Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tokyo - soon to depart to Her Majesty's (i.e. YDG's) abode

I'm typing to the snoring symphony of Wayne & Sharlene. Amazingly, their snoring melodies are playing off each other ... the crescendo occurred a few seconds ago. Now they are moving into the recapitulation part of the movement.

It's been a taxing day on the legs - guess it's good training for rep touch at the end of the year. We visited several cities today including: Shibuya, Roppongi and Shinjuku. All involved catching the train, getting immensely baffled by the train system (there are a few wasted tickets sitting in my pocket), and walking galore - which ain't so good when it was raining the entire day.

These cities are dominated by neon lights and shopping. If you've seen Serenity, Tokyo often reminds me of that scene where River Tam becomes mesmorised by the cartoon figure on the TV screen and mutters "Miranda". Except here it's probably more "sumimasen". People are terribly subservient and wonderfully clean here. The public loos are a treat! Today's experience was the toilet flushing audio aid - to conceal any unfortunate sounds that may inevitably occur during your business. Leaves you riding on a wave of calmness (as depicted in the picture) apparently.

Visited a few of Japan's finest conglomerates today: Toyota and Sony. Crappy little shits wouldn't get off the cool PSP and PS2 demos. Do they want thicker glasses?!? Showrooms were pretty cool ... burns deep holes in your pockets though.

Also went on the rollercoaster that goes through a shopping centre. The ride reaches a max speed of 130 km/hr and the incline up truly felt like a 90 degree pull. Lucky I went to the ladies before hand. And in typical Japanese fashion, the ppl in queue would clap as the carriage pulls back into home base. So easy to feel famous and loved in Japan.

Last, finally found a Peko product so here's the self indulgent photo:

Dreading the horrors of British Airways tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tokyo - Day 2

Free Internet amounts to another entry.
Today was a fantastic day, predominately because of the Harajuku Girls (of Gwen Stefani video clips fame).

It's quite a spectacle, and I am not entirely sure what motivates them to go to so much trouble (especially on a Sunday morning). They completely act the part and put on quite a show for the photographers/bystanders. Most of them, from my limited experience, are inspired by goth. In fact, and I didn't know this at the time, we were standing behind 4 Harujuku Girls while waiting for the Peter Pan ride @ Disneyland (biggest waste of time). We were in the line for about 40 minutes and in that time, they must have spent about half of it fixing up their makeup, orange contacts, hair etc. Tell you what though, they had BAD BAD teeth ... and it wasn't because they painted it black.

We had 2 lovely Japanese locals take us out today - Sharlene's work colleague (Masaru) and his girlfriend (Hatsumi).

They were great ... brought us around everything, including Akihabaru (Electronics Town); Ginza (fancy smancy town e.g. Brioni, Hermes etc); and Shibuya (trendy teenage town). All very different and interesting. Got around via trains. The train stations have THE COOLEST door closing/train leaving warning melodies. Unlike dodgy cityrail which has your one standard *bom bom bom* (you know what I mean); Japanese train stations have really cute polyphonic cartoon-esque melodies. And there's a few of them too. Might record one and use as my ringtone. There are the most literal signs in the train as well e.g.:

People really can't live out their Bidet i.e. after toilet washing function.

Had my first experience this morning. My reaction? I shrieked both times I tried it. I think it takes some getting used to.

Public holiday in Japan, which means more crowds and probably more Mickey Mice. Hey did you know Doraemon had a girlfriend called Mimichan. I didn't!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

In Tokyo

Hi all. Never got around to a farewell, good riddance blog. However, I suspect that an entry on the 1st day of my holidays will suffice. I am currently in the land where broadband connection of up to 100mbps is rife - sweet I say!

I am not sure if that makes up for the lack of personal space - I have taken one to many inadvertent elbows today. Today was mostly spent on the truly confusing subway and Disneyland. Here are my observations:

Usual practice, from observation, is to get on and sleep. Even those that don't get sitting room sleep while they are standing. Either people don't get enough sleep around here, or there must be something in the air conditioning on the trains

Never have I seen so many people congregated en masse in what was a fairly gigantic ground. It was literally like witnessing swarming ants, except I was also an ant. It was amazing. People were lining up everywhere for hours on end for anything and everthing, e.g. waiting 40 mins for soda flavoured popcorn. Is that MAD or what?!? We assumed that the crowd would retreat back home by about 5pm/6pm but alas how wrong we were. People were still going strong at about 6pm (park closes @ 10pm) and still willing to wait 40 mins for their curry popcorn.

I walked away realising that Japanese people are SICK for their Disney, to the point of obsession. Nearly everybody had some kind of Mickey Mouse paraphernalia on them. I nearly succumbed ... but logic and cash got the better of me.

Here are a coupla pics:

Shar & Wayne on the train to Disneyland. It was a case of Mickey Lau Shu everywhere. Who would have guessed that a rodent could be that palatable.

If you can't beat them, why not join them. This would come in handy for next snowboard season.

Jason Wong is famous in Japan, well only to those who catch the trains anyway.

Getting a tour guide tomorrow (phew). Will be hitting the shops and visiting a few of the local hangouts apparently. No more elbows please.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Disastrously Disorganised

Why is it that things start going out of control at the most inopportune times? Bloody Murphy's Law. Impending Fri 7 Oct departure date rolling around way too fast for comfort. There are things that must occur prior to a 5 week holiday, and none of these have been completed.

Feeling overwhelmed and ever so slightly frazzled.

Have you ever noticed that in most romantic comedies, the female counterpart is always employed in a customer service centric role. Recent examples are: Monster-In-Law (J-Lo has jobs ranging from receptionist to waitress); Wedding Date (Deborah Messing is a airlines customer consultant). I guess it's the Cinderalla idea perpetuated over and over again. If only pumpkins did turn into modern day equivalent of carriages ... my head would be worth alot.

Will attempt to blog one final time before I leave our shores that is girt by sea.