Travel on Trains With Men in White

All things considered, I was surprisingly calm, even as I was kicking foreign tourists out of our seats.

Along the way I ate hot dogs (carbs) and saw a character who has to appear in a novel some day.

Today our oldest and I traveled to my in-laws. The prep for that involved denial, folding, washing, waiting, and several “where are you?” texts.

Our oldest had a “school related event” that didn’t involve her school uniform and She Who Must Be Obeyed didn’t know about it so that leaves me going “Hmmmm”. However, she did make it back in time for her to pack and for us to catch our train. (We even took a selfie, of sorts, modified with Prisma.)

S and I on the bullet train to Itoigawa. #fakeart #playswithcamera

A photo posted by DL (@d.e.lively) on

She Who Must Be Obeyed, for her part, made several calls confirming that we were packed and ready to travel and aware that today was the day we were supposed to travel. I, being in an oddly relaxed mood (more on that in a future post) resisted torturing her by saying things such as “I thought we were traveling tomorrow” and “what daughter?” and by not pretending I’m worried that I didn’t turn off the kerosene stove. Oh, and I paid that homeless guy and his friends a bunch of cheap booze to house sit.

Our trip was on the new Hokuriku Shinkansen which runs from Tokyo to Kanazawa with a stop at Itoigawa, which is now the township where I used to live (a long story involving government and mergers).

Because it was late in the New Year’s season, we ended up with an oddly complicated trip. Our train stopped at Nagano, but not at Itoigawa. This meant we had to change trains, which, luckily, merely meant a walk across the platform.

However, when we boarded our first bullet train, there were people in our seats. I politely pointed this out, and the people, who were Asian but spoke neither Japanese nor English gave us the seats, but seamed annoyed. (Note: the train was a very rare reserved seats only train.)

(Note the Second: By colossal coincidence, SWMBO and our youngest had people in their seats when they traveled, too.)

Luckily, one us remained awake so that we could change trains at Nagano. Then, at the end of our ticket, there was a mad rush through the suddenly large and confusing Itoigawa Station, but we managed to get tickets for the local train to Nou Machi (which, oddly, we had already passed in the bullet train) but we got tickets and got on the train.

On the train, a single car with only a driver, was man with gold hair. He was wearing a white suit, a white mask and blue Oakley sunglasses. If he’s mafia or a host, he’s very low class because he’s forced to take the train. Either way, he occupied four seats and seemed to be struggling to stay awake.

Now I’m at the in-laws sipping Japanese whisky and wondering how I remained calm through all this. I’m also wondering how to work the man in white into a story.

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