I left my apartment and got on a train today
It`s Sunday. This is the first time in four weeks that I`ve actually left my apartment and got a train on a Sunday. Normally I`m too tired, or it`s raining too heavily, or I have too many things to do around my way.
But, today I got up reasonably early (well, I had two dvd`s to get back to the shop before 11:00), hopped on a train and made trek to Ueno which is, well, not that close to me. There`s a massive park with loads of museum`s in it and tons of shops, a market, etc here. Very big and bright and brash. I hit the park and headed to the first of the museums, The Shitamachi Museum, about old Japan. Well, 1920`s rather than old old. Normally it would have taken me about 30 minutes to do it, but I was there for two hours. There are mock ups of old houses and stores there which are pretty cool. They also have information sheets in English and Goodwill Guides -- these retired volunteers. I had one accompanying me for half the time I was there and, when he had to go to lunch a replacement came over. I had a wonderful time. I`m extremely interested in everything Japanese (obviously) and want to know lots more about Japanese history. The guides were chatting away to me, walking around and explaining everything on display and all about the traditions, the woman`s place in the house at that time, and so much more. Soo sweet. And their English was wonderful too.
In the museum, there was a famous - I don`t know what to call him - guy there known for his drawings on paper. (Think colourful anime/manga type drawings or godzilla eating ship kind of thing). He`s a really old guy and due to having had throat cancer at some point, can`t talk. Anyway, he was `performing` with his pictures and I was absolutely captivated by him. I could follow what he was saying as his pictures were so good as he went through them one by one. By `saying`, what I actually mean is he was voicing along to his voice on a tape. At the beginning this blew me away it was so funny, especially when his mouth went out of sync with what he was saying, but he was so animated, and kept banging a drum and striking a tambourine, that I forgot it was funny after a while.
As I was there so much longer than anticipated I figured it wasn`t worth paying to go into anything else, so went for a nice late lunch and another wander around.
I`ve been in training for the last couple of days. Torture, as we were aware that all other teachers working for our company had the two days off. The best thing was the human company though, as most of us there had done other training together or had come over on the same flight. We had a giggle and were extremely relieved to get out of the training! A few of us are planning a little trip to Disney in a couple of weeks. Well, why not?!
After a month, I`ve finally discovered that there are indicators all the way along the platforms at stations to tell you where to stand in relation to where the door will be. Why this took so long for me to realise I have no idea. I`m glad I have though.
I eat in public, walking around, etc, if I want to. I`ve noticed Japanese people don`t tend to do this. Oh well.
I have dozens of free packets of tissues. It`s meant to be bad manners to blow your nose in public so I find the amount of tissue pushers hilarious. Everywhere you go, people are handing out packets. They`re not like the handy andy / kleenex packets from the UK either - ie that you open at the top and that have a sticky tab to reseal. Think of the large tissue boxes that you can buy in a supermarket, but not in the cardboard boxes, but in plastic that you perforate down the centre. That`s what they`re like.
I love the mayonnaise bottles here. They`re a really flimsy, malleable plastic that means you can get every last bit out, unlike in the UK where you bash, leave sitting upside down, take a knife to, and then finally bin.
Suits. I am SO sick of wearing suits. I have nothing else to say about this.
Men. Ugly white men are gods in Japan. Most ugly white men have beautiful Japanese girls dripping off their arms. They are aware of how unusual this is for them. It makes them twats.
The Japan Times on a Saturday has pages from Sunday`s Observer. (British newspaper). I cannot discribe how happy this makes me.
I`ve given in and am now a proud possessor of silly dangly things hanging off my phone. It took a month for me to give in to cuteness. I`m doomed.
Latest bike report: still not taken away. Still expecting to find it gone whenever I go back for it though.