Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Distance travelled: 16.047 km

We arrived in the Terminal right on time, curiously even though i had headed straight south, the clock was set two hours back, I noticed this as i was standing behind a Russian shouting something in Russian to the immigration officer, who proceeded by giving him a vacant look and saying something in Japanese, fortunately I (and the Ambassador of Luxembourg!?) had suspected this would be the case - and raced for a front spot in the Que, and while the Ambassador was busy explaining there was indeed a country called Luxembourg, and that he as ambassador, of this independent European country, did not need to provide fingerprints, I had my entry visa stamped in my passport!

On my way out Wakkanai International Ferry Terminal, I was stopped by two Japanese police officers, who began questioning me of my plans for Japan, with questions printed in English over cute little cartoons. I was a little bit guttered by the fact that they kept pointing to the English questions, despite my best efforts to answer all the questions in Japanese. It wasn't until i saw the cover, that i realized that there is a G8 meeting, coming up here in Hokkaido, and Naturally the Japanese cant have any trouble makers coming in, they let me pass after a while though - so much for Stefan the terrorister :-)

Next point was to head for the Post office to get some Yen, and that didn't go quite as planned! You see the magnetic stripe on my Visa card had started to peel off, I blame the Gobi's damn sand for that one, and being Japanese, the ATM would have absolutely none of it! So it was onto my Mastercard, which i had raped to get money for the ferry ticket after my Rubles was stolen, naturally after such an horrendous experience, it did not cooperate, and suddenly i found myself in a situation much like the one in Kagoshima back in 2005! (everyone that knows me, should remember that story, since they have probably heard it a dozen times over late night beers!) I didn't like it one bit, as i knew my reserve cash was gone as well. Fortunately i had a small stock of Yen from my last visit here, and i was able to a crisp 10.000 Yen note out of the Machine after some convincing. So after some hunting around for some free wireless Internet, so I could have someone contact my bank. I bought my tickets for the Rebun ferry, and decided to wait till the weekend was over there, where the Youth Hostel was cheaper.


Turned out to be a splendid weekend, but more on that later.

- Stefan

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