Hey, I hear what you’re all saying. There’s a big difference between visiting a place for two weeks out of the year and actually living there, however I am a creature of habit. I adjusted quite quickly to Vancouver after the move from Montreal and then adjusted to life alone with the dogs. When Akemi came to visit – and ended up sticking around – I adjusted, and I was even able to adjust to life in Toronto last year. In fact, by about the middle of August, I was, admittedly, enjoying myself (Miss you, Buca!). So I imagine that if I moved to Tokyo, I would adjust in time. Sure, there would be things I’d miss (ie. friends, English, clothing my size) but I’m sure I would readjust. On the surface, money would seem to be the biggest hurdle but I’ve given it some thought and, even in the event that I don’t work for quite some time, after selling the house in Van I could get an apartment here and live quite comfortably for a good long while. Nope, the biggest issue is still the dogs – not only getting them here but finding a Tokyo dog-sitter in the event I ever want to take a vacation.
Anyway, at this point this is all just fantasy given that I have some plans for a few projects this coming year. First and foremost is my comic book series, Dark Matter, that launched last month and that, if all goes as planned, will make the transition from the comic book page to the small (depending on the size of your t.v.) screen. The second issue hits the shelves this Wednesday (February 8th!) so be sure to pick it up and be the first to know what the pilot episode will be about (including the shocking last minute reveal).
Check out a sneak peek at the first six pages of Dark Matter #2 here: SNEAK PEEK: Dark Matter #2 | Major Spoilers – Comic Book Reviews and News
And a great review of the second issue here: Review – Dark Matter #2 – Rebirth Part 2 of 4 | BAMFAS.com …
I’ve also good a horror script to finish up (hopefully by month’s end) and that historical mini-series I should get back to researching (and, eventually, pitching).
But all that’s for Vancouver. Here in Tokyo, I fast approach the end of my vacation. I’m thinking that, depending on my schedule, I may come back in September. My new buddy, Koji, gave me a link to a place that rents furnished apartments. I perused the site and realized that renting a place for a month would actually be less expensive than staying at a hotel for two weeks. What better way to get a feel for life as a native than by having to make your own dinner reservations?
Today, I did something I’ve never done in Japan: eaten at a Chinese restaurant. Akemi felt like Chinese food (specifically, mango pudding) and booked us lunch at the famed Fook Lam Moon. I’ve been to the one in Hong Kong and, gotta say, the one here in Tokyo is better. We ordered a set lunch and were stuffed well before the arrival of the sticky rice purse. We started with some of the best barbecued pork chau siu I’ve ever had, then followed with Peking Duck, four kinds of dim sum, a scallop and noodle dish, some curry rice with almonds and raisins and, for dessert, that mango cake for her and some peanut and sesame balls for me.
After lunch, we split up and went our separate ways – she to Shinjuku, me to Ueno and a return visit to Akihabara.
I went to Ueno Park because the Tokyo guide books say it’s always packed with all manner of weird-looking individuals on Sunday afternoons. Sadly, on this day, it was unremarkable – not a weirdling in sight (present company excluded).
I wandered the busy side streets. Check out this guy shilling his wares –
Eventually, I was done with Ueno and hopped on the subway. Two stops later, I was back in Akihabara.
Anyway, I walked around and blended in with the geeks, becoming one of THEM for the two hours I was there. At one point, I think a couple of them got suspicious of me so I purchased some otaku goods to throw them off:
So I head back to Akihabara station and I’m walking along when I happen to notice a little dessert shop called Hattendo selling the most delicious looking cream buns. I had at least a three hour window either way between lunch and dinner so I decided to sample one.
For dinner, we once again met up with Akemi’s friends – minus the intriguingly enigmatic Ayaka who had to work…
We went to a called Satouyousuke that specialized in Akita (“casual countryside” was Akemi’s definition) cuisine. I had a few beers with Nanako (doing the gentlemanly thing since she didn’t want to drink alone) and sampled a wide range of interesting items – some of which I still can’t identify. At one point, Nanoka was perusing the menu and came upon one of her favorites: the chicken sashimi! Akemi was horrified and vowed not to eat it for fear it would make her sick, then encouraged me to try some for a long overdue weird food purchase of the week video instalment…
With most everything else shut down, we ended up settling for not-so-good desserts (stale pie and crystallized ice creams) at a cafe called Aux Bacchanales. It was inching toward 11:00 p.m. and we were about to call it a night when a guy walks in (not Japanese – he looked mixed), holds out his hand for me to shake it, and asks (in English): “Do you remember me?”. I stare back at him blankly, trying to place the face as the rest of the table falls silent. “Do you remember?”he asks again. “No,”I finally tell him. And, with that, he turns and leaves the cafe. “Maybe you did know him,”Akemi suggested, pointing out I’m terrible with names and face. True, I conceded, but given my response, I would think that any normal person would have followed up with an explanation of who they were and how they knew me rather than simply turning and leaving. Akemi realized I was right and then was suddenly freaked out because the mystery man had let the cafe and taken a left turn – toward our hotel! I assured her it was an honest – albeit weird – mistake.
Anyway, we returned to hotel safe and sound and turned in much too late for our planned early morning Tsukiji sushi breakfast.
Received a text from Robert Cooper informing me that I’m missing a Superbowl Chilli Cook-Off. Damn!
Today’s entry is dedicated to PBMom.