Alex's Stuff | And Things

May/11

4

Mrwisteugbl (working title)

It’s nice when things go to plan.

My friend and I had a great plan, since we couldn’t fly to Japan without a stopover we were going to visit his brother in Melbourne and then leave the next morning. Of course, there was the problem of the tsunami and the ongoing nuclear issues, but for the most part I think they were not relevant to tourists except in their potential to effect the normal running of things.

Anyway, a few days before it was time to go I got a phone call telling me the flight had been cancelled. We didn’t get the full story until getting to Melbourne, apparently we’d be flying to Sydney (the day before our original flight -_-), overnighting, and then going to Japan on Qantas via Hong Kong. Jetstar was still accepting bookings for the original flight just before we left.

So okay. That was a long and annoying mess, but it turned out that was the extent of the annoyance caused by the tsunami. Once we got to Japan, everything was incredibly smooth and efficient, probably more so because there were very few tourists. I got a bit lost looking for the hotel, but this was entirely my fault since I’d been there before (got lost last time too!). We saw very little direct evidence of problems other than a few lights which were switched off to save power and a couple of minor aftershocks.

Ok. Tokyo. Problems, nashi. What do you do in Tokyo in mid April?

I wanted to go see sakura (桜, cherry blossoms). However, it was night and we were in Ikebukuro, which is not particularly famous for it’s flowering cherries. So I asked one of the owners of the restaurant we went to where to find them (in unpracticed Japanese), and she very nicely drew us a map and guided us several blocks towards a small, hidden park where there were, in fact, sakura, see exhibit A. It’s awesome when locals are friendly!

Over the next few days we visited several of the famous sakura spots in Tokyo, including Ueno park and Yoyogi park. Japanese people hold parties supposedly for Hanami (flower viewing), but actually to get drunk. I think pictures tell the story better! We also spent a lot of time shopping, catching trains, being guided around shrines, drinking weird coffee, and trying to decide what to do next. I’m very grateful to my friend for dragging me to Japanese restaurants, because I would just be lazy and not bother if he didn’t :P.

That’s not the end, but Tokyo is a big place.

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On #coffeetime

Coffeetime is the eternal state of being that defines our presence in the world. It both is and is not finite, linked as it is to both a finite resource (time), and to the infinite reach of human imagination.

As such, you should understand that the question "when is coffeetime?" is more than a mere request for temporal details. It is a spiritual call for guidance and a link back to reality.