July 22, 2005

What would you like?

I'd like a later train back from Tokyo at the least.

Last weekend was my first Area Meeting. Which also meant the first time for meeting the foreigners in charge of Amity East Area. Which was good.

Train ride down (as organised by my manager) was almost smooth. First I awoke as usual very early at 5:00 am (for a 7:40 train leave time) and proceeded to do my unhealthy sleep 20 minutes, wake up, sleep 10 minutes, wake up, sleep another 5, and another 5. Anyway, 5am is pretty early for this, so It was more sleep for 20 minutes, sleep for an hour. I awoke to Helen phoning me, "Are you up?" A very sleepily groggy Me: "Of course, I was just about to call you". Which of course, I wasn't. -- I swear I was in the dream I was having though, where I dressed, shaved and packed. At least at this time of 7:05, the latter had been done the night before. So shaving and ironing were work of the peons that day, not for me.

Train ride Tokyo was okay, we even managed to make it to Shinjuku - which is the busiest of all Tokyo stations. And its freakin' huge. I swear we walked more than a kilometer to change trains. We then had to try and find a train that went to Kamikitazawa, which being a small station wasn't on the Express or Rapid train stops, but on the Local, which did not appear to be coming anytime soon (stress level rising). We the caught a train which we were told to catch, but the guy mentioned a transfer - was he talking about the rapid or the Local? (stress level rising more) We then seem to be stopping at a station for a long time. And the train is empty. Oh and the train driver keeps saying something in Japanese over the loudspeaker (Please get of the train?) - so we get off - line is down for the day (Stress level very high - WTF WTF WTF). We do eventually get there, safely, and not last surprisingly.

After some catch ups, greet ups and warm ups - model lessons are presented, which generally kicked ass (despite being the key contributor to stress levels) - so I don't quite know MAT (rapid test, what's a rapid test?). Rest of teh day was generally okay, with McDonalds for lunch, and Explanation of Taiko video games and a good talk-fest about exactly what the hell does our new social insurance/pension/health cover mean --- sort of.

Evening out in Shibuya to an ikazaya and puri-kura followed by shopping at English bookstore (and buying 13 Secrets to Fluent Japanese - which my Japanese friends have now told me is very old-fashioned in some of its dialogues). Also discovered that Tokyo is expensive Japan. So sometimes I think its good not to be there, but maybe we could actually do stuff on our time off (and evenings) if we were closer to Tokyo.

Stayed the night on the floor in another teachers apartment. Which is smaller(?) but more homely than ours, and I think with shelf space is larger in the bedroom. But the bathroom is practically non-existent.
Also almost managed to burn it down. Returning from a walk to tour teh area and buy ice cream - "Hmmm... did one of you decide to turn on my stove before we left" - "Err.. no". Also its fecking hot in Tokyo. And quite a lot worse if you leave your stove on in a closed apartment for half an hour or more.

The next day was spent with Japanese friends about Tokyo. A work colleague and an ex-work colleague (you know your work is tough, if someone quits after less than a month). Visited a park in Ueno (entry point to Tokyo from the North East Coast) and then went to Tokyo Tower. Which is more vertigo friendly, thanks to being indoors.

In Ueno we also went on a very intersting swan ride. Which will remain interesting for reasons unknown to all - except maybe the jumping fish (which Japanese friend still doesn't believe were real).

Tokyo Tower is interesting. And inside has a cool holographic museum, trick art gallery and a not-so-cool waxworks museum (err... that's Julia Roberts!!??). Also had a Biohazard (Resident Evil) 4D theatre game box thing, but being on tour with 3 girls means that wasn't on the menu :(.
But giant panda racing should've.

And on that note I'll leave before friendly Japanese guy has to kick me out of the Elba.

Sidenote toMichel: Also went to Utsinomiya on the trip back from Nikko. Saw AEON office. And went window shopping in Parca --- which is about 5 floors of womens clothing.


At Fri. Jul. 22, 10:42:00 pm AEST, Anonymous john cowart said...

I've missed your blog postings for a while. Glad to see you're back online. Always interested.

At Sun. Jul. 24, 12:11:00 am AEST, Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

And why the heck didn't you drop in if you were just outside? sheesh!


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