The Tinders and The New Sanno.

Just as I’d given up hope finding a way into the New Sanno Hotel (with the Navy Exchange), an older couple from my hometown — a former Navy man and his Japanese wife — came to Tokyo to visit and contacted me. I asked if they minded getting me in, and they said no. They’d wanted to stay there but had been unable to book it, so while we were there, they went ahead and booked a room for next year’s trip. They were gracious enough to treat me to lunch (hot Italian sausage and peppers on a toasted bun) before we headed into the Exchange. It was a gold mine of American pharmaceuticals and beef jerky, which I took full advantage of (i.e. antacids and Jack Link’s). They had left the bulk of their changed money in their Osaka hotel room, so she paid with a credit card and I gave her the cash to cover it (which solved their problem for the day, at least). It was nice to see some people from home, and the good news is that I know they’ll be back next April.

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