Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh, Shibuya night

Hiya mates! As most people who are a little familiar with Tokyo will probably agree, Shibuya is "the shitto", the place to be, the run-a-muck central for youngens and youngens at heart. Sardine-packed full of cafes, restaurants, fashion, music, art and most of all... people! A few shenanigans in Shibuya is always an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night!

Last Saturday, my lovely friend miss Chiaki Sparkles was guest DJ at 'edge-end' in Shibuya - a tiny little hole in the wall bar, (the kind behind an unmarked door that you'd never find without a Japanese friend). It's like somebody filled a shoebox full of acid and rainbows then threw it down in a pile of tangled christmas lights and indie records. However, what it lacks in windows and air-con it more than makes up for in amusingly off-beat nikko graffiti wall scrawlings (my favourite "wank is my life") and an extremely jovial atmosphere - the kids are cool but they sure know how to smile.

Here we are enjoying our canned combini umeshu... delish!

And below is one of my favourite shots from the night - she looks chou kawaii ne!

After Chiaki's gig we headed to beat cafe (above echo), a favourite drinking spot amoung locals and foreigners. I get the impression it used to be a little 'in-the-know' but it's so good word has got out and things get pretty packed on weekends (it seats about 2.8 people comfortably - yes, that's a decimal point). Gensho the barman is an absolute riot (pictured below with Sparkles), I've heard many stories about this guy's goodwill and heart of gold but he'd never let you know it, he'll instead make cheeky remarks in broken english and throw pretzels at your bottom. He is a bloody rad dude. He also likes to pose cross-eyed in photos and point to his name on the wall whenever it is mentioned (pictured below, top right corner of the wall).

The only downside to all this peach-flavoured fizzy fun was that I wasted most of Sunday sleeping, when I should have been enjoying the sun at the park. I'll make up for it this weekend.... loves n that x

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sweet potato chips and random ponderings!

Hiya sweet folk,

Today's delightful little discovery was toffee-glazed sweet potato chips! Or maybe it's honey... I'm really not sure but whatever it is it's crispy and crackly on the outside fluffy on the inside and truly magnificent eating... although every bite comes with a hint of guilt as you consider all the 'sometime foods' that have gone into the production of such a decadent morsel.... but well worth it as an occasional afternoon treat!

Today also brought the discovery of a small coffee shop that sells... coffee yes, but also.... vegemite and tim-tams! (Along with pasta, cheese and red wine!)... I was so giddy with enthusiasm that I almost blurted it out to anyone who'd listen (and more than likely not understand) but I refrained and stifled my silly little giggles. That is one downside to travelling alone (and there are many upsides!) ... you can't just turn to your buddy and gush about that van shaped like a dog... or the fact that the single banana you just bought at the grocery store comes packaged in cellophane and ribbon! I guess that's what the blog's for... venting happiness!

I'm lucky enough to already have made some friends here in Tokyo on previous trips, but of course they are working through the week and I'm still in that splendid twilight zone floating and skipping along somewhere between a leisurely holiday and the giddy rush of moving your life to a brand new city in a far off land (especially, when like me, you've threatened to do just that for the last 4 years).

So here I am... happily pushing the notion that in a few weeks time I need to start looking for an arubaito (part time job) way back to the deep depths of my mind, somewhere between my hiding kanji knowledge and the name of that guy that sings 'Ramona was a waitress' that I've been trying to think of all day. Bloody hell, he's from 'something for kate'. I know it. And yet it won't come. And I refuse to google it because I'm a stubborn weirdo who competes with herself. "I can't let me win or I'll lose!"

I am a firm believer that there's only so much room in your brain for all the info we try to cram in on a daily basis... so when you're in a situation of 'high alert' when you're traveling for example (making sure you're walking up the right street, watching that you don't knock an old lady down with your bottom as you both pass through a japan-sized shopping aisle...), I think your brain makes an educated choice on useful information and discards a few things it deems 'temporarily unneccessary'. Well, not discarded... filed to the very back. Next to the afore mentioned Kanji...

Tomorrow it's off to the ward office to declare myself as an ALIEN. I had my costume all picked out, I was going to go as roger from American Dad, but when my Japanese friend saw it all arranged neatly on my bed ready to go, she quickly explained to me that 'Alien' here just means you're a foreigner. Yeah ok, I'm absolutely joking about the costume but would I have been the first to attempt this joke? I think not. There's probably already been a gaijin wonderfully bogan enough (it would've been an aussie) to turn up to the office in an ET getup, just giving us all a good name...

Well I'm the first to admit that this entry is rather ranty and rought with tangents... but I blame the sugar rush from my glazed potato treats. Please now enjoy some more snaps from my aimless wandering. Ja mata ne!

Tiff xx
***UPDATE*** bloody hell it's Paul Dempsey. It just came to me while microwaving a bento box!
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