Friday, January 20, 2012
Lost with map . . .
A few friends got together for a night of Korean BBQ the other day but before that, my gal pal, M, and a buddy dude, R, met up in the afternoon for a stroll in the park.
We met at the Shinjuku Station, which is probably one of the worst places you can use to meet up with someone. The station is huge and also confusing. M tells me to meet her at the Central West exit. R and I were heading from Yokohama, but since I got on the wrong train, I ended up being late to meet R at the Yokohama Station. Oops So we get to the Shinjuku Station, get out the Central West exit, and she's nowhere to be found. A few minutes later, I get a text from her saying she's running a few minutes late. R and I were standing there, starving since we haven't had lunch yet, waiting for my gal pal to show up. Then I get a text saying she can't find us. Dude . . . Since we were standing in front of a department store, I told her to meet us in the cosmetics section. Now what girl canNOT find the cosmetics section in a department store? LOL
To get to the Shinjuku Gyoen park, we find that we should've started out at the EAST side instead, then head south. Thus starts our adventure in finding our way to the other side of the station. Just to let you know, it was no easy task. We went underground, went in circles, got above ground, got lost . . . and all this time M was holding a map in her tiny hand. Now who the hell gets lost while holding a map?! I was hungry and getting kinda cranky and before the inner bitch is totally unleashed, I took matters into my own hands and fired up my GPS, which I should've done in the first place. I knew she was a lousy navigator but didn't think she can manage to get us lost while looking at a map!
We finally found our way out of the station and was on course to the park. I saw a fast food beef bowl joint across the street and asked if R would be OK with having a beef bowl for lunch. He's never had one so he was game. Now M was another story. Being kind of a snob herself, she doesn't like places that aren't trendy. You won't see her walking into a fast food joint out of choice and started griping about the calories and cholesterol levels. That was it . . . I was really hungry, to the point that I was starting to feel a little sick, so my inner bitch couldn't stay quiet any longer . . . I was like if you want to go somewhere else, go ahead, but I'm going in and getting something to eat NOW, and marched right into the beef bowl joint. R and M followed but she was kind of put out since she didn't get her way. But fortunately, the place had low-cal ala carte items on their menu so that appeased her a bit.
Our hunger sated, we headed off to the park, which was just down the road. The Shinjuku Gyoen park is a big park in the middle of Tokyo. Since we only had a few hours, we didn't explore the entire park and stayed on the main paths. I knew it was cold out that day but didn't expect to see ice on the pond! BRRRRRR!! It was funny and cute watching the ducks tread cautiously over the ice and occasion, fall through along the edges where the ice was obviously thinner. Being winter, the trees were bare and the park lacked color but the daffodils were in bloom and gave off a nice scent. I'm sure the park looks stunning when the cherry blossoms start blooming and grass turns green again.
The park was closing and it was time we needed to head for the Korean BBQ place to meet up with the others. It was the six of us this time and eat, drink and be merry we did! Even tho it was just after the holidays, the place was packed! There must've been a bunch of Tokyo tours or something on that day cuz there were so many big groups. A lot of kids and teenagers, too. Never did I see a tray of French fries and fried chicken disappear so quicky from the buffet line! The place wasn't so packed the last time we were there. The price is quite reasonable considering soft drinks, booze and dessert were all included in the all-you-can-eat. We were busy grilling, yakking and drinking til we were about to burst. To get to the ice cream for dessert, we had to fight off the hoard of kiddies flocking the ice cream freezer. Of course being the self-serving adults we were, we managed to get our ice cream and cakes. LOL
Time was up and we had to leave but we were happy and full. We roamed through Ginza for a bit and found a nice little bar where drinks and bar food were at an extremely reasonable price of 300yen each. On the way, we saw the oddest thing . . . a pair of shoes left behind by the side of the road. Back in the 80s, when it was popular to change into slippers when people got into their cars (I kid you not, some people had a no-shoes policy in their cars, just like in the homes!) and forgot to retrieve their shoes, so you saw a pair of nicely aligned shoes left behind in a parking lot. This happened more out in the boonies where parking was more plentiful and people drove more than they rode busses and trains.
After drinks, we bid our farewells. Two of us had birthdays coming up and were treated with homemade chocolate cake, which was very rich, chocolate-y and yummy!!
I'm looking forward to our next dinner! But before then, I'm gonna have to do something about my waistline . . . yeah, right . . . LOL