Archive for December, 2009

Miss Home

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Tokyo is cool, but I want to go home. Ok, the language barrier is very annoying. I spent 5 days trying to get better in it – of course that’s childish, also cost me 600$ , for 15 hours of private lessons. Wakarimasen. The lessons were taken in MLC, recommended, but highly priced, and tacky 90’s style website – but you don’t pay them for web know how.

Only been around Tokyo (東京) so far – Asakusa, Imperial gardens walls (tip: don’t go on Monday, the gardens are closed. another tip:  RTFM), Ginza, Ueno, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Meguru (for MLC) and of course electric town Akihabara, been there like 4 times by now, and actually bought something (sharp’s relatively new pc-z1). That’s about 8 out of 23 wards, or ku’s, which make up the huge monstrosity known as Tokyo.

Went to a temple during the 47 ronin memorial day, people sure burn a lot of incense around here. But above all, I’ve been spending time in my room watching movies (Avatar is recommended, Afro samurai resurrection is not) and trying to decide what to do. It’s bloody cold – that’s what I hate most. Going to try and find some place to ice skate. There are excellent places to ski, so I’ve read, but I think if I’m cold now I should probably do this some other time when I’m better equipped. Also, it will probably cost a bundle (I’ll have to rent everything). I really have no idea why I came here. Pictures? go google tokyo. I have no pictures with me in them anyhow, so it won’t make much difference. Oh, I have one guy who I met in the 47 ronin temple, really cool marine living in tokyo since may, of course I lost the notebook I wrote down his facebook contact on the same day, so except for first name Christopher I have no clue how to find him (born on the year of the dragon I think – still not enough to find in facebook). So I give you the back of Christopher, if I meet him again I promise a face will be documented (or I’ll get a tatoo of his facebook / email address – I remember it’s @yahoo.com, big help), and some incense for background, and finally another nice picture I found:

For the next weeks until I leave I have some guidelines, but I think I’ll try to spend some time in a local hackerspace (called tokyohackerspace weirdly enough) and work on some stuff I want to get done. Konnichiwa y’all.

3-Tatami

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Hello from Tokyo!

I am staying in a 3-tatami room right now. To illustrate what that means, see the following video:

For 3000yen (~33$) you get this room with ac, electricity, coat hangers, mattress (comfortable), tv, really big window (ok, compared to the room), and free wireless or provided computer internet. Download speed of 1.3MB/sec for ubuntu updates (jp.archive.ubuntu.com) – I like! and this is over a wireless link in some hotel, so I expect it’s the norm rather then the exception.

Went to a restaurant yesterday, got oden, miso soup and a bowl of rice, total 270+380=650yen. And a free beer from the nice patron. After spending the flight reading about kata and how the Japanese are fucked up pursuing roles for doing everything, they call these roles/recipes for behavior/dictates kata, I’ve come to expect such behavior, but it is still exceptional.

Plans are a few, but really I don’t expect that much. I want to see tokyo, see kyoto and ride the shinkensen (bullet train). I want to see the markets, the temples, the fish market specifically, even if it requires waking up before 5am. Actually, if I take advantage of the jet lag that should be easy (woke up 3am today). And learn more japanese in the process.

You can see "O-de-n" written in large letters on the sign with pink neon. Too bad I didn't notice this when I came in, but the proprietor was very accomodating, gave me a menu (I think itsu?) with pictures and text that actually said "from wikipedia" :) some pointing and I got fed.

You can see "O-de-n" written in large letters on the sign with pink neon. Too bad I didn't notice this when I came in, but the proprietor was very accomodating, gave me a menu (I think itsu?) with pictures and text that actually said "from wikipedia" 🙂 some pointing and I got fed.

First day Restaurant