January 1st, 2005 @ 12:00 PM Entertainment
I’m back in Tokyo for one week and it feels like a homecoming. I really missed this place and it’s good to be back.
There wasn’t much culture shock like going to America and my first experience was interesting. I sat and chatted with a young American who came to visit his brother who is English teaching here. At immigration he didn’t know the address and they said he could not come through unless he wrote something down and he really didn’t know what to do. I explained in Japanese to immigration that he was visiting his brother upon which they said to write the school name. He didn’t know that either so I just told him to write NOVA and he got through just fine. The immigration people here are much friendlier than those scary people in America. They are kind and try to help here rather than the unfriendly American ones who only get louder if foreigners cannot speak English well. Props to Japanese immigration.
I really enjoyed seeing the little things that are only in Japan like a drunk salaryman staggering down the steps before me and people falling asleep on the train. I cannot find this anywhere else in the world.
I’m now writing this blog in a weekly hotel near Tokyo station and I must say that this part of town is a bit lonely. I used to live in lively Mejiro and had Ikebukuro, Shinjyuku and Shibuya nearby. I’m wondering if there is really anything to do on this part of town or if people actually live here. It also doesn’t help that it’s New Years and everyone has gone home. I guess I could have picked a better time to visit when everyone wasn’t back in their hometowns.
I must also comment on my trip back to America. I have no culture shock here but going back home was an experience. When I stepped off the plane and was walking through the terminal the first thing I saw on T.V. was a News question asking “Are you afraid you’ll be the victim of a terrorist attack?” I couldn’t believe it and I started to wonder just how hysterical the Americans have become with this. It didn’t end there however as I heard on the radio a new song about “Santa Claus for Freedom,” or something like that. I started laughing and my relatives got a little angry with me. I do believe that the entire country has gone mad. Staying with the subject I saw a pretty large American with an “Operation Iraqi Freedom” hat, wrestling shoes and a sweat outfit on standing in line at Japanese immigration. I wonder if he actually got through. Perhaps most Americans are going a bit too far with the terrorist/freedom thing but I did see a book entitled “There’s a terrorist in my soup,” at the local book store which tells me they haven’t all succumb to the mass propoganda the media is throwing out.
Well, I must be off to try and find some shops that might actually be open today instead of just sit inside and waste my precious time here in Tokyo.