Exploring / Working two time zones sucks

I was in a mood exploring today.

This morning I walked around the building and some of the gardens on the grounds.  When I left work I used a different, random route out of the area.  Of course it was not at all efficient on getting me back to the apartment, but I got to see new scenery.  Then, once I was back at the apartment, I changed out of my dress clothes and into jeans / sneakers so I could head back out.  For my exploring adventure I grabbed my small backpack, which was loaded with…

  • Survival gear (it’s pretty much always with me… I’ll detail it another time)
  • Long sleeve shirt because it was supposed to get cold
  • Camera

I headed toward Akasaka to find a grocery store I’d been in last year, plus finding the really awesome liquor store would have been a nice bonus.  Even better would have been the bar where they had a vast selection of Japanese whiskey, but that was asking an awful lot for my memory.  I went under the perpetually busy Roppongi-dori and went up the small street I remembered following last year.

Along that street I found a very interesting sight – do you know what this is?  I do… 🙂

P5240903 by nolifeik

This sight was about 10 minutes from my apartment and another 10 minutes or so from my destination, so I kept going.  Once I was in the area, I proceeded to get myself ‘lost’ so as to see the sights.  My first photo of the night was of the koban sign.  A koban is a police station of sorts.  From there I kept walking… I walked up a hill that I remembered leading to Dave’s old apartment.  I walked down the hill into the shopping area.  I wandered around in that area.  I passed restaurants I remember from November including the fugu place.  I found a Hooters.  I found a train station.  I wandered around some more.

I eventually made a full circle and dropped into the grocery store.  It was just as confusing and intimidating as the one in the ground floor of my apartment building, but it was slightly larger, so had a wider selection.  I have no idea how to cook here… and I’m not sure how to get over that.

I also stopped into the train station next to the grocery store to see if it’d be helpful for runs there – it wouldn’t.  You can take this line (Chiyoda) one stop up, but at that stop you’d have to walk nearly a full kilometer to the station exit next to the apartment.  Instead you can walk a full kilometer on the street and not have to pay for a train ride as well as getting there more directly.  Quite interesting that bit…

I dropped into a CVS-type ‘pharmacy’ store and bought some dish soap.  I also thought to buy some multi-vitamins, given my rather poor diet lately, but I was put off by the price.  I’m starting to come around to the cost of things here, but sometimes I just can’t get over it – 1980Y for a small bottle of vitamins… more than $20.  I passed on that… I’ll see what Amazon can do for me.

Speaking of Amazon, I bought a flip cam that should arrive in the 2 – 4 business days.  With that I’ll show you lots of stuff around Tokyo like my morning commute, my afternoon commute and my random exploring trips!  I was shocked to see the price of the camera on Amazon.jp was almost 3 times the price of the US Amazon.  I was equally surprised to find the US Amazon would sell it to me for a 1/3 of the price and only charge $15 for “priority” 2 – 4 day shipping!  I really hope to get it before the end of the week!!

Oh yeah – I’ve got a mailbox and an address.  Wanna send me a letter or a postcard?  I’d love to get mail!

About the other part of the title – I’ve been up late and up early to handle business in the US both Monday and Tuesday (JST) as well as tomorrow.  I have generally gotten out of the habit of reading email after 9 or 10p JST so that I don’t get caught up in the US business traffic… that bit me bad last November.  I’d start reading and responding, then find it was 2am.

I think that’s it for now… I don’t know… it’s late and my meeting landed in the middle of my writing.  I probably forgot something.

Go look at all the pretty night photos I took… 🙂

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