In case you run into a scratch, last I looked, the AirBnb offerings were fairly impressive with free pocket wifi.
I am going to try and get to England next year because I know someone who can get me onto the high table for a dinner at Jesus College, Oxford, and it sounds goddamn insane. Apparently, it starts in the lounge for pre-dinner drinks. Then you go into the main hall where you get a wine-matched three course meal with your personal waiter. There is then a separate room in which dessert occurs and then a separate lounge for sherry. It is the closest I’ll ever get to being an Unseen University wizard.
Any one else been to Oxford and do you have any recommendations?
I’m back home, thank fuck. I mean, I had a great time for the most part, but I am also glad to be home.
And here I go with a day-by-day breakdown because I want to write things down:
Day 1 (Wed): Things started off pretty alright, except I noticed that I forgot to pack a water bottle right as I leave town. Of course I stupidly buy a 1.5 liter bottle at an idiotic price at a gas stop along the way, half of which I then had to abandon at airport security. Flight from Vienna to Warsaw was good enough, but then I had a four hour layover which was really boring. The flight to Narita from Tokyo was also okay, I guess. I sat next to two very nice people with chinese ancestry, one of them american the other french, who travelled together.
Day 2 (Thu): We arrive at Narita and while I tried to sleep on the plane, I just couldn’t and was pretty terribly jetlagged. Picked up all I needed from the airport, including a pocket WiFi module so I didn’t have to get a sim card, as well as a PASMO card. Took a bus into Tokyo, navigated Tokyo Station to get on the Yamanote to Gotanda. Found my hotel pretty easily, but had to wait in the check in. Went and ate my first meal: an original bowl of Ramen from a shop directly underneath the overpass near the train station. It was really good, but I was dead tired. Finally got into my room. Tried to keep myself awake but I only managed to do so until about 5:30 pm at which point I finally threw in the towel.
Day 3 (Fri): I slept okay but with interruptions as I am always bad when sleeping somewhere new for the first time. Still got enough shuteye in but pretty much got up at 4 am. Travelled to Comiket around 7 and boy, the lines are actually as insane as people say. Pretty much a war zone. But some stuff here and there and met the author of Kaiji, who was selling one-off side story manga and bought myself one. Also bought a Catalog which is pretty much a phone book. Around lunch time I got out of the halls and sat down, ate a sandwich I packed from a convenience store and browsed the catalog, then went back inside. Tried to make my way to the subway station back at around 2 PM, and the lines were again murderous. After resting a bit at the hotel room I went to the Ribera Steakhouse, which is basically a must-visit for any wrestling fan. The steak was good but I stupidly seared the thumb of my left hand on the hot plate the steak is served on. Nothing major but hurt for a bit.
Day 4 (Sat): Saw that the schedule for my interests at Comiket was rather light today, so I pretty much got in and out in an hour and a half there. Wanted to drop my stuff at the hotel but unfortunately the room was currently being cleaned so I thought to go grab a quick bite. I kind of like Subway and wanted to see what it was like in Japan considering there was one right at a corner nearby, but that was a bad decision, because the sandwhich was not good. I blame mostly the sauce which was recommended to me.
Anyway, I wanted to go sight-seeing if Comiket wasn’t to my interest that day, however everything I looked up that I wanted to go to had closed, so I decided to instead put my shopping trip here. Went to the NJPW store, as well as Harereuya (japan’s biggest MtG store) and then went to Akihabara, which was basically like going back into Comiket because the streets were packed. At Mandarake I picked up all volumes of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery service that haven’t been published in english yet, because I love that series and probably going to translate it for myself as a project, as well as a One Piece art book which was dirt cheap compared to the price it was released for by the german publisher. Also visited the other floors, as well as a couple other shops. Also picked up a Danbo battery pack for my mobile devices which I saw someone next to me in the line at Comiket that morning using and thought “I need to have this”.
Unfortunately that day I booked 22,000 steps, which is not a good number for me due to a history of knee injuries. By the end of the day I was in active pain on my left knee, though I carried on regardless.
