I got up at 6am but not from sleep - I had been awake all night after having too much caffeinated beverages too late... So I was already running on 0 sleep.
I took the subway to Nagoya station, the transfer at Fushimi, the long trek to the bullet train entrance, and waited for my 636 Kodama.
2 hours later I was still waiting, my train delayed again and again, until I connected with my friends in Tokyo who said a pachinko parlor in Shinagawa caught fire and spread to the train rails. All trains in and out of the line would be another 4 hours delayed.
My eyes were heavy, hungry, tired, weighed down with an overnight bag and gifts, I was dying slowly in the crowded cold platform.
I strained to hear the muffled announcements in Japanese, but no information could be gleaned, only their apologies for the inconvenience.
I made pals with a nice girl going to Shizuoka, it was her first time taking the Shinkansen, a train people set their watches to -- how ironic!
Suddenly I realized I was trapped.
As waves and waves of people departed arriving trains, passengers waiting for their own delayed trains filled all available spaces.
It was as orderly a mad house as could be, and the station attendants kept people in order, but I was still tired, cornered in the small waiting area and unable to hear the intercom.
Finally, after waiting in the refund line for 45 minutes, they informed me I couldn't get my $185 back, and that they were sorry.
I was too tired to debate them in a language I'm not fluent in, while a hundred equally tired people waited for their turn behind me.
I hated canceling with my friends but I already missed my husband so much (save me, Andy!) I had to get back.
7 hours later,.. Came home to Mount Fuji bread... (Green tea flavored) and drew some New Years cards... What a perfect day :)