Friday, March 30, 2012

Trains!

By our third day I was starting to feel settled in.  I bought some groceries the day before and finished unpacking.  I decided I was ready for the first time the kids and I ride the train alone.  We opted to go visit Eric at work for a nice long lunch (or so we thought).

Getting to the station was easy and I felt confident.  It takes less than 5 minutes to walk to our station from our place.  I was also excited to find out the kids would be free on the train this entire trip!

My Suica card was ready to go. Suica is a magnetic card you put money on and works as cash at many locations in Japan.  It is especially useful for the trains. When traveling by train, the card is swiped to enter the station where you started and again to exit wherever you end (or if you switch lines to a train run by a different company).  That way it knows how much to charge you and who to give the money to.

I swiped my card and went down the stairs to get on our train.  We got on the correct train to Shibuya...so far so good!  Apparently my card did not register back at the first station and when I swiped my card in Shibuya the gate did not open to let me get to the other side.  I had a little moment of panic and texted Eric.  He told me to go to the information window by the gate and I did.  I wasn't sure the worker would understand me, but in faith, I explained what happened.  He did something on his computer and I was through.  Phew.  Just cost us a couple minutes, no biggie.  

The train station by our house
The sign that tells us when our train is coming.  It also shows us in English 

We got on our second train (at Shibuya station) feeling good about being on our way to see Eric.  


At this point I was feeling good.  Except for the slight hiccup with the card swiping, I was doing it!  "I am woman!"

Then about 25-30 minutes into our ride I thought it was a little funny we were not seeing Eric's stop or even the one before it, he had told me to watch for.  So I texted Eric.  I said "we're in Yokohama".  The text I got back said...

 "??? What was your last stop?  I think that is way past me??"

"Well that can't be good", I thought.   At the next stop, we got off.  In the meantime, Eric used a handy internet site and figured out how we could still get to him from where we were (like the lady in the GPS who says "recalculating route").

We would end up at a different train station which was somewhat close to him, and he would walk to meet us.  Sweet Eric took his whole lunch helping his lost family and figuring out where we needed to go.   The train ride back to get closer to him took about 20 minutes.  We got off that train and I was so excited to see Eric.  At this point, we had 20 minutes before he had to get back, so we grabbed a bagel and walked him back to work at a brisk pace (since it was a 20 minute walk away!).  We talked about how next time, I'd be an expert getting back to his work and he showed us where we could relax and catch our breath.  We said goodbye and looked around for a place to eat.

The kids were a little tired and hungry so I let them choose where to eat.  Subway was the winner.

And my choice was Starbucks, although the kids didn't mind either
Happy again!

We took a few minutes while I finished my drink outside and obviously the kids were having a great day.  They got to ride the train for a long time =), see their dad, and get treats.




On the way back home everyone else got off at one of the stops.  A kind man heard the kids saying "Shibuya" (the station we wanted) and came back on the train to motion me across the track to the right train (phew! and thank you God!)  Since then I am happy to report I have gotten on the correct train every single time (though it may have taken a few moments of thinking once or twice!)  ;-)




6 comments:

Becky said...

and by year...I mean yeah!

Nina said...

Let me start by saying I love the picture of my dear family...makes my heart melt and my face smile !! Also so proud of your spirit of adventure. Makes me think of your dad taking you and our family on adventures to unknown locations. Great for Ethan and Abby to see a mama like you doing just that.I know Eric is most proud of his sweetheart! Great memories(: I was moved be the angel person that came to get you off and head you in the right direction! God is always with us no matter where we are !(: Love you Sarita <3

Cousins' Closet said...

I'm not sure why, but my previous comment didn't publish. I had mistyped "year" and meant it to be "yeah"..weird. So here is what I was trying to say. :)
I have heard, "recalculating" several time on my drives. So glad you made it to Eric safely and yeah for Subway and Starbucks! So proud of my adventurous sis! Can't wait to see you in a week.

Becky said...

and apparently I was signed in under CC in my last post. Not my smoothest day for posting. :)

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Jorge Samaniego said...

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