Friday, July 29, 2005

Meeting With Friends

So, before I begin, let me say that the capsule hotel that I am in now may suit my needs perfectly. It has several things which I desperately need: a place to store my luggage (which will save me 1200 yen a day), wireless internet access (which will save me 400 yen a day) and a suitable bath (which will make me not stink. I will pay 1000 yen more that the Riverview in Asakusa, and 200 more than the place last night, but considering how much I will save, I feel this is worth it. There are some catches though. It is called “Hotel Dandy”. The basement of the hotel is a strip club, the ground floor is a pachinko parlor, and the top floor (just above the bath) is where you can go to get “masaji” by young but unattractive women in relative privacy if you pay 60,000 yen extra. Basically, I feel like this place is kind of a front for prostitution. Finally, the guy in the capsule next door to mine is so drunk that he was not even able to pull his feet in before he passed out. But other than the fact that it is a little scary, this place is great!

Well, on to the story of my day. After submitting my last post I was more than a little depressed about the money situation. I tried calculating my expenses many times over, and while it looks like I will be able to make it home, I will have to draw money from my life savings in Hawaii if I expect to live through the summer. I was so upset by this that I bought the cheapest loaf of bread that I could and commenced to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Why I did this, I do not know, but at the time it made me feel better. An hour later I finished my bread. Then I basically wandered until 12, the time when Yuichi and I were supposed to meet. After a minor delay, he showed up and we went for some Okinawan food. There I had my fist taste of “Bitter Melon” and decided that the name is not deceptive in the least. I also learned that Champloo is the Okinawan word for stir-fry. It all makes sense now! Anyway, here is Yuichi, surprised by my camera.

We then decided to walk to Asakusa, and visited this shrine on the way.

You would probably never see a little boy playing baseball inside a church in the US, but in Japan it seems not to be a problem if a small child plays baseball in a shrine. I also came to a good analogy of religion in the US and Japan. In the US, religion is a club, in Japan, religion is a vacation.

Still working our way to Asakusa, we stopped at a shop for Hokkaido food products. Here I tried salt ice-cream, which I was weary about but turned out to be delicious.

Still working our way to Asakusa, we stopped at a shop for Hokkaido food products. Here I tried salt ice-cream, which I was weary about but turned out to be delicious.

After visiting the temple we began to walk around and found this shop which specializes in whale meat.

We went into a department store which had a huge Ultraman (a Japanese phenomenon that never caught on) store, and a huge studio Gibli section. This is me and Totoro.

So we walked some more had coffee again, and then I checked into my hotel. This, by the way, is Ueno at night.

Real fish head, an attention grabber, to be sure.

Sadly, Yuichi had to go home at 9:30, but by then his friend Fumi (who I know from Davis) showed up. Fumi, his girlfriend and I went for a walk and discovered that there was actually a festival going on in that park I described that had all the homeless people in it. So we walked around the festival. Japanese homeless people are not even scary at night. While did see a guy peeing through a fence, nothing else happened even though we passed about 100 homeless people during the course of our walk. This, by the way, is a game where you try to catch goldfish with a paper scoop. 300 yen per scoop.

And that’s about it. Now that I seem to have internet again, all of this should be a lot easier. Well, take care!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please keep on bloggin
its great