"Ticket to Tokyo"
Dad loved, or rather lived to travel. He was also habitually late. I don't remember being a guest at a wedding where we were seated before the bride had begun her trip down the aisle.
On his first trip to Japan, he double-parked the car, left it running ("to let them know he'd be right back") and locked the doors, then ran inside to check-in before the flight departed. In his excitement, he forgot the car entirely. He didn't realize his mistake until he emptied his pockets at the hotel in Tokyo and noticed his key ring.
It's no wonder I learned to say "oops" early in life.
* * * *
Dad returned to Japan for my step-brother's wedding. With Dad on the phone in the den and and my step-mother on the extension in the kitchen, they described the traditional Japanese ceremony. They'd remained in Japan for several days after the wedding, so I asked about the rest of their trip.
"I liked the traditional hotel," my step-mother said.
It's necessary to add, Dad never made reservations when he traveled. He launched into his apparently well-rehearsed monologue about their accomodations on my step-brother's wedding night. My Japanese sister-in-law's father had suggested the newlyweds spend their wedding night in a "romance hotel."
"It was clean. It was gorgeous." Dad insisted.
My dad and step-mother beat the streets of Tokyo until they found a place that accepted cash and didn't ask for identification. My step-mother slept in her clothes on top of the bedspread.
"Dad, you stayed at a brothel?" I asked, incredulous.
"No," he protested. "the businessmen take the geishas there during the day. They're high-class places and they're really cheap after midnight."