OK I Was Feeling A Bit Down

It was a tough time in Tokyo actually. I never got to the fish market for breakfast for example. In fact I only has sushi once (mind you it WAS good - had the tuna sampler... mm-mm!!!!) But hey, this bit was amusing: at the restaurant in Roppongi, someone rang a bell and we all looked around expecting to get a free round of B52s from some drunken farang, but it was the taisho who had plucked this largish live fish from the tank and was holding it aloft for all to admire. It was flapping vigourously in his hands, objecting to drowning in the air for some reason, and it flipped right out of his hands onto the floor! Obviously the 5 second rule applied here as he quickly scooped it up with a laugh and held it aloft again!?

But for most of the trip I was Last in Translation. All my colleagues for the few days either spoke Japanese, Singlish, Thai or German. They would jabber away into depths of humourous conversation that I was totally isolated from. Eventually they would remember my presence and say a few comments in English for the token Australian.

Then I met up with our new distributor from Perth. A True Blue Ocker Aussie from a big country town. Well blow me sideways up a dunny's drainpipe if he didn't turn around and start up a conversation with the waitress -- in Japanese! Turns out he had previously worked with Toshiba and had learnt the language in order to be able to translate whenever the engineers visited. He disappeared in the pub later trying to chat up a host of Japanese girls. Well one of them was a girl. However, she was ugly.

Ah dear.

And my room. For some reason they dumped the Singaporean team into a cheap ($USD110) Japanese business hotel while the rest of the world stayed at the more presitgious Keio Plaza hotel, about 15 minutes walk away in the rain. Meet you in the lobby in 10 mins? Not gonna happen. Make it 1 hr. (It was raining when we arrived and walked from the bus-stop in Shinjuku, got lost, and then eventually found the hotel. It was still raining when we left.)

Compare if you will the sort of room you get at Keio with the dive we stayed in. Here's Bill Murray in Lost in Translation (at the Tokyo Hyatt in Roppongi Hills, where our meeting was actually being held) and here's E@L in his shoebox-sized room in Shinjuku doing the EXACTLY(ish) same set-up. Note the difference.

image image

Small room? Even the cockroaches had hunched backs. I had a headache, the guy in the next room had to take an aspirin. When I put the key in the lock, I broke the window! Etc, etc...


Of course, we could have had it worse. Some homeless people had to sleep in cardboard boxes on the subway walkways. This guy seemed to have a franchise on making up their temporary rooms...


The council had placed inconvenient sleeping impediments between pillars on the subways to stop people crashing out openly in public, but there were still lots of areas where people were squatting for the night. I didn't take photos of the people sleeping and camping out as I thought it was rude...


So compared to the homeless people I was actually doing OK in Chateau Shoebox, no point in getting too upset about the room.

What then was getting me so down? Then I looked at the nasty vending-machine coffee I had been quaffing...


House brew. So that explains it!

Or maybe it was because the best tits in the Motown bar in Roppongi were on a bloke.


Or maybe I wasn't really down at all, just very, very tired from all that travel between Shinjuku (hotel) and Roppongi (meeting)...


Question that was never satisfactorily answered: How do these people wake up at their correct stop?



Posted by: expat@large on Jul 26, 06 | 12:08 am | Profile


Well at least you survived the big bad world of Japan and are home safe. ~lol~

I was going to say that you make that robe look good...but I remembered I just posted about being as good as one's word.

At least you still have your humour.

Posted by: Indiana on Jul 26, 06 | 1:46 am

I thought you might say: "spot the difference" - Bill Murray has a NECK!

Always SOH. That'll be the last thing to go. I was actually trying to sound down so the Deepresso Coffee picture would get a louder smile from the regulars!

Posted by: expat@large on Jul 26, 06 | 2:04 am

Ohhh I smiled but more at the great rack belonging to a guy. :-)

Posted by: Indiana on Jul 26, 06 | 3:36 am

E@L, Billy actually stayed in my fav hotel in the world, the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, not the Hyatt in the Hills. But who cares?

Your hotel looks like the Sunlight Hotel in Shinjuku -- http://www.sunlite.co.jp/index-e.htm . Was it, or is it that all those cheap hotels look the same? Likely the latter...

Posted by: Dan at ExPatLife on Jul 26, 06 | 8:22 pm

beer. now.

Posted by: MercerMachine on Jul 26, 06 | 8:39 pm

Indy: one of our guys really fell for this one. Can you blame him?

Dan - I was making that Roppongi Hills bit up because that's where our meeting was so it fitted in nicely, but Hyatt Schmyatt, it's Chateau Shoebox for me! Didn't see the sunlight, hotel or otherwise!

Mercer: cousins in town. tonight. jumbo seafood ecp blackpeppercrab. saw mainey. beer. tomorrow.

Posted by: expat@large on Jul 27, 06 | 12:22 am

that's right it was the Star Hotel we stayed at... Nothing so flash as the Sunlite!

Posted by: expat@large on Jul 27, 06 | 12:24 am


Posted by: MercerMachine on Jul 27, 06 | 9:18 am

I once saw this book of mad Japanese gadgets. One of them was a helmet thing with a sort of toilet plunger at the back that you could affix to the wall behind you. So you don't loll and dribble on your neighbour as you dream of Brazilian ladyboys. Very civilised and considerate. The Premium version of this thingammajig had a little card that said, "Please wake me at ___".

Posted by: knobby on Jul 27, 06 | 1:24 pm

and when that dream becomes reality...

Some "chindogu" inventionshere.

I currently need the toilet roll on the head gadget for when you have a cold... Sniffle.

Posted by: expat@large on Jul 27, 06 | 2:56 pm

Ah, you found it!

Posted by: knobby on Jul 27, 06 | 3:02 pm

hey love :)

you should read yongfook.com, he's got a funny ass archive on the weirdest food he's ever tried in Japan.

"well one of them was a girl, but she was ugly." frankness is such a turn on, not to mention it being so bleedin' funny.

Posted by: Mainebabe on Jul 27, 06 | 8:27 pm

I should read more Dostoyevsky, David Foster Wallace, Proust, David Goodis, Patrick White, Ha Jin, Murakami (both of them), P.G Wodehouse...

- "such a turn on" - you're not flirting are you Germaine? I won't have flirting on this blog, I just WON'T! Primarily because I don't know what to do about it, except get all flustery and discombobulated...

Posted by: expat@large on Jul 28, 06 | 12:57 am


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