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Monday, February 19, 2007

Well today started pretty slow, but it ended strong, we'll get to the good stuff soon :)

I woke up pretty early, and then went to lie down to read for a bit after breakfast, and the next thing I knew, it was 12:30! That's ridiculous! I didn't sleep well and went to bed late last night, but still, I felt super incredibly lazy after that! It worked out well for V though, as she got two breakfasts - I fed her when I got up, but didn't leave a note, because I was clearly expecting to see Peter before he left, and then when Peter couldn't find me (um, I don't exactly have a huge room, so I'm not sure where he looked!), he fed her again, lucky girl :)

I wish I could say that I pulled it together from that point forth, but I really didn't - I had good intentions of studying, writing articles, etc. and unfortunately, went straight to procrastination station without passing GO and/or collecting my Y200. I even brought my Japanese books with me when I left the house, with the full intention of getting to a coffee shop early and studying before meeting Jordon for the Margaret Atwood reading, but it really wasn't to happen!

My plan was to go to the ABC book centre in Omotesando, and pick up a copy of a Margaret Atwood book (any one, didn't care), in Japanese, with the hopes of getting it signed tonight. I went to the English section and grabbed one randomly, and took it to the desk, where I was like 'Margaret Atwood de Nihongo arimasuka?' (roughly translated: Margaret Atwood (random particle) Japanese exists?) and the girl (I think), thought that I wanted that specific book in Japanese, so she did a bunch of quick computer checking/googling, and was like no, sorry. So I tried to get across that I didn't care which title, just any Margaret Atwood, and she was still like 'nope, sorry'. So then I browsed briefly through the fiction section and concluded that it would be like finding a needle in a haystack, so I went back to the English section, and stood by the MA section until someone walked past, and then flagged them down, and conveyed my more general question to them. Again, the answer was no, so I guess they don't carry them, but I think I got my point across more effectively, so I'm pretty confident that they actually didn't have any, and she wasn't just saying 'no' to shut me up.

Anyway, I was going to be lazy and take the train to Aoyama Ichomme, which is the closest station to the embassy, but I ended up on the Chiyoda Line before I quite realised it didn't go to AI eki (well that's not quite true, I did know it wasn't going there, but didn't know which lines did go to AI from Omotesando), so I just decided to go to Nogizaka, which is pretty close, and walk, but of course, got out on completely the wrong exit, and ended up walking about a kilometre to Tully's anyway. Oops! I did find a really nice park though, so enjoyed walking through that, and managed not to get lost, in fact, the side street I took a chance on dumped me out exactly where I was expecting/wanted to be, so that was good!

However, all that screwing around meant I only had about 20 minutes, which I spent, predictably, reading the book I'm reviewing for my blog. I won't talk about it, since I'll be reviewing it in detail, but I just realised that this will be a perfect thing to talk about the next time I have nothing to talk about on here!

Anyway, headed to the embassy to see Margaret Atwood speaking at 6:30. It was busy! Very packed... I got there first, and there was a bit of time confusion ;), so I went to get us seats, and I was worried because I had to sit way in the back, so I figured there was no way he'd find me, but luckily he came in the back door right beside me, so it all worked out perfectly! Just before the reading started, someone came to the microphone to say 'her Royal Highness is walking down the stairs, if you could all stand and welcome her please'. So I'm thinking, OK, I know Margaret Atwood is a big name and all, but her royal highness? Isn't that pushing it a bit? But then lo and behold, in walks Her Royal Imperial Highness Princess Takamado! Here's the family tree for reference - she's towards the bottom on the right. From what I caught, Margaret Atwood was actually here to do something to do with birdwatching, and the Princess seems to head up the division or group she was here with, or something like that, I'm not exactly sure!

Ms. Atwood read from two of her books, Alias Grace, and her latest, The Penelopiad (which I ended up buying in English at ABC), and also spoke a little bit about the plot and her inspiration, etc. It was interesting, but a bit odd, as it was being translated, so she would say a few paragraphs worth of whatever, and then the translator would do her part, so it seemed quite fractured. She opened it to questions at the end, but also actually asked the audience a couple of questions, to do with the symbolism of cranes and owls in Japanese culture, and the Princess answered both of them quite knowledgeably in very good English!

She was only able to answer a couple of questions, which I thought was unfortunate as I thought that was the most interesting part of the event, but it was only an hour and a half, so they had to do what they could...Her translator was amazing though-she made a few notes as people were speaking, but she was able to hold soooo much in her head, and translate long, complicated questions and answers! Unfortunately, Margaret Atwood didn't sign books afterwards, but there were a lot of people, so I can see why not. Jordon took some pictures, so hopefully I'll be able to steal a few of them to get up here in the next couple of days...

After it was done, just after eight, we went out for dinner at ZEST, which is a bit of a trek, but with things like the Donki with huge fish tank (yea, they kinda freaked me out a bit, not gonna lie!), and the 'only in roppongi fish-mac', we had lots to entertain us on the way! At Zest, me and my 'amigo' split nachos, chicken quesadillas and the beef jambalaya, which they mixed up for us at the table, all very tasty! As usual, good fun/chatting/etc... We ended up staying for a couple of hours, and even found time for a game of basketball in one of those arcade style games, which they randomly had in a corner. With coffees on the line, Jordon managed to pull out the game, but I blame the faulty counter, which didn't give me points for any of the baskets I scored with the small balls (never mind that he would have missed out on those too!) Anyway, I'll just have to challenge him to a rematch at some point! (or maybe skeeball... I could probably take him in that :p) It was a great evening, and next week...ramen museum! Eating and learning and eating = a good time to be had by all, I'm sure!

Got home around 11:30, and poor Venus was waiting hungrily for her dinner, I guess those two breakfasts had probably warn off by then! Peter was/still at the office, (its now 1:20), so I guess I might not see him tonight, since I should probably get a decent sleep before work tomorrow...



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