One of the problems with cheap airfares is that they tend to take you there at their convenience, not yours…. I could have paid twice as much and got a direct flight to and from Japan, but I didn’t… And the two stopovers – Auckland & the Gold Coast – weren’t a problem on the way there, as the excitement & expectation made them insignificant but combined with a sleep deprived overnight flight and 5 hours of combined wait time & I was a grumpy mofo by the time I finally got in a taxi home! And all the way in that taxi I kept thinking where is everyone? The place is deserted!!? After two months in Japan I am so used to being amongst a throng of people that it feels like the zombie apocalypse has actually happened…. Welcome to Wellington!
Other than mood, my only real transit hassles were excessive baggage – I’m pretty sure I managed to carry 70kg of ‘stuff’ from Japan to New Zealand! When I checked in at Kansai Airport my two checked bags weighed 51kg (I had a 40kg allowance) but that was while pretending my carry on backpack was light… when in fact it contained at least 20kg of hard drives, cameras, microphones, laptop & iPads! And don’t mention the duty free sake!
When I finally got home, passed out & woke up 10 hours later, my next stop was my POBox… I wasn’t particularly looking forward to two months of bills, but I knew there were a few gadgets waiting for me:
The TR66 Rhythm Arranger is in absolutely mint condition – in its original box even!
Same for the Livewire Vulcan Modulator (thanks & RIP Mike)
The Tenori On I bought from ebay after finally getting to play with one at Implant 4 in Osaka. Weirdly for a Japanese product it was cheaper for me to buy it off ebay & have it sent to my POBox… Suspect my first ensemble jam might just involve these three devices, with a few other modules….
Anyway I plan to relive my last two months by going through all my photos, video & sound and posting some of the best bits… And there were so many amazing experiences it was/is overwhelming! Ah the memories….. & ahhhhhh the 372GB of media to savour! Rather than mope around feeling homesick for somewhere I hadn’t even left yet I decided to spend my last day in Japan field recording…
I managed to capture some really beautiful material – two highlights would be sitting underneath a bridge recording intensely percussive train rhythms from about 2m away with a pair of 8040s and a pair of contact mics! And the screechy metal shredding in the subway at Namba in Osaka…