Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: Losing Identity (Part 12)

24 January 2009

Losing Identity (Part 12)

The summer vacation is just around the corner. I want to visit the parents of my overseas childhood friend, but I don't want to go there alone, and my parents are still away.

Students who did the recent test badly are required to take remedial lessons, which would eat up the holiday period, partly because that there would be no lessons for quite a while after the holidays due to preparations of the upcoming cultural festival. Fortunately, nobody in my class failed, which is considered quite rare.

Me: Hey, everyone! Who wants to go to that country with me for the holidays? I will be paying for all the expenses! I am heading there to visit the parents of my childhood friend who lived there but passed away back in May. You guys need not follow me around when there and you would be staying in a hotel in the downtown district there.

Seems that only a few people responded.

Yukari: That Country? oh, おk(^O^) I don't have any plans anyway.

Nagisa & Saeko: Me too!

Kyousuke & Minoru: If you let us, we can protect you girls from harm.

Hirano-san: I'll will be bringing along with my cousins along if you don't mind...

Saeko's clone, whom she calls Mamiko, remains silent and emotionless. Her eyes are telling me that she wants to say something, but can't even move her body. I assume Saeko is bringing her along. I then counted how many people there are. If including me.... 8 and then..... er,

Me: Hirano-san, how many cousins are you bringing along?

Hirano-san: One in Middle school, and the other two in primary school. Their parents have no plans to go anywhere. The oldest, who is the same age as me, is busy with work around that time.

So 8 plus them... 11 people. Not sure about the middle school one, but 2 of which are below 12 years old. The cost of travel is... who cares. I would still have a lot of it left.

Me: Okay, meet me around the news stand of the busiest station in the city in the morning of that day. Bring whatever you want, as long as it's allowed by the customs of both countries. Be sure that you have a passport that is not expiring in 6 months as you would not be able to come along if you don't. I will prepare the tickets for the entire journey for all of you.

I ended my speech. I purposely gave a date that is more than a week from now to give them ample time to get a valid passport. Saeko seems to be wanting to ask me something.

Saeko: Forgive me if I'm being rude, but may I know where is this money that you are helping us to pay the expenses for comes from?

I can't say that it's from inside the briefcase under my parent's bedroom that was directed by a letter to me from my parents containing several hundred millions of yen from an unknown source. I myself am shock when I first found out about it.

Me: Oh that? It just a very small portion of money I inherited from my grandparents. They were quite rich.

Saeko eyes tells me that she doesn't believe me, but did not say anything else. Come to think of it, since when did I know her? I tried hard to remember, but nothing came out of it. How strange.

Me: Well, I'll see you then.

Later in the day, I started to make a list of things to pack, and then figure out a route to get to the international airport from the station I told to meet them at. Referring to the rail network map, it seems that I would need to travel and transfer across multiple lines until the busiest station in the capital before taking a direct line that goes straight there.

There is a Shinkansen line at one of the cities along the way, but the frequency is so terrible that if I were to take the subway train to the same place, including waiting time, it would eventually be the same duration. The total time it would take is more than a day, so I would need to book the hotel from the day after we started our journey. I don't intend to stay there on the first night though, so it looks like I would book a room a day latter than the rest as I know that at least one of them would tag along with me.

I then proceeded to book the railway tickets, airplane tickets and the hotel rooms. Since the train system of the visiting country can only be bought at the ticket machine there and is valid only on that day, I would only need to prepare the cash of that country's currency that the machine accepts. I know that there are stored-value ones that are value-for-money per trip of the same distance, but that would be practical only if staying there for a long time.

What else should I pack? Hmm... I don't want to pack too much. Things like food can be bought along the way, so I should pack some snacks.

"Does my devices work there?", "Do I need an adapter?", "Does my bank card work there?", are some of the questions I asked to myself. I have travelled overseas before with my parents, but it's them who manages this kind of problems. Now, it's only myself.

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中野区, 東京都, Japan
帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.