"So, are you guys excited?" I shiver, climbing the escalators leading into Makuhari Messe.
"Hell yeah!" Steve and Stephen both grin behind me.
"It's Tokyo Auto Salon--you know how long I've been dreaming of coming here..." Steve adds.
When it came to this job, I made a promise to myself that I would not get jaded. Unlike all of my previous daily grinds, I get to do something I love, and some of the experiences I'm offered would make others green with envy. Like pro athletes playing the game with no heart, the day this job became nothing more than a paycheck--a measly one, at that--it would be time to leave. Especially, if I ever got tired of going to TAS.
After trading an appendage for Jessica Alba and recreating my stolen DC2 Integra, Tokyo Auto Salon was item #3 on my bucket list. But after two prior visits, the lack of a translator, having no other staff to assist, ball shriveling cold weather, plus all the work I would have to catch up on--I was questioning whether TAS would be worth it. But then there was all the content I'd be missing out on--show coverage, feature cars, and lifestyle stories. Plus, my boys Steve and Stephen were going to be out there. And that's when it hit me: Wow, did I just do that? Am I really rationalizing having to go to TAS? Have I become, gulp, jaded?
But seeing the doe-y eyed wonder and excitement on my friends' faces put everything into perspective and jogged the alcohol-singed memory. On the eve of my first trip to TAS, not since going to Disneyland as a kid, do I remember not being able to sleep out of sheer anticipation. To this day, I still remember vividly walking into the halls of Makuhari Messe, enveloped by the madness that is Auto Salon.
This most recent trip, my third, was just as memorable as the first. We found the illest 370Z of the show, Sunline Auto's, as well as a bunch of other cool cars that you'll soon see in 2NR. Following TAS, besides the photoshoots, I had the opportunity to visit a trio of TOM' factories, check out Cusco's gymkhana practice day, infiltrate the ultra-exclusive Nissan Zama museum, and more importantly, for myself, rinse off years of jadedness.