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Monday, April 16, 2007

Eww rainy day today, but a fun one! Not too much in the morning - chatted with Aly and Toby, and Sasch and my Mom, so that was good - to get caught up with everyone... Aly and Toby are getting sooo cute and grown-up! Apparently we're going to be sharing a hamster when I'm there in the fall :) They're both very excited about their upcoming cruise - Aly for the 'kids-only pool', and Toby for the golf simulator :) Kid after my own heart!

Jordon and I braved the rain and checked out the Tokyo Midtown project today (mostly inside though!!) We grabbed coffees and wandered around, checking out all of the ridiculously expensive stores including the fruit shop, where a single melon could run you over $100, and the boxes of like 48 cherries were 30-50$. It was absolutely insane! (Perhaps the most insane was that they were actually selling some stuff!)

We wandered around and checked out the different museums in the area, before deciding to check out the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills which is having two exhibits to do with laughter in Japanese art and in contemporary art. They were pretty interesting, especially the one about the laughter in contemporary art. There was one we both liked, where they had these wind up dolls of salary men crawling around on a floor that had oceans and land, and oil rigs, and stuff like that. It was to show globalisation, and how business practices from around the world have a global effect. Entertainingly, they would occasionally run into each other and have 'fights' as the wind up toys tried to get past each other, and then they also tended to congregate around certain areas such as the oil rigs. It was great!

We also became part of one of the statues by getting up onto the big platform and interacting with different items (putting a handbag over our head and thinking about nihilism, putting bottles of cleaning stuff on our feet and thinking about freud, etc). It was a biggg exhibit! We went through the whole thing, but sped it up at the end-we were both starving and went to get ramen - tasty as usual.

I came home around 8, and did the lion's share of the 'things to do' for the next weekender, to get that out of the way before this week starts, and now i'm just watching old friends episodes again with Venus, and planning a fairly early night's sleep - I want to start the week off NOT being tired!



jack said...

Oh yes, the expensive fruit, maybe you haven't experienced it yet but it is something we refer to as the gift wars. As the name implies gifting is an ongoing battle in Japan. It is kind of inappropriate to show up with out a gift for most social encounters and it is presumptive to choose a gift that may impinge upon the giftees sensibilities. For instance, a piece of art would be a bad choice. It may mean you think there is something wrong with the art already present so you are trying give something you think is better. Since most people live in small places a gift that is long lasting becomes akward in that the reciever may feel obliged to keep it forever thus taking up what little floor space is available. Nothing better than a gift that is naturally limited by time, flowers wilt and fruit gets eaten. But since this is a war the price is also important. Too little value means you hold the person in low esteem. Since everyone knows that fruit from particular places, like specialty shops and big major dept stores, is wildly expensive it becomes the perfect gift. It won't last forever, its delicious, and it really cost a lot of money. In this sense if you bring a 100.00 melon to party and someone else brings a 200.00 melon than you have just been defeated in this battle. Sounds funny but it's a fact of life in Japan. Its hard to imagine for Canadians and Americans who have never been so totally devastated by war as Japan was what a perfect melon symbolizes.

jack said...

it's actually hard for younger Japanese to imagine wartime devastation too-not just canadians and americans, my bad..