Monday, November 17, 2008

Yokohama at Midnight

After an easy 4 hour flight from Hong Kong I landed in the country "where everything works except if you're a foreigner and its after 11pm"
The first annoying thing about Narita airport is that its one of those monuments to stupid urban planning.
The airport is 130 kms from Tokyo.
That translates into a 90 minute "Airport Limo" ride ( read over-heated bus). The airport train stops at 9 pm.
When I arrived at the bus station in Yokohama I discovered that all the ATMs had closed.
None of the taxis took a credit card.
Nobody speaks English.
Hmmm...what to do?
OK, into a cab ( no word about a credit card) off to the hotel...mime for him to wait a minute....
LONNNNNNG convoluted discussion at the front desk.
Result: Cash fronted to me on my hotel bill taxi goes away happy, I head to my room to have this $75 room service hamburger and a Coke.Life on the road huh?
Stay well everyone


Anonymous said...

Good that you got there in one piece, eventually, without being arrested for flouting the vagrancy laws.

HOW much for a burger (I thought the Yen was v. weak at the moment, even relative to the beleaguered pound)? Better have been made from a soused, hand-massaged Kobe cow at that price. Average Kobe cow probably has a better life than you (and I). Ho hum.


Terry said...

actually the Yen is the ONE currency in the world which has GAINED strength against the US $.
This morning a little clearer headed I realise the burger cost $45 not $75,
And no it wasn't Kobe beef.

Anonymous said...

Good thinking Terry! Sometimes you need to keep your mouth shut and hope things work out.


Anonymous said...

The meal still looks meagre; or perhaps you're tricking us...

What was in the basket anyway?


Terry said...

The meagre piece of bread on the plate came in the basket.
There WAS a single scoop of vanilla ice cream though.....
The burger was actually quite tasty and starved as I was hit the spot

Lennie said...

Ah, I see... It's the vanilla ice-cream you've been hiding...

Anonymous said...

If you're a dainty Japanese person, that meal was probably a feast. If you're a lofty gaijin, a mouthful.

Whatever will you eat today? Eagerly awaiting peculiar Japanese food pictures and the now traditional towering erection shot (Yokohama Landmark Tower?).

I like David's strategy. I should try it, iie?.


Anonymous said...

Thinking about this further, a stronger Yen leaves the Japanese somewhat buggered as their economy relies on overseas sales?


Anonymous said...

More likely to be a chocolate brownie?


Anonymous said...

Before I forget, in case you've missed this gem:

A couple have divorced after the wife saw the husband having online sex in the virtual world of Second Life. So how do avatars have sex?

Clearly I need to stay in more.


Anonymous said...

More joy on the Asian and US economies (BBC):

Asian markets have plummeted after the Dow Jones share index in New York fell to its lowest level in five years, amid fears of a protracted global recession.

Japan's Nikkei index ended 6.8% down and Hong Kong's main index fell 5.5%.

Data showing Japan's exports to Asia dropped in October for the first time since 2002 added to fears over the scale of the economic downturn.

On Wednesday, Wall Street shares fell 5% after the US central bank slashed its economic growth forecasts for 2009.

Japan and other Asian nations are heavily reliant on exports.

Sales to other Asia nations have helped to limit the impact for Japanese exporting firms suffering from lower demand from the US and Europe.

But exports to Asia fell 4% last month from a year earlier, showing the extent of the global slowdown.

The BBC's Duncan Bartlett in Tokyo says several East Asian countries - including Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong - are already in recession and the thought that the US may be about to join them has been enough to send shares tumbling across the region.
Share prices in Tokyo and elsewhere slumped

Bad news from the US worries Japanese firms like Toyota and Nintendo which usually depend on American consumers to make a lot of their profit, our correspondent adds.

"We've gone past the poor sentiment stage," Miles Remington, head of Asian sales trading at BNP Paribas Securities in Hong Kong, told the Associated Press news agency.

"People are looking for any kind of positive and there are just no positives out there. Everyone seems to be united in the depressed global outlook. Whether it's commodities or equities, everything seems to be on a downturn."

US slowdown

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve said the country's gross domestic product - the value of all goods and services - could be flat or grow only marginally this year, and might shrink in 2009.

It said positive economic growth was only likely to return in 2010 and predicted further interest rate cuts might be necessary.

Month-on-month US consumer prices fell by 1% in October - the biggest drop in 60 years - which has reinforced fears of rapid slowdown.

Car problems

Carmakers were among the biggest fallers as the Dow Jones average closed down 427 points at 7,997 on Wednesday - dropping below the 8,000-level for the first time since 2003.

GM shares were down 15% at a 66-year low, while rival Ford slumped to a 26-year low.

Prospects for an industry bail-out remain uncertain and politicians have been arguing over a compromise deal.

Chief executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler say the firms could collapse unless they receive aid fast - which could lead to millions of job losses across the US.

But the automakers have faced fierce questions on Capitol Hill about their request for a $25bn (£16.6bn) bail-out deal.

Investors are concerned about how a possible bankruptcy among US carmakers could further hurt an already fragile economy.


Anonymous said...

My last post was dull. maybe I should go buy some cyber genitals for my avatar.