June 23, 2016
This afternoon I flew into the Sapporo airport from Taipei, Taiwan. When I arrived at the airport, I was suddenly surrounded by Japanese. I studied Japanese on and off for about ten years, but I still found myself completely unable to communicate with the people around me. When I got off the plane, I explored the airport’s shopping center and got a quick snack from a nearby bento stand. Sitting down in the cafeteria to eat, I logged on to the airport internet and booked a hotel. I’m not sure why, but I hadn’t thought about booking a hotel before my actual arrival – so the only hotel that I could find was fairly expensive. After I ate, I went downstairs and booked a bus ticket to Obihiro (a city close to where my first host lived) for the next day and then went outside to grab a taxi to take me to my hotel.
One of the things that you should always keep in mind when booking hotels is the distance from the airport to the actual hotel. The airport that I flew into is called the “New Chitose-Sapporo Airport.” Because of this, I assumed that the Airport was right outside of Sapporo itself. And so, without looking up any distances, I went and grabbed a taxi and gave the driver my address. One of the first questions that he asked was, “Is it okay if I get onto the highway?” “That’s fine,” I responded, feeling a little bit apprehensive. How far away was the hotel that he needed to get onto the highway? We started driving, and against my better judgement, I found myself keeping a close eye on the meter on the dashboard. As the minutes passed, the taxi cost went higher and higher. $60, $70, $80, $90, the cost went up and up. I felt sick as the numbers skyrocketed. Finally, after an hour, the taxi driver dropped me off and asked for an astounding 120 dollars. Soon after he drove away, I looked around and realized that he hadn’t even dropped me off in the right place. I could see my hotel in the distance, rising up above the other houses and office buildings, but it was at least a mile away. Worn out and devastated by my costly mistake, I sat down on the side of the street and started to cry. I did my best to reassure myself. After all, what’s done is done, and the sooner I got to my hotel room, the sooner I could find something to eat and get some rest. Slinging my heavy baggage over my shoulders, I headed down the deep slope that led to the hotel. Twenty minutes later, I arrived and got checked into my room – a small room with bean-filled pillows on each of the beds. I laid down, wanting to take a nap before dinner, and didn’t wake up again until morning.
-Thanks for reading the first entry! Don’t worry, things get better the next day. I’ll try to update again tomorrow so subscribe and stay tuned! (^w^)/
-Captain Pika – a plushie set from the Pokemon gift shop in the Sapporo airport.
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You’ll have to ask me sometime about my bus ride in China. Overcrowded, a guy smoking underneath me, we get dumped on the side of the road, shirtless guy in a truck offers us a ride, makes us pay way too much money before he lets us out, drops us off again, a several mile walk to the nearest town with no water… Yeah, Asian adventures come in all shapes and sizes.
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