Day 5 (31st, Sun): Last day of Comiket had a lot of creators I liked and bought a ton that day (no, I am not ashamed). However, I also tried to get this done as soon as possible to avoid the line at the subway station back, and I was done by noon. Got back to my hotel, dropped my stuff and took a nap. Got back up in the afternoon and went to Tokyo Dome City and bought myself a ticket for a show at Korakuen Hall that evening. Went through TDC, hung out at the arcade there and won myself a Pikachu plushie at a claw machine, which I am going to gift to my niece. Also tried for a One Piece figure at a different claw machine but had to cut my losses.
Wrestling show starts. I am going to write some more detailed stuff about the wrestling shows I went to in the appropriate thread, but it was really funny and entertaining. I actually just went there to pass the time, anticipating it would take about three hours and then I could go somewhere for the actual date change. However, the show went really long so this is how it went for me. If the lights were on, you’d be able to see me on the wide shot. Had an awesome time there but in the end I had to get out quickly lest I would risk getting stuck in Suidobashi overnight.
Day 6 (Mon): I had already planned this as a day of rest, due to it being a public holiday, and that would be a very good idea with my weakened knee anyway. However, I still got out of bed early trying to do Hatsuhinode, viewing the first sunrise of the new year. However, with no access to any tall buildings I ended up viewing it in a park in Shinjuku. Was still fun to be up this early, kind of. Then went back to my hotel and hung the DND sign on the door, spending the day in bed watching youtube, playing on my Switch and reading. In the evening I still went out to have a bite though.
Day 7 (Tue): Originally this was my shopping day but after having done so a couple days earlier I went sight-seeing instead. Shibuya crossing was less busy than I expected, but maybe that was circumstance at about 10:30 am. Also wanted to go to the observation deck at the Toyko Metropolitan Government Building. Google told me it was open, but I only found a sign saying it was closed. Then I went to the Ueno Zoo. Kept it slow due to my knee, and the animals didn’t seem all too happy there, unfortunately. After that I walked a bout through Ueno park and ended up at the Japanese national museum were they were having some sort of New Year’s celebration with a traditional taiko drum “concert” (?) which I viewed from across the street a bit before leaving (I was too cheap to buy a ticket and the plaza in front of the museum was already packed with people).
Day 8 (3rd, Wed): This happens to be my 32nd birthday and I had already booked myself a ticket for Tokyo One Piece Tower, a small theme park in building at the bottom of Tokyo Tower. But first I went up to the main observatory to take in the view (the special observatory was closed due to renovation). Tokyo One Piece Tower was fun, but kind of small. Most of it is small game booths. E.g. one is a slingshot shooting range, one is kind of a game show, one is a virtual swordfight (which didn’t work at all), but I was really impressed with the figures, the animations specifically for the park, and particularly exhibition of actual artwork, including manuscript pages. However, the cake took definitely the live show, a 20-30 minute live action story piece which was very well acted by the performers inhabiting the characters of one Piece, and some very neat special effects. Before seeing the live show I would have said the park wasn’t really worth it but the live show salvaged a lot of the experience and then some. Closed things out by going to the One Piece merch store on the ground floor and bought myself a plamo for the Thousand Sunny.
In the evening I then went to Shin-Kiba for a Stardom show, which was also a lot of fun though unfortunately kind of short.
Day 9 (4th, Thu): This was of course the day of Westle Kingdom. Got to Suidobashi at around 10:30, bought a ticket for the Tokyo Joshi Pro show at Korakuen Hall, then hung out at the arcade a bit more until the show show started. Met a pretty nice Australian fan there who gave me some tips with regard to a facebook group for foreign fans attending WK. After the show I went to pick up my ticket for WK and got in line for the Dome. Saw the whole show including the New Japan Rumble which makes up the preshow while most of the crowd is still getting seated. I ended up with a great seat and had a blast with the show. Also was surprised with the rather reasonable prices inside the arena. Had myself a hot dog, some fries and a coke for 1050 yen.
