Friday, October 28, 2005

A day in Tokyo

To start this blog I will tell you the amazing news…

JiXiang walked three steps on Thursday!!!

This was of course at daycare and there was a little bit of disappointment in my fingers when I typed this.
Ahhh, the woes of being a working mom.

It is Friday night and I am writing this, probably won’t actually finish and post it until Saturday though.

We have gotten back from Tokyo and the doctors visit. JiXiang is crashed in bed and Li is playing with his suits again. (I bought him a new 8dollar shirt from Seiyu and he wants to check it out with ALL the different ties and the new pocket handkerchief thingies he bought.) He bought a GQ magazine and I need say no more.

JiXiang was a wonderful girl all day. She was so well mannered, even in the restaurant.
She ate properly, played and made many people swoon on the trains. She was perfect until about an hour before we got home.
She was so tired she wanted her bed NOW! I couldn’t blame her.
She had a bath and crashed.

So Tokyo, hmm, ya, still hate it.

I really do not like Tokyo; every time I get home I feel like I have rolled in a pile of shit covered dirt and my nose feels like I poured the same dirt up it.
Gross is how I feel.
And dry; I could drink a lake after I get back from Tokyo. It is all the combination of ocean wind, zillions of cars, even more people and the stink of lost money.

{{{Li is model posing and it is making this blog very hard to write as I am giggling away.}}}

I have come home with stories that made me go
“Only in Japan, SHIT!”
and stories that made me take my hat off to the excellent service that is often offered here.

First it was SHIT!!
I bought our Shinkansen (bullet train) tickets and was once again pissed about the ridiculous prices of the train system here. I paid 120BUCKS for two people to Tokyo ONE WAY! It was a one hour train ride. AUGH!
That was 240return.
And people wonder why I have seen NOTHING of this country.
(this is a picture of Mt. Fuji from the train)

We gave our selves enough time so there would be no panic attacks trying to find where we had to go in the enormous labyrinth of Tokyo station. We found the track for the local train that we had to change to and then JiXiang and I zipped into the toilet for a little diaper changing and I was very impressed by the one we went into. It had the CUTEST train shaped toilet area designed just for little kids. It was great. The kids were all queuing up for it all excited to go pee. The baby changing table was incorporated into it. They had a special sink set up for the kids and everything.

While walking to the track we noticed that the station police men now stood on top of tall boxes and Li started giggling because he noticed an undercover cop not looking very undercover. I looked over my shoulder a little too obviously at him and went
-That guy?
This resulted in him tailing us for about half a corridor.

Then we went to the track to wait for the train and I went
There across the tracks were two GIANT billboard sizes pictures of that Jenkins guy. You know the American who defected to North Korea and is now in Japan with his Japanese wife.
It was very startling.
Li goes
-“Don’t a lot of people think he is a bad man?”
-SHUT UP! We are in Tokyo now and a hell of a lot of people here can speak English!”
He was really careful about what he said after that.
(Later in the book store this guys face was EVERYWHERE. He has already made a book!!!!)

We got into the same car as two people in wheelchairs and I must say that Japanese service rocks.
There was an attendant there with a special ramp to get them safely on the train; another attendant accompanied them to their stop to prevent any accidents while on the train. Then they got out at the same stop as us and there was another attendant already waiting at the EXACT car door with a ramp ready to help them off the train. The on-the-train attendant than accompanied them to the elevator and all the way out the station.
I was impressed.

The station that we got off at was actually Hamamatsu-cho and the path that we took to get out took us directly to the World Trade Building. I actually stopped and did a complete circle where I was standing in the middle of the lobby. I could not see a single security guard. It almost felt weird.
We noticed one standing out side.

This nice security guard pointed us in the right direction to get to the Tokyo Tower.
All he said was: go to the light and look up, you cant miss it.
He was right. We just kept looking up and we found the tower no problem.

Now Minato-kyu, the area of Tokyo where we were, in a no smoking area, ANYWHERE! Even the sidewalks. They will jump all over and fine your ass if you walk and smoke at the same time. They have special designated areas every couple of blocks with these giant air sucking ashtrays and marked areas that you can not step out of.
I was not complaining.

