internet. Today's reason being - other than being in transit all day - that I'm in some bumfuck town in eastern Shikoku that doesn't even have a McDonald's. I'm worried, because I'm supposed to be checking in with work on occasion to make sure I get done whatever needs to be done - but I can't.
I thought I was going to Kochi today. I was ready to get off the train, be whisked to my hotel, and spend an evening luxuriating in my own bed and indulging in internet connectivity. Well, my train got to Kochi after a span of four hours. But when my mom and Aunt Izumi came to pick us up at the station, we got in the car for another three motherfucking hours.
I hate going on road trips and not driving. I hate it even more when I don't even know where we're going. At this point, I may as well be on some fuck-ass package tour. And what really pisses me off is when the people driving don't even know where they're going. Never mind having a map, GPS, and previous knowledge of the region at their disposal. It was still like some fucktarded episode of the Keystone Kops trying to get to Kannoura or whatever the fuck desolate outpost we're in.
I had a little talk with my mom about my having to know where I'm going at all times. Before we even came on this trip, I wasn't told that Aunt Fusako's is nowhere near central Osaka, so my nightlife would be cut-off by midnight. I wasn't told that Aunt Hiroko's, being between Osaka and Kyoto, was out of reach of anything remotely resembling civilization, nor that I'd be a 20-minute bus ride away from even a train artery.
Don't get me wrong. It's not that I haven't enjoyed my time here. I just hate a) not knowing in advance where I'm going to be, and b) not knowing what resources I will have at my disposal.
First off, I don't travel that way. Like I said, I may as well be on some fucking package tour with a bunch of slobbering, drooling drones if I didn't care where I was going and was only concerned with being shown the sites and being fed three square meals a day. Again, I'm not taking these things for granted, but this is my valuable leisure time, which I expect to be in charge of, or at least god damn aware of what's going on and where I'll be going.
Secondly, aforementioned leisure time aside, this is also my work time. I couldn't come here for three weeks without making the concession that I'd be available to do work. This is impossible when I'm being dragged places that may or may not have heard of the internet in the last ten years.
Anyway, I made the decision on the miserable drive over here that I'm going to get myself a hotel when we get to Tokyo. I'm not spending any more time at one of my mom's well-meaning friend's houses (this one a good half hour outside of Tokyo proper) and not be able to see the city on my own terms. I don't want to be dependent on a train schedule, someone giving rides, or a volunteer tour guide. Again, as much as I appreciate everyone's efforts, I find it ridiculous that I'm in places where I can't even go out and find a bottle of water late at night, should I want it.
Fuck, I can't even leave this hotel after 11 PM, as it goes into security lock-down. Yes, they close the front doors at 11. Mind you, this isn't some traditional ryokan or family-run mom & pop joint. It's a modern, western-style resort called the White Beach Hotel, complete with its own line of spa products.
To that effect, it's nice to be on vacation from my vacation, if only for the night. I actually have my own western-style bathroom (i.e. shower and tub combined), in my very own western-style hotel room, with a queen-sized bed, and plenty of room to stretch out.
Oh, and I'm sitting in my underwear and Monday Night Football is on TV. 49ers versus Seahawks. And it's still as horrible watching my team find new ways to lose with the commentary in a whole different language.
And yes, I know it's Tuesday night here, but if they carried it live, it would be Tuesday mid-morning football, making the already tiny Japanese audience for this even tinier. The benefit of a tape delay? It's presented commercial free. So I can watch the Niners lose in fast forward. *sigh*