Day 10 (Fri): Originally I had planned to go to the Ghibli Museum here, but I couldn’t get tickets in time and it was sold out. Also New Year Dash was also pretty much out of the question. I later ended up watching it in my hotel room and the english commentary team said that people had been lining up since 10 am to get tickets and thankfully I had decided against being such a fool. Instead, I went and visited Sensoji Temple that day which was really impressive. I also picked up some gifts for my mother and step father at the shopping street out front from the temple. Then I went to see Tokyo Skytree simply because it was looming rather close-by. After that I went back to Akihabara to have another look. I also was trying to find something for my sister who was a big fan of Attack No. 1 (or as it was called here: Mila Superstar) when she was a kid. However, I found pretty much nothing because the show is pretty much ancient. Only thing I found were DVDs and Blu-rays, but they don’t do a whole lot for me due to region encoding and such.
Day 11 (Sat): Day of Departure. Getting to the airport and doing the things I had to do there, i.e. changing my money back and throwing the pocket wifi in the return envelope and the envelope into a post box, was easy enough. During the flight to Warsaw I watched a couple movies, but was again unable to sleep. During the layover in Warsaw I was pretty much ready to just lie down and die, thinking myself too tired to do anything, so I booked a hotel in Vienna for the night. On the flight from Warsaw to Vienna I put on some music which got my mood up, even contemplating just driving straight home but ultimately deciding against it heading to the hotel, and that was a very good decision because even on the short drive from the airport to the hotel I noticed that I was definitely driving impaired. Hit the sack at 8PM.
Day 12 (Sun, today): Just like in Tokyo I woke up at 4 AM and could no longer sleep. Passed the time playing on my Switch and watching Nettflix via the hotel WiFi until I could get my breakfast, then drove home.
Going camping in the Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase next week.
So I bit the bullet and I’m traveling to Greece in September. First time going to Europe and a non-English-Speaking Country, so I’m wondering what to expect. Got passport, got my hostel reserved. I’m wondering if I need to sign a customs form because I intend on bringing foreign goods including alcohol.
From what my girlfriend told me and where I’m visiting: Athens is very tourist friendly and English friendly. She’s pretty much going to be my guide especially towards the historical landmarks and will be around me most of the time so I’m not going to fear being alone.
Potential-Fail for Today.
-Got email from hostel today saying “Update your pay information in 24 hours or your reservation will be cancelled.” This happened because my old card had to be scrapped via scammers and I had to get a new one
-They don’t give a link on HOW to change the information or have any indicators on their website.
-Sent various e-mails and social media messages. No response.
-Get them on the phone via Skype (Skype credits coming through for once) and they have lax attitude on the situation. “Yeah man, we see you. We can’t figure out the system either. You can just pay when you come here.”
So I think the issue is solved but I’m a bundle of nerves if they go “Oh, well we cancelled you ahead of time. Sorry” the day of when I’m actually there in Greece. I don’t travel enough to know if this attitude is handled by most hostels or places but it’s really really frustrating.
Never stay at Motel 6.
I was traveling I wasn’t driving so as a free man sovereign on the land I do not make joinder with you.
I need some help. I was told that I am going to take a vacation this year, quite possibly a week, in a place where a convention is not taking place. I am allowed to give suggestions as to where and currently Hawaii is in the lead.
Personally I need things to do or my head starts yelling at me for doing nothing for more than 2 days. Hawaii I know will cause this since most of touristy things involve doing nothing. So I need a suggestion of a vacation spot (both in and out of US pending kiddo coming with) where I can sway the activity to allow my brain to think I am doing research or work on something so that I can enjoy the time.
Maybe this is a good opportunity to practice doing nothing? I went to a tropical island for a week and just laid on the beach. A+ would recommend.
If you really want to have a vacation where you do stuff you’re going to want either a major city or an outdoor adventure situation.
The only reason GeekNights still happens after all these years is that we spend time not making things. Don’t burn yourself out.
Really try to do nothing Lay on a beach and play a game you don’t care about reviewing. Swim in water and don’t think about what you’ll podcast about that water. Pretend you don’t have panels to write.
Okay, my visits to Hawaii are not your kind of visits, but I had long lists of things to do there. And tourist things too. Where else can you take a Jurassic Park helicopter flight? Where else can you visit cool volcanoes? Where else can you visit world famous surfing beaches? And all in the same place?