Adventures Beyond the Roman Empire

Currently typing through the fog of jetlag, in which it’s hard to identify familiar sounds as you wake (ah, let me think – yes, that alarming crash is somebody opening the bathroom door…)

We got home from Tokyo yesterday evening, which was really six this morning, and it’s now 7.30 am or halfway through the afternoon, depending which bit of my brain is operating. Possibly neither, after six flights, three countries and three increasingly baffling languages in a fortnight.

The original mission was to visit Vladivostok. For those who don’t know, as I didn’t, it’s at the far end of Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow, and locals can hop on a ferry for Japan or Korea, or catch the train to China. Youngest son has been studying there for the last nine months, and we planned to travel home with him and his huge quantity of amassed baggage and DVD’s. (Should the jetlag keep us awake again tonight, we can sit up and watch Daniel Craig being James Bond in fluent Russian.)

Naturally mission creep began to occur as soon as the trip was announced. Husband found himself explaining to Tokyo airport security that the mysterious objects on the x-ray were two tins of Lyons black treacle, being delivered to a friend in Japan with a hankering for a taste of home.

Another friend needed medicines delivered to Japan from her mother in Russia. Unfortunately there was also a pot of jam (?) which was not only technically a liquid but, by the time it reached Tokyo airport, leaky. (We had already, with regret, refused to take the plastic bag full of white powder. We were assured it was nothing sinister, but we didn’t know the Japanese for ‘this is only Bicarbonate of Soda,  officer.’)

More later. Hopefully some fascinating multicultural insights will float up through the haze. And I’ll remember to mention Korea. Or maybe I’ll just post a few photos.

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