The clouds and rain which have been making biking a little questionable, though certainly not impossible, were all gone today, leaving a gorgeous sunny day, around 16C according to weather.ca, so I took the bike down to Shibuya for my second conversation 'lesson', with the same guy as before... It went fine, though the whole concept still seems a little bit odd to me.
I made a stop in a Tokyu Hands, land of the everything to pick up some more supplies for my scrapbook, which continues to grow. I've almost caught up to November which is good, there are already things I've forgotten, and having the hard copy version means I a) won't lose it if blogger swallows my blog, and b) I can collect pamphlets, coasters, lighters, etc. to my heart's content. I'm sure in a few years I'll wonder why any of this seemed important, but in a few more years, it will probably be fun to look back on!
After finishing up our lesson, I look the leisurely route to Omotesando, winding through Yoyogi Park a little bit, and listening to a couple of 'All in the Mind' podcasts from Australian public radio. From the itunes description: "All In The Mind is Radio National's weekly foray into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour - everything from addiction to artificial intelligence." It's very interesting! On the way down to Shibuya, I listened to one podcast where they interviewed a brain surgeon about her job, and then on my way to Omotesando, I listened to a podcast on obsessive compulsive disorder in children and the possible link that the sudden onset of obsessive compulsive tendancies can have to the streptococcal virus. Later in the day, I listened to another one about a psychotherapist who lives in Israel and treats patients from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He told a story of how one of his clients came into his office after a few sessions and admitted she hated all Jews. This doctor is Jewish, but instead of being very offended by the comment, he was able to see this as a positive thing, explaining that he was happy she felt she could be angry with him, and that to be angry with someone implies that you trust them enough to feel that they will care about the emotion you are directing towards them. I don't know if I explained that very well, but it was very interesting to listen to him speak about the unique challenges that living and working in this park of the world present him with!
Once in Harajuku, I found the library which Hitomi had suggested to me in the comments of yesterday's blog - (Thank you so much!) I managed to find the library without too much trouble, and then made my way up to the third floor 'foreign books corner', which although small, has a pretty good selection of contemporary fiction - certainly enough to keep me occupied for quite some time! I didn't spend too long browsing (I wanted to start reading!) but I think there are also books on Japan and stuff as well, so when I'm in more of a browsy mood, I'll check that out!
I managed to get a library card with no incident, which seemed like a minor miracle to me, and then headed out with my new stack of books to go find a cafe! For anyone interested, I got: Sushi for Beginners, High Society, The Time Traveller's Wife, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and Hungry Ghosts (don't you love amazon for the shear number of titles they have on there?). I have two weeks to get through them, but I'm so happy I found a free English book source! As you can tell from yesterday, I was getting a bit desperate!
(interesting wall at the corner of Omotesando and Aoyama-dori - it's actually one huge mosaic done with small (1x1" or so?) tiles. I didn't have time to examine it too closely before the light changed, but I snapped this keitai photo to post - that is one huge mosaic!)
Hmm... after I loaded up with books, I just randomly biked around a little bit - I headed to the Aoyama Book Centre near where the Tokyo Writer's Day was held to pick up this week's metropolis, and then headed to Kua Ahina the Hawaiian burger place (from the Ikspiri day) for a late lunch. I'd been planning on trying something new, but as tends to happen to me if I make a plan like that, I'll start looking when I'm already hungry, wander around looking for somewhere that looks good until I go low and just duck into somewhere familiar. It was, however, very good so that's OK!
(sculpture outside the United Nations University on Aoyama-dori)
(interesting clouds/dramatic lighting over the buildings of Aoyama-dori. Unsurprisingly, the keitai wasn't quite able to deal with the lighting perfectly, but I still liked the way the clouds came out...)
Finally biked home since it was dark by now which is less good for biking explorations, and then took V. for a bit of a walk. I think she thinks my walks are less fun because she always has to spend 2 sets of five minutes learning a proper heel (she gets treats, but that doesn't seem to sway her!), and isn't allowed to pull. Still, she comes along happily enough - beggars can't be choosers I guess!
We got home at 7ish, and since then have just been hanging out, reading, and eating some of the delicious cookies left here by Felly and company today. Yum! Anyway, Peter should supposedly be home soon, (it's 9:50), so we'll grab some food or whatever, and then just the usual - TV, scrap booking catch up, reading, etc.