In the beginning, there was too much fluorescent light. Too much noise. And I would have said, that I enjoyed Tokyo with a pleasant smile and then explained how much fun it was to be with Linden for she was the real reason I came.
However, even before I had finished packing I was ready to admit I am not all that interested in leaving (except to see you Geoff :). The city has grown on me that I am quite sorry to leave it. While I never expected to see all of it, I certainly did not expect to want to explore it. Not the least to mention that living with Linden is easy and she's fun, so why leave a good thing, eh?
Linden has shown me a most memorable view of a city and a people. I went to Karaoke one night. Who new we were to sing in our own little rooms and just chill there. It was so much better than the "stand up in front of a crowd." I've had Shania Twain's song "Man I Feel Like a Woman" in my head for days and days. We went to the Hyatt, the uber rich and wonderful New York Bar. I bought the singer's CD. I've always wished I could sing Jazz. So I quite happily drank in the music that night. A very memerable night, thank you Jen.
We played enjoyed being tourists in Yokohama which is a massive Chinatown just outside the city. We had a full 7 course meal of lots of food that was unrecognizable but mostly delicious. Of course, Chinese food is never what you think it will be like, given our Westernized impressions.
And then I shopped. I didn't even know I had the stamina to shop like I did. Yes Heidi, I bought 3 more coats...
Apparently, so long as I'm in a used clothing store, or a ultra-alternative neighbourhood (THANK YOU JEN, for Shimo) I'm ready to shop. Everytime I turned around there was somehting "off the wall" I wanted to buy. I am a consumer. How I hate those words. And no, I didn't buy these sweaters (pictured right)...tempting but no.
The pic to the left is of the uber funky restaurant that we wandered into on our first day in Shimo. Awesome pizza and salad and a very hip vibe. Notice the ball hanging from the ceiling in fishing rope. Really, Shimo is like Queen St. W., on steroids.
I've been back since, there are wool shops, funky bars, no one over 25 years allowed (just joking).
For my last day in Tokyo, Linden and I met up during her lunch break and we travelled on the train to Odaiba (the man-made island just off Tokyo Bay). The train winds it way through buildlings and the architecture makes me think of GATTACA or the moon, or anywhere but on Earth. It is surrealism siting plumbly against reality and I am sure I looked as disoriented as I felt. (Linden has pictures of this island in an earlier blog entry). It seemed a perfect additional impression of Tokyo - the wild and wonky and kitchy and sophisticated.
We had a snack there in the park and looked at the statute of liberty and at the Tokyo skyline. That night I met Linden for Sushi (and whale blubber) in Omotesando. This is the really really glitzy "Hail Ralph Lauren and Coco Chanel" area of Tokyo. We then travelled on to Roppongi ("Hail the foreigners and US Marines".) This area is one of the stomping grounds of our olders sisters (Jen and Tem). It felt really special to be there and think about the two of them making their way in Tokyo years ago. The beer was good too. (Note picture with Tokyo Tower in background, Temmy I have proof I was there!! Yes to the new coat, bag, scarf and hat) I've only lived one month here, and remember all to well that living anywhere from home brings with it amazing highs and (at times) fleeting disasterous lows. As long as you can find what stimulates the highs then anything is possible.
Thank you to Ani and Nina who came out to help Linden entertain me :) And thank you Mhairi for letting me live here and help clog the shower drain with my hair...And Linden - Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (she's a good host!).
I'll let Linden have her blog back now. I'm off to the airport, oooohhh I'm not looking forward to the flight!