One thing Japan had taught me after all these months was that I’d perfected the art of getting lost. Not that the crazy maze of streets of Tokyo made things any easier. Just when I had one section of the city figured out, a friend would invite me to dinner someplace I’d never been. The biggest test came on spring break when I headed down to Kyushu to see Kumamoto Castle with my best friend Cynthia. She spoke Japanese but had a terrible accent. As for me I had a perfect accent but my vocabulary was pretty limited. Asking for directions would be a challenge.
We should have known the gods weren’t in our favor. Due to several train delays, we got into Kumamoto at 10:00. The hostel we booked to stay the night locked their doors at 9:00 on the dot.
I turned to Cynthia, “What the hell are we going to do? Sleep on one of these crappy steel benches all night?”
She dropped her heavy backpack to the ground. “I’m so tired I could crash on the platform.”
Easy for her to say when she slept through a major earthquake. “Look maybe they will bend the rules for us.”
She rolled her eyes. “We’re in Japan remember?”
Okay so she had a point. The Japanese weren’t known for their flexibility. “Please lets just give it a shot. According to the map the place is close by.”
Famous last words. We hiked around a crazy maze of town roads getting more lost by the minute. “What are we going to do? Guess we could just crash in front of this store.”
Cynthia looked horrified. “We can’t do that we might get arrested.”
“That wouldn’t be so bad. At least we’d have a place to sleep.”
“Are you kidding me?” She looked me straight in the eye. “Wait a second. How do you know they have a place to sleep?”
I gave her a smile. “Let’s just say this isn’t my first time getting lost in the middle of the night.”