Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Last sushi


Yep, flying home today. Woke this morning to the sound of our building swaying and a distinctly unsteady feeling: another earthquake.
Felt a tremor on sunday night too; but it's much scarier when lying in bed on a bottom bunk on the eighteenth floor.

Immediate reaction: leap up and stand in the doorway. Then realize other nine people in the room haven't stirred. They did, of course, once the vertical blinds were swaying so hard they kept hitting the walls.

When I realized I was not actually going to die today I looked at my watch (it's light outside, of course). Great! 7.10! I can get up and take a shower (permissible from 6.30-8.30).

Gather all my stuff, sneak out (everyone else seems to have gone back to sleep, which I think is a LITTLE odd, but hey, they're mostly Swiss/German so maybe that's their thing... Oh yes, you got it. Freshly showered, not feeling quite so dopey, I put my watch back on and do a massive double-take.
It's ten past six.
Now.
AFTER I've performed all my ablutions and taken quite a long, heavenly shower in blissful solitude.

Clearly my addled brain performed a bit of mirror magic and reversed my analog watch. Or the tremor broke something in my brain. I suspect the latter. Upside: hopefully I'll sleep better on the flight tonight.

So, this is how I come to be blogging at quite such a ridiculous time. War-walking the streets of iidabashi and hanging out for the "precious special moment" coffee place to open.

Sounds better than starbucks, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want some precious special moments with their latte?

*and now that I have latte and comfy seating in my possession - very clever seating arrangement here: tables for pairs and larger ensembles are up the back, facing the wall (at a comfortable distance!) are lounge chairs with built-in table and a cane basket at the foot for your stuff.

This way you can come solo without feeling like a social pariah and have room to read or blog or generally zone out without taking up valuable table space. Love it.

Anyway, recap of yesterday's adventures. Went to harajuku but exited the wrong side of the station, so wandered aimlessly a little.
Fell across a shrine which was the centre of the district in the 1600s when the government subsidized melon farming. Apparently this vegetable was highly prized as a fruit in the days when sweet food was rare.
Found my bearings again when I encountered signage for the metro, which is a different entity from the train system and is probably the "fine-tuning" way of getting around the city.

Went to shibuya, which is one of the huge stations with a mall on top. Well, half a mall. The other half is just down the street a little. Insane. I think it would be possible to live and work in japan without ever seeing the light of day.

Downtown shibuya is manic. I now know that you can assay the style of clothing in a store by the assistant's hair color. The blonder/more bleached it is, the younger and tighter the fashion.

Speaking of, I am a clothesholic. Everyone's well aware, I not only like to WEAR clothes (well, who doesn't?) but I like them. They're socially and historically interesting and if I was more pretentious I'd refer to my wardrobe as "The costume department, darling!" so anyway, I think it would be great to buy a pair of japanese jeans.

Let me be clear, I'm certainly not a size 8 model, but I'm not overweight (by Australian standards). I'd prefer to say curvy rather than chunky. And although there are a LOT of spindly-legged asian girls trotting about in knock-kneed-baby-deer fashion, there are also a lot like me.

Or maybe I'm fatter than I think. Most stores have three sizes: small, medium, and large (or, as I like to think: prepubescent, anorexic, and I-eat-one-meal-a-day.) Some stores have two sizes: small and medium. If you need a large, they don't want you sullying their image.

And in the couple of places I DID find jeans to fit, they were... okay. You know, the jeans you put on and pull off again because there's got to be another pair more flattering than that lurking in your wardrobe.

Ironically, the highlight of my day came when I discovered sass & bide pants on a sale rack. I may have squeaked aloud in joy. Real clothes! Now I just have to overlook the fact that I came to japan and bought a pair of pants made by australian designers IN australia for a third of their australian retail price...

A, there was sushi train last night and it was great fun. I did come in a little late, so only got a couple "rounds" but then we went to the "make to order" which was almost better. I think my wasabi tolerance was being tested, so I asked for more with second plate of tuna sushi.

And now? Back to the hostel so I can check out on time. They have a storage locker so I can have the day unencumbered and then catch a train to Narita Airport around five. Home soon!

1 comment:

Linda McIver said...

Ha! Clothes shopping in Japan - welcome to my world! At least you don't feel like Gulliver in your own country. :-) Although I did nearly snort my green tea when I read you referring to yourself as huge.

Now picture me in Japan. They didn't so much stare as completely edit me out. I did not compute. :) Sadly I was unable to edit out the ceiling beams.