Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Love Hotel
Well, I ended up staying in one of those Love Hotels last night after all.
Again, I am getting subsidized for my lodging by the Board of Education, but they had directed me to try and find a cheap hotel. They had also advised me that there were several hotels around Yokohama train station.
And there are. As you would expect, the ones closest to the station were big expensive fancy hotels that I walked right by. Staying in the internet cafe would have been an option had it come to it, but I was really hoping for a place with a bed and a shower.
I walked into a couple Japanese style inns, only to discover they didn't have vacancies. But there were no lack of Love Hotels in the area, and when I discovered they were about 1000 Yen cheaper than the regular hotels, the choice seemed obvious.
As the name implies, the Love Hotels are usually used by couples for somewhat immoral purposes. But since they were the cheaper option, I was more than willing to overlook this. Plus being a foreigner, you can always play ignorant to a certain extent. Some of these places just look like normal hotels on the outside, you can go in pretending you don't know any better.
"What? What is this hotel for? Well, I am shocked! Shocked and appalled!"
(Also I'm hoping that the sheets are given a good washing after each customer. Actually this was something I tried not to think about at the time).
The first Love Hotel I went into refused to give me a room because I was by myself. You would think that if I was going to pay the money, they wouldn't care whether I had sex inside the room or not. I tried to argue this point. The lady at the desk was polite, but firm. She couldn't rent me a room unless I planned to fornicate inside it.
I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this rule is. Perhaps it is to prevent lonely guys like myself from just pretending they have girlfriends.
At any rate, the second love hotel I went into had no problems renting a room to me for the night. And, despite having a few kinky things in the room, it did have all the necessities of a normal hotel room as well. (Bed, toothbrush and toothpaste, tea bags (this being Japan) shower, etc). The only real negative was that, perhaps because it was a cheaper love hotel, the rooms weren't quite as sound proof as the couple next door appearently assumed.
But in the end a decent night's sleep. I'm slightly worried about coming back to the Board of Education and asking to be reimbursed for a reciept from a love hotel, but I'm hoping they will understand I was just trying to save them money.
And one more thing:
caught the train from Yokohama station back to the conference this morning. Tokyo and Yokohama is a lot different than my little town of 8,000 in the country side. In my town we don't even have a train station. In Yokohama the train station during rush hour this morning was nuts. Everything you've ever read about crowded train stations and overpacked trains is true.

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