I Think I'm Turning Japanese
I am not sure if it's the jetlag, or the fact that I was feeling residual frazzled-ness from my frantic move, but it took me a while for it to sink in that I was actually in a foreign country. It might have also been because I've been "trapped" in Keio Plaza having nonstop meetings and workshops all day. Last night, however, I was finally feeling Japan.

My TOA (Tokyo Orientation A-something... assistant? I can't remember) for my prefecture had casually arranged for all of us to meet after the reception dinner (dim sum and sashimi and bruschetta, oh my!) and go to some kind of bar/club. Well, when I went down to meet her, I must have gotten the location or the time wrong because I couldn't find her. I was starting to feel a little tired, and was about ready to just go to the convee and grab some Pocky sticks and call it a night, when I overheard the Koshi prefecture chanting and sounding like they were ready to have fun. So I crashed their party and went to a 1000-yen all you can drink place. Turns out you also have to buy all you can eat for 1800 yen extra, which i didn't need cuz I had just stuffed myself silly at dinner. But, I managed to shove some king crab, sashimi, scallops, and calamari down my gullet to make the most of it. The table ordered several bottles of hot sake and several pitchers of beer (take advantage of all you can drink!), and when I suggested sake bombing, the Canadians stared at my blankly. So, I decided to give them a little lesson. I did a bomb with one of the girls, who didn't fare too well. Then the Nashville boys at the other side of the table saw what was happening and wanted to do one too. I had to give myself a minute, then Jon and Jamie got all set up. "Ichi, ni, san, bomb!" Jamie ended up with a mess all over his lap, and Jon had a coughing fit afterwards, hence leading the Canadians to dub me the craziest drinker they'd ever seen. Woops, I didn't need that reputation so early on in my stay here!

Well, I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour and woke up without a hangover. Today was more meetings, and during my lunch break I ventured out into the heat and explored a bit. It was my first time 1) out in broad daylight in Tokyo and 2) out on my own. I bought some stamps at the post office using my limited Japanese: "Sumimasen. Eigo ga wakarimasu ka? Iie? Hai... Kitte o ni mai kudasai. Arigato!" I was quite proud of myself. I then went to the convee and bought some snacks and a Milk Tea (all the rage here) and was able to count out my yen coins with little incidence. Again, quite proud.

So, I'm finally feeling like living here will not be a terrible adjustment. The heat really isn't THAT unbearable. Although... let me tell you about the public toilets..

Keio Plaza is a 5-star hotel, so I can't speak for the rest of the public restrooms, but there are some interesting elements going on with their toilets. For example, like the toilets in my hotel room, the public toilets come heated! They too have built-in bidets. But, an added feature: When you sit on the toilet, a noise machine comes on and you can choose your noise. Either soothing zen-like music or rushing water. I thought this was to make people relax while going to the bathroom, which is partially true. Apparently the Japanese are really modest and get embarrassed about making any sort of noise while going to the bathroom, whether it's tinkling or other noises. So the noise machine is to mask the bathroom sounds and put the user at ease. This is something I definitely need to adjust to, but at least it's amusing!

Ok, that's about all I have for tonight. I think we're going to a crazy BBQ beef place tonight for dinner, which will prove to be amazing, I'm sure. I think I have another blog I'll have to do about that one. :-)

8/3/2010 01:34:24 am

Way to go! I love that you bought stamps speaking Japanese. You're my hero. Let me know what your go-to zen toilet zen noise is.


8/3/2010 02:19:33 pm

mmm! BBQ beef!

8/4/2010 01:21:03 am

Looks like there's no shortage of fun in your trip!
Take care...

8/4/2010 05:54:33 am

I need that bathroom noise machine at my office. Apparently people have been listening to see who does and doesn't wash their hands (which I of course do).

Happy you made it to Japan safe and you are having a good time :)

ps. really miss you.

8/4/2010 03:15:08 pm

How was the bbq beef night?
Was it Kobe beef?

Am following your blog and sharing it with your Dad!!!

Miss you and love you lots and lots.


8/7/2010 08:44:42 am

i kinda want to try that milk tea...btw, i like the new "ikeaish" stuff you got for your place.


Leave a Reply.