cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street


notes@tokyo.jp

just a few notes before i step onto a plane and come back home.

tokyo is an amazing city, for so many reasons. everyone i saw and met was extremely friendly. by week's end i was embarassed to be seen near noisy and uncurious gaijin, it only served to remind me of what i'll have to deal with when i land. even little things like not talking on a cell phone when others are around show how top to bottom the politeness of the city is. you're in a big city, surrounded by several dozen million people, and no tension is in the air. yet, with the language barrier, i can't help but feel isolated, like i'm drifting through the streets in a bubble.

the city goes on and on, and there seems to be no end to it when you're on an express train to the airport. and then poof, it's gone, and you're on your way to narita and out among fields. very scenic, very interesting. you travel from one neighborhood to another, maybe 1/4 of the way across the city. one hour. i forgot how to budget my time, and a few trips were cut short because of it.

the scale of tokyo isn't just large, it's small, as well. every square inch is built up and used for something. advertising, a small bar, a shop, every last inch. you're ten stories up of three stories below the street shopping, eating, and walking around.

one big aspect to the scale of things is the price of everything. you want a bottle of coke at the hotel bar? 800 yen. a 900 yen pint of guiness was the cheapest drink i had all week, and i drank a bunch of small rum and cokes (cuba libre, such a beautiful name).

the smoke got to me, just piles of smokers everywhere. you walk into a small burger joint and its overwhelming, i've been blowing grey snot all week. not good, that will be good to leave behind.

it's the year of the monkey, i think i spent something like 4000 yen on monkey things. stationary and a hello kitty in a monkey suit for beth. i grabbed duncan some manga, i figure he can use it to work on his japanese. easier than a novel, i figure.

i didn't get to do and see everything i wanted to, including the sega joyopolis and various museums in ueno. maybe next time.

pics will be coming up soon, i'll try and break them down by day and such to make them manageable. i have a ton of AVI files, as well, which i wont post. those i'll keep on a DVD i'm sharing with a few select people, including the other speakers.

i used to think i would love to live in a city like tokyo. i don't know if i could, to be honest, but i will certainly keep visiting.

pacsec itself was brilliant. wonderful people, a great setting, and very smoothly put together. a true testament to everyone involved, from the people who procured the equipment and the location to the truly grade-a translators and the assistance they provided for some small meetings. it truly was an honor, and i know everyone had a fantastic time, even though a few of them got ill on the trip. i hope to come back.

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Last modified: Monday, Nov 10, 2003 @ 12:52pm
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