Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I wrote this on the flight from Narita to Seattle. And so it’s over. For now. Time to mentally put the toothpaste back into the tube, go home, put the ring back into my nose and get back to my same old used to be. Back to responsibilities of work and home ownership and being a 21st century civilized adult male. Oy! If I’ve learned one thing on these recent overseas trips it’s that age brings more impairment than wisdom. My feet hurt. I’m tired. No, I’m exhausted. And my feet hurt. They ache in that kind of needing to have them soaked and massaged kind of way that I’ve never experienced before. Instead of feeling my oats I’m feeling my age. I’m still not sorry that I go to a foreign countries and hit the streets brute force solo. But I fear that soon I’ll have a bigger appetite for overseas travel than my feet can carry. Asia is still calling me. I don’t know why but it still does. And I don’t want to answer that call from a window seat on a tour bus, I don’t want to be spoon fed. The only time I’ve ever taken an organized tour was back in 1984 when I went to Guangzhou because the xenophobic ChiCom (Chinese communist) government of the day said that tours were mandatory for American citizens, no solo travel was allowed. Will I go back to Asia and do it my way again? Hell yes. While I still can.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
This is a Doutor Coffee shop. One difference from home is that coffee shops don't open until 7am in Tokyo. Another difference is that smoking is just fine in some coffee shops in Tokyo, smokers doesn't seem to carry the social stigma that they do in the US. You can light up nearly anywhere here without getting nasty looks or being considered a pariah. I sat down with my small cup of coffee ($2.20 US) and smelled cigarettes. The salaryman next to me was puffing away. And so was everybody else. The only person in the place who seemed to give this activity more than a passing thought was me.
One woman who appeared to be in her early twenties walked in wearing a surgical mask. Many people here do so that wasn't all that unusual. She ordered her drink, sat down, pulled the mask down exposing her mouth and instead of sipping her drink she lit up and began to puff away. So I guess that not everybody here who wears a surgical mask in public does it for health concerns, maybe it's just a fashion statement.