Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Taking it Edo Easy

Tokyo, Japan

On Monday all OC personnel took some much-needed exercise and worked on various administrative issues. Jason got his camera sorted out. I will wait until Australia to get my last Hep B shot. Some gifts were put in the mail. Mike's laundry and Leo's towels are clean.

Jon W is on six month assignment in Tokyo. We met him and Leo in Roppongi for dinner and drinks. This is apparently the part of Tokyo where foreigners go to get drunk. Somehow (not naming any names) we managed to wander into a German "snackbar" serving up huge portions of food at somewhat larger than anticipated prices. I get full (and poor) just thinking about it. Afterwards, Jason retired to digest. Jon, Leo, and I pressed through another thick knot of strip club towts to reach a hip-hop club called DMZee.

I met an interesting womqn in the bar. She is ethnically African but grew up in Bermondsey, London. She is married to a German. They both live and work in Tokyo and they have three kids that speak English, French, German, and Japanese. This is the kind of family I want to have on day. We talked a bit about London and some about South Carolina. The American south was of particular interest to her, having never been there. Unfortunately, DMZee was nearly empty and good conversation was not enough to keep our party together. We all parted company after one drink.

Early up on Tuesday to move into our new digs. Leo has this friend called Mike that is letting us use his place while he is in Hong Kong. The apartment is plenty big, very nice, and completely free. I can not get over our luck. We owe Leo a big one for this.

We trucked out to Narita in the afternoon to see a thousand-year-old temple complex before meeting Juan at the airport. Naritasan Shinsho-ji was a welcome change from the fever-pitch of Tokyo. The temple buildings are set on peaceful hilltops surrounded by gurgling streams and turtle-filled ponds. There were very few people around, so it was possible to take pictures and study things without the self-consciousness of overt tourism. We breathed some incense, washed our hands in sacred water, and lit a couple of good-luck candles. Buddhism (Shinto?) seems very relaxing.

Juan arrived on scheduled into Narita Airport and we were right there waiting. A few confusing train/tube jaunts later, we were all safe in the new OC HQ. It is very good to have Juan's familiar face in our company, even if he does give me a hard time for nearly getting my ass kicked.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude! I think I've been to that club in roppongi!

I was chillin' there hanging with some kids from Hong kong, gettin my groove on. They actually played some underground stuff... like Jay Z I've never heard in the club in new york.

I remember walking up to the bartender (who was cute and african-american looking), ordering a beer, and saying, "so are you and I the only people here who have been to compton?". She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "I'm from Belgium".

Then again, i'm not sure I ever made it out to compton all my years in LA

-- Disco

7/29/2005 5:33 AM gmt


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