My weekend…

Ohh… let’s see if I can remember.

Friday… Friday was… a Friday night in Tokyo.  Tokyo… has a bit of a… drinking scene.  And I… well… partook.  I was out with the folks that I’ve very luckily been introduced to over the last few weeks.  We started at one place, went to another, back to the first, to a third, then a cab ride to a fourth.  I left the fourth place via a cab, riding alone.  The driver and I had a great conversation… I think.  I consisted a lot of ‘wakarimasen’ – ‘I don’t understand.’   But I also didn’t worry about it, I having fun.

Today I found out that I also apparently rode out an earthquake either at the bar, in the cab, or at my apartment – I’m unclear on the timing, because it was right about the time I left for home.   (In the link, search for “Minato-ku” to see my location).  It looks like it was pretty sizable, but because of the distance away from me, not too terribly rough.  Looking through the historical record to find that quake makes me realize how often they occur to one degree or another.  Lots of them, though, are further north or they are so small they only register a few readings.  Another thing I thought of was that the building earthquake warning must not have gone off, as I think I would have remembered that, meaning it wasn’t too rough for us.

So anyway, Friday night wasn’t one of my best, but I made it home safe thanks to good friends and good public transportation.

Saturday was pretty calm – I woke around 1p and went out to lunch (Indian) with John.  I nursed my damaged body with fatty foods and water.  I shared a great, profoundly stimulating conversation with John.  He’s one of those really, really smart dudes that likes to go learn things… I never have been that way, or at least not in his spaces.  I just can’t read long enough about philosophy and higher mathematics just don’t work for me.  At the same time, sitting with someone that will take the time to go through it with you is immensely awesome.  He tried to stop the conversation a few times, but I pushed him to keep going.  Hell – he explained fusion reactors and AI, and all sorts of crazy stuff.  It’s nice spending quiet weekends like this…

After lunch we went to Bic Camera – think super-sized Best Buy, maybe? – and I picked up a few things.  I finally found an English keyboard.  Yeah, a keyboard is tough to find.  See, all of the keyboards (according to John) are designed to ANSI standard and they put the double quote key on the #2 key.  Completely messes with you.  It’s taken a lot of time and effort to come up with an American-style keyboard.  I also bought a couple of power strips – most importantly, one with 3 prong plugs.  Yeah – no ground pin here.  I also grabbed computer speakers.  Why?  We’ll get to that.

So after spending I don’t know how much, we left Bic and went back toward the office area.  Unfortunately, instead of going back to our respective apartments for a nap to wrap up a lazy day, we got pulled into a problem at the office.  That turned into a 3 or 4 hour thing for me.  When I finally got done, I just headed home and ate frozen pizza.  I didn’t care to do anything…

I slept in a bit Sunday morning, but woke up in time to pick up the Stanley Cup Final game 2.  I was borrowing Garrett’s NHL Center Ice streaming, and I had invited our office Canucks fan over to watch.  Of course she woke up late, lives in the sticks, and didn’t arrive until very late in the second.  At the same time, it doesn’t matter how much game she got to watch, it was still a blast to watch a big game with a real Canadian in Tokyo.  Oh – this is why I had the speakers.  I had my laptop pushing the game to the TV and the speakers were required so we didn’t have to rely on the laptop speakers.  Unfortunately my laptop hasn’t been particularly stable lately, apparently overheating pretty often.  Before she came over it died twice, but it was stable for the rest of the game.

So, being with a Canucks fan I figured it was best to root that direction – plus wouldn’t it be better to be beat by the team that won the whole show?  Heck, we gave the Canucks a good run for their money, carrying them to game 6 and making them sweat.  This game was pretty awesome – we  jumped, screamed and high-fived when Burrows finishing the game 11 seconds into the OT.  After the game, we had a next comfortable lunch and I saw her back to the station for her long commute home.

I’m not exactly sure what the plan is for today – maybe a quiet dinner with Darrin or Juan, maybe something at home.  I’ve been trying off and on to figure out the whole garbage sorting thing.  See, there isn’t any landfill space left in Japan, so they are really, really specific with how you deal with trash.  There are lots of little rules about this and that, and recyclable and combustible, and on and on and on.  I’ll get it figured out eventually.

So… that’s where I’ve been.  I’m not really looking forward to work tomorrow… I still don’t feel caught up on my rest.  Oh!!  But tomorrow I’m going to spend a couple of hours doing ‘the thing’ when Dru’s sister Casey shows up!  She (Casey) planned a trip to Tokyo less than a week ago and she arrives on Monday afternoon.  I’m going to go meet her at the train station, show her how that whole thing operates, and get her to her hotel.  We’ll hang out Monday and Tuesday nights before her travelling companion shows up.  ‘The thing’ is where a ‘local’ introduces the new person to town.  Amusingly, I’ve gotten comfortable enough to be that guy!  She and I spent an hour on the phone going over the photos that I’ve taken of subway stations (see, I wasn’t crazy for taking those shots…) so she’s feeling pretty comfortable already.  That was pretty funny, too – the first photo I came across was of the ‘advanced’ sign, so I had to tell her to ignore half of it because it would just be confusing.  By the end of the conversation, though, she was pretty relieved about the subway system.

Well… I think I’ll nap now.  It’s 4p, overcast, and I’ve got nothing better to do… except maybe sort trash… which… no.

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2 responses to “My weekend…

  • Mark Fleming

    So after reading your last five posts straight through, the one thing that’s prompting a comment from me is this – you were rooting for the Canucks???? Go, Bruins! 🙂

    I know, I know – I can’t expect you to have regional loyalty towards Boston. That’s my job.

    Sounds like your time over there is about as interesting as you thought it was going to be – I think it’s going to be an exhausting year or so for you and the family, but it’s the kind of incredible, life-changing experience you can’t get any way other than by living through it. I think I’m gonna have to leave looking at the videos for tomorrow night, but I’ll check ’em out later.

    – Mark F.

    • Ian

      I can’t believe you read 5 posts straight through… that’s a lot of words.

      No, I’m not going to carry your Boston loyalty, especially sitting right next to a Canuck fan. Also, I still stand by my reasoning about being beat by the winners.

      I think you’ve given a great evaluation of what lies ahead. Perhaps we’ll have some more friends over to experience it with us? (HINT, HINT)

      I took a video this morning I think Shaw-monster would enjoy… plenty of construction equipment. I’ll try to get it online tonight.

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