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  • Writer's pictureTammy Lowe

Story Time...

Gather round. It’s Storytime. Today, I’ll take you to Japan.

Lost in Translation.

Bill Murray won an Oscar playing Bob Harris—a washed up movie star who’s in Tokyo to film some cheesy whiskey commercials.

“For relaxing times, make it Suntory Times.”

It seems you either love or hate that movie.

I’m team “LOVE.”

When it first came out I watched it over and over again. I just adore that movie.

I wanted to buy a pink wig like Scarlet Johansson and stay up late singing karaoke.

“Let’s go to Tokyo!” I shout out gleefully.

So—lucky me—my husband, Gord, plans a trip to Tokyo.

“Do you want to stay in the Park Hyatt where Lost in Translation was filmed—”


“Or the Grand Hyatt.”

Surprisingly, I choose the Grand Hyatt.

And I never did end up getting that pink wig.

So much for being a super fan.

Nevertheless, we arrive at our hotel in the heart of Roppongi.

We have a lovely suite at the end of a short hallway. Beside the elevators is an opaque screen, hiding a little alcove with the ice machine.

Every morning, we head downstairs to the dining room for breakfast. The more we come and go, the more obvious it becomes that we’re the only ones on this floor. We never see another person in our hallway or on the elevator.

Heading out for adventures, we’d take in all the sights—Shibuya, Asakusa, Shinjuku, plus day trips to places like Mount Fuji and Hakone.

I was fascinated with it all.

Anyway, back to Bill Murray.

Washed-up actor, Bill Harris, from Lost in Translation may have been fictional, but I have to tell you we found it absolutely hilarious seeing Pierce Brosnan adverts everywhere we looked. Billboards, magazines, plastered on bus shelters, at the train station, in the airport. Everywhere we went, Pierce was smiling at us with playing cards in his hand, trying to get us to go to some casino.

On our final morning, we leave the room to head downstairs for breakfast as usual. Before we reach the elevator, Quinton (our son) realizes he’s forgotten something in the room.

“I’ll hold the lift,” Gord says.

So, Q and I hurry back to the room.

“We’ll be two seconds,” I call over my shoulder.

I’m standing in the doorway, waiting for Quinton, when I hear a loud roar...and then Gord’s voice.

My brow wrinkles as I try to listen.

I’m pretty sure he’s apologizing profusely.

Quinton’s ready and we rush back to the elevator.

Gord’s alone.

The waiting elevator is gone.

His face is red as a tomato...and he’s not one to embarrass easily.

You see, when we left, he decided to hide behind the opaque screen.

A minute later, he saw the silhouette of a woman and a boy walking by.

You guessed it.

Positive it was us...he jumped out.

But, he didn’t just “jump” out.

He leapt out, shaking his face and arms, growling, “Boowahhaha!”

He went for the entire boogeyman effect.

The woman and boy screamed.

Gord screamed upon realizing it wasn’t us.

He’s apologizing over and over to the poor Japanese woman. Luckily, the lift he was holding for us was already there, so she was able to quickly make her escape.

Seriously, what are the odds we never see another soul in that hallway, yet in that two minute time frame, a woman and boy, roughly the same size as Quinton and I, come strolling along.

Once again...someone up there has a great sense of humour.

I still think of that poor woman though! *giggle*

It’s funny the things one remembers about their travels.

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