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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Post number 60 :)

Sooo... woke up insanely early today, at like 8am, but I was WIDE awake, so I jumped online, chatted with some East coasters before it was bedtime for them, and spent two hours or so catching up on news at The BBC. I used to do that fairly frequently, but for whatever reason haven't really since I got here, the end result is that I've been feeling a little bit bubbilized. (That is so a word!) I'm not going to pretend to be caught up, but I read some interesting articles including one about a 'love boat' for rich Chinese men. The men have to have a net worth of roughly 700 000 USD, and then they can go on these dinner cruises to meet girls (about 30 out of every 1000 make the 'cut'). The key here is that the girls be attractive, as that's the number one thing that these guys are looking for apparently. Which is a) depressing for the rest of us, and b) not so good for their relationship in 10 years - it's not like those doll-girls keep forever!

So anyway, that was this morning, and then when Pete headed out for his lunch with Gordon Campbell (and a hundred of their closest friends :p), I took the bike to Shimo Kitazawa, which is sort of one neighbourhood away from us.. It's twisty and complicated, with lots of little stores and cafes and stuff, though probably not best explored by bike! It seems like a good neighbourhood to poke around in with someone, but not so good for solo exploration somehow - I keep feeling like I'm going around in circles... Like, I've seen that Baskin Robbins....four times! Haha...

Anyway, I decided to ditch the bike fairly early on to walk, and then ran into bike parking problems. Sure, there were bikes parked all over the place, but they were usually parked over or beside, what looks to me to be pretty clearly marked as a bike free zone:
I'm not really sure what the story is (anyone? comment please if you know the bike parking rules around here), and since I didn't want to get Hitomi's bike ticketed or towed(!!) I decided to spring for pay parking (for a bike!!) It's cheap though - 100Y for 12 hours, and sort of out of the way a little bit, so you can park it and then just walk around the whole neighbourhood before picking it up for the ride home... Like so many things here, the tickets come out of a vending machine which is date stamped and after you self adhesive wrap it around your handle bars, you're good to go... (If you can find a spot - people ended up double parking so to speak)
(vending machine and parking)
(self ticketed bike)
Anyway, I had coffee at a little Italian coffee shop (and there are lots of great looking cafes and stuff in this area!). The Italian didn't have power anywhere (of course!), so I just read for a bit, and then wandered around. I found a couple of cute tops at Beaux Arts+ and saw a couple of promising shoe stores to go back to...
(typical street in this area)
(not sure what this was, but it looks like it would have been fun if it were open...)

So after a couple of hours down there, it started to rain a little bit, so I biked home, ate some lunch, and then Venus and I decided that since I got up at 8, it was high time for a nap! We dozed for about an hour, and then at four thirtyish, I headed up to Ikebukuro to check out the Toyota Amlux showroom. Now, it's not like I suddenly like cars enough to go check them out in a showroom, but my Tokyo for Free guidebook promised me exciting displays worth the trip. The thing I was most looking forward to was the Amlux Theatre, "...and inverted silver dome that seems to defy gravity as it floats upside down in the middle of the room. You can go up inside it and watch free 20-minute travel films...a "body sonic" seat-vibrator and a kind of "smell-o-vision" aroma sensory system pull you right up into its high-resolution travel experience...."

Even the Amlux floor guide was promising, describing "powerful original movies via the surround system."

What I think they meant to say, and didn't, was something more along the lines of: "Come! Join us for a pointless twenty minutes of Japanese cartoon network, which has nothing to do with smells, travel, body sonic vibrations, or cars! I was 'lucky' enough to see a Puffy cartoon show, one story about getting stuck in a ceral box like a toy, and the other one about a Japanese speaking, blond-ringleted toddler who turns into the fan from hell. To cap off the event was a powerpuff girls music video... Soo um yea, not so much what I'd envisioned, but this way at least I can say I've seen the phenomenon that is Puffy, and that's probably not something I would have been able to say otherwise! And if I were say, Aly or Toby, or into anime, it would have been a pleasant surprise!

The 3D movie which takes you through a Toyota Assembly line? Yeah, that's gone too...

So Amlux was a bit disappointing all around, but I headed to Orbitune, conveniently only one stop away on the Yamanote Line, and edited a whopping, drum roll please, 30 pages of CRASH! I only have four left to go before I'm finished my first edit! Yay... Finally! :) (So uh Mom, do you have time to have a look at it for me? Pretty please? Thanks :))

Pete came to interrupt me just before the end, and the thought of food was too tempting, so I'm just going to have to finish up the final pages tomorrow... We headed off to Denny's for dinner, and had another decidedly un Denny's in North America dinner, but very good! And now we're going to go and what Friends - we're on to season six :)

Oh yea - the podcasts? Well, the NYT ethicist is v. cool short though, but they just have a guy read their weekly ethics column which is like two letters with ethical questions and then their ethics expert's opinion...

The National Geographic podcasts (lions for one, nanotechnology for the other), were good but too short, only fifteen or so minutes each....

The philosophy podcast (What is Enlightenment by Emmanuel Kant), was interesting too, although I'm not going to lie - I listened to it twice and still only got about 60% of what was going on!

and finally,

This American Life, which was great, but they have a crappy system set up, where the current podcast is free, but the archived ones are 95 cents each according to their website (although I thought I heard on their podcast that they were free now maybe, so I'll have to look into that, since this is definitely a podcast I could get into - long enough to last at least a train trip or two!)

Oh yea, and of course it's the new Met Pod tomorrow :) Check it out for all your Tokyo listening needs....

So yea, any other podcast suggestions, leave a comment please! I'm really enjoying podcasts these days on the train, where it can often be too crowded to try and hold a book and hold on while not stepping on twelve sets of toes. For some reason, maybe because they're so short, I don't get as distracted listening to them as I do with audio books...

Anyway, that's about all for now...

1 comment:

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