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07 September 2010 @ 05:43 pm
Emergency Shopping in Sapporo  
So Japan was... stressful. The combination of not speaking the language at all, not understanding the script, attending a conference in a field I'm not familiar with and where I knew no one in advance would have been bad enough without the excitement of lost luggage, a head cold and flights that arrived and left an airport 40km away from the city at times mostly either too early or too late to be certain about using public transport.

I arrived in Sapporo at about 9pm did manage to catch one of the last trains from the airport to town. However I then got off at the wrong stop and had to catch a taxi the rest of way (cue one very confused taxi driver, at least I think he was confused, it was the first of many conversations in Japan I had with helpful but non-English speaking folk in which, despite my obvious lack of Japanese they persisted in talking to me at length about something or other). My hotel room had a toothbrush in it (which was good news) but also discovered I had brought a broken laptop power supply with me (bad news).

Fortunately the conference didn't kick off until 3pm the following day so I had the morning to investigate the local shopping mall. Prices were very variable. I got two pairs of socks and two floral T-shirts for about 15 pounds, but then spent about 8 pounds each on two pairs of very plain knickers and about 70 pounds on a not very nice pair of trousers (I hate shopping for trousers, my leg length to hip size ratio is obviously non-standard in some way). However beyond taking a couple of hours and a small incident where I attempted to wear shoes into the fitting room, the emergency purchase of clothes went very smoothly. The university travel insurers and finance departments are now playing an interesting game of "who blinks first" in order to decide who actually gets to pay for this.

Purchasing a laptop power adaptor proved more challenging. I successfully identified an electronics shop just two blocks from my hotel and was pleased to discover a small display cabinet containing Apple Mac products including a Macbook power supply). Getting someone to open the cabinet proved a challenge however and I had another long conversation in which the only words I understood were 60W. In the end I went back to my hotel and fetched the broken power adaptor, displayed the letters 60W printed on its side, and then the shop assistant agreed to open the cabinent and let me purchase a replacement.

Mission accomplished.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/17707.html.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 7th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yep, that all sounds stressful!
telperion_15telperion_15 on September 7th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)

Did your luggage ever actually turn up, or is it still lost somewhere in airline limbo?
louisedennislouisedennis on September 8th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
Turned up after 48 hours, but I had a suspicion it would since the principle cause was almost certainly a missed connection rather than it being sent to some completely mysterious location.
joereavesjoereaves on September 7th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Doesn't sound like fun.
louisedennislouisedennis on September 10th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
No it wasn't really, which was a shame,
Gabbygabcd86 on September 9th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Trousers *are* bastards. My jeans are all frayed around the bottom, even though I wear them rolled-up. But the smaller size is too small. Isn't fair.

I'd be terrified to go further east than... well, Germany, to be honest. I don't much like when I'm stuck with Mam and her Italian friends, and I understand the odd word there. Wouldn't do well with being tossed into a world where latin characters aren't even the norm.

You sound like you made it OK in the end.
louisedennislouisedennis on September 10th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
To be honest it was mostly the fear that so much could go wrong that was stressful rather than the actual dealing with it once it had.

But I was relieved to get home again at the end.