To get to the Tower, which sits directly across from the doctor’s office, you get to walk through the Zojoji Temple.
This is a huge temple smack in the middle of a busy area. I think it is quite old. Now we have made this trip before and I wrote it about it before. We went through this temple then as well but I took pictures with my cell phone. This time I had the digital and have some more to show you.

(my cookies are all gibbled again so I have to link)

This is a sitting Buddha.

This is the temple and the tower together.

Last time I did not go into the temple as it was closed. This time it was open.
Li and I were going to take looking turns due to the long steps and a baby stroller; I went first.
There were a lot of people heading up but I didn’t really pay them much attention. When I got to the top I noticed that the temple was full of chairs and there were people sitting in them. A two second look at the people told me this was a funeral: black suits and black ties.
It looked to be the funeral of a very important person.

I quickly got out of there as I did not belong and I then noticed that EVERY SINGLE person walking up those steps was dressed for a funeral. By the time I got down Li had read the kanji signs and had figured out what was going on.

It was a funeral, but a mass memorial funeral. A very special memorial.

This was a funeral for the people who have donated their bodies to science upon their death. Every time the number of dead donated people reaches 101 they hold a mass funeral and place their ‘souls’ into a special Buddha alter thingy that is placed with honour amongst the other Buddha alter thingys. This funeral is attended by doctors and medical students.


Then I had to take some pictures of the little Buddhas that are made by people praying for children. There are a lot of them.
It is interesting to note that the doctor we had to go to was only about a five minute walk from these little guys and the office appears to specialize in infertility and babies. The waiting room was full of people with kids and happy moms holding ultrasounds.

{{Li just came out after a shower wearing his new tight stretchy stuff underwear. –I look like Superman.}}

We had enough time to go up the tower before the doctors appointment so off we went. We could only go to the first observation level because the top deck requires stair climbing and we had a stroller with us. Took pictures of course.

Then when we got down it was
There were a whole crap load of decorating men covering this giant tree with SNOWFLAKES and this whole reindeer scene was being put up.

Then to the doctor.
Only good thing there was that I had budgeted 200bucks for the whole ordreal and it only cost 90.
We then headed to the book store across from Tokyo station to spend all of the money we hadn’t yet spent. (big grin)

Li bought a Fung Tswe (spelling??) book and is probably going to start rearranging our house so that we get the best vibe.

I found
Sun Tzu – The Art of War
And already have some stuff I want to quote you!!!
I also bought
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (it has been years since I read it) and Making Out in Chinese (decide to start studying hehe).

I was right when I thought we had to wait for a Reserved Seat for the train ride back; the wait was two hours.

This is a mural that was outside the book store.

This is Tokyo station.

This is a Wendy's Restaurant poster. THEY SELL BEER!!!! Question: do they sell beer in Canada now?

We had some dinner and then I brought JiXiang to the diaper changing room again. This was a different toilet and not as funky. There was a mom’s toilet stall with a changing table in it. There is a special sign on the door indicating so. There was a line for the toilet but I went around it and stood in front of this mom toilet door and waited as there was someone in it. This lady standing in the line two people back snaps at me:

-No, no, go to the back of the line, you cant go ahead I have no time, no time.
I looked at her and went:
-Me to but I don’t care! Baby (pointing at picture) Baby (pointing at JiXiang). UEH!

She looked a tad startled and not a single other person said anything to help her. Another stall opened up and she went in there, I went in my designated one and did my business.

All was fine the ride home except for when I had to change Ji once again on the Shinkansen. The BLOODY BABY ROOM IS LOCKED!!! I thought it was just occupied so was waiting away. The English says:
Contact a train attendant if necessary.
I read this as:
Contact a train attendant if you have a problem as this is also an area for handicapped and wheelchairs.
Turns out they mean to open the damn room.
This business man took pitty on me got an attendant for me. I didn’t realize what was going on until after the lady appeared with a key. I didn’t have enough a chance to tell the business man thank you as he got off at the next stop while I was still in the room.
Stupid Japanese English.

Other than that things were fine and the day went very smoothly. Li has to work tomorrow and is already driving me totally crazy with his Fung Tswe book, I might have to burn it.

Fucking crazy!!
He keeps going:
Then grabbing my shoulder, then tapping my shoulder and explaining the bloody book.

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Posted by (Top)Andrea::10/28/2005 :: 1 Comments:

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