How Cruel I am

Nearly 10 days without a new entry? Surely I’ve neglected you all. I’m kidding, I doubt any of you missed me on here XD

Hmm… So what’s happened in the last 9 days? I’ve finally gotten bold enough to venture out on my own on the weekends. On the 14th, it was Harajuku, where I did plenty of shopping and trying stuff on, but made no purchases other than  a sweet crepe, which are possibly one of the greatest gifts to mankind EVER. The stalls are everywhere in Tokyo, but they’re especially prominent in Harajuku. The product is basically just a rolled up crepe with your choice of filling (pretty much what would happen if a pancake, fajita, and ice cream come had a love child) but the options are astounding. You can fill them with fruits, eggs, veggies, meat, sauces, jellies, ice cream, whole slices of cake, anything you can think of and the Japanese in Harajuku will roll it up into a crepe for you. And the smell as you pass these places is to die for. My crepe was filled with chocolate ice cream, banana slices, and strawberries. You can imagine the awesomeness.

On the 15th, I ventured out to Akihabara, which was my first time taking the subway by myself. It was just the Yamanote Line, which goes in a big circle around the insides of the city, but it was a little intimidating nonetheless. I spent most of the day browsing the anime shops and window shopping, but I did make a few memorable stops; the first of which was a maid cafe. For those of you who don’t know, a maid cafe is a Japanese style of restaurant where the waitresses all dress up in cutesy French maid costumes that Akihabara is famous for having. The Western mind-set tends to jump to associating such an environment with a strip club or restaurant chains like Hooters, but they’re very different. Sure, you can find some that cater much more to male clientel, but most actually provide family environments. The maids are totally covered by their costumes and the most scandalous thing a maid can do is not wear stockings (meaning you can see her bare legs, which I don’t quite get the appeal of). At the particular cafe I went to, I was greeted by a blonde New Zealander in a poofy blue dress and bunny ears, obviously hired to help serve foreign customers. But the food was great, the service was great, and it had a nice atmosphere. I didn’t feel awkward being there (like I had standing at the front of a maid cafe I had previously been tempted to stop at, but opted out) and there were even two families with children in the restaurant. It was quite nice ^^ I’d show pictures, but it cost 500 yen to take a photo with the maids, and I wasn’t up for paying $6.25 for a picture XP

Another thing I visited (just to show you all at home) was a pachinko parlour. Wikipedia describes it as “a Japanese gaming device used for amusement and gambling. A pachinko machine resembles a vertical pinball machine, but with no flippers and a large number of relatively small balls. The player fires a ball up into the machine, controlling only its initial speed. The ball then cascades down through a dense forest of pins. In most cases, the ball falls to the bottom and is lost, but if it instead goes into certain pockets, more balls are released as a jackpot. Pachinko machines were originally strictly mechanical, but modern ones have incorporated extensive electronics, becoming similar to video slot machines, and referred to as Pachislo (パチスロ, Pachisuro).” But they have one trait that lets them stand out…

They’re LOUD! I was shouting in this video just to be heard over them. It’s scary O.o

Moving on from the weekend, last Thursday I went to the Canadian embassy to see the Oban fireworks. It wasn’t the best view of the show, but nicer than watching from the street like most people. It was great to see all these people out in yukata and to meet other Canadians at the embassy. I’m currently making desperate attempts to form some kind of a social network, so the conversation was greatly appreciated. ^^

This photo WAS taken at night and I was pulled in when offering to take a picture with the woman in the yellow yukata’s camera ^^; I had a good time, though. Even if the walk back home afterwards was a fight to the death (so many people!).

Yesterday I went out to lunch with Rochelle and she said that I’ve been doing well. Last week was my first week on my own and things have been going steadily smoother day by day. The kids are getting used to having me around and I’m getting used to the routines, so I really think that this is going to work out ^^ After lunch, the whole family headed out to Ginza and I tagged along shamelessly. I decided to find my own way home and wondered off to search the many seemingly bottomless department stores of the main road. Tokyo is teaching me to think vertically in a way I never have before. In Canada, stores have one floor on the ground level, that’s it, and that’s all you expect. In Japan, a single (seemingly small) store may have 7 or 9 levels, each a separate department. My prefered tactic has been to climb to the top floor and then work my way down,and it seems to be the most common. In Ginza, most department stores have a basement level that is basically dedicated to food of all sorts. Unlike a grocery store, there are different booths dedicated to every kind of prepared (or unprepared) food, from meat to bread, wine to sweats. It’s really incredible. I pretty much fed myself dinner off of free samples ^^ But I did buy a dress in Ginza! My first Japanese clothing purchase XD *takes a bow* It turns out I can wear a small here! Take that, you tiny Asians! XD

Today, however, I mixed business with pleasure. I had to go down to the foreign affairs office in Shibuya to pick up my foreign registration or gaijin card (something you need to get if you’ll be staying in Japan for more than 90 days, even if you have a visa). Now that I’ve registered, they can’t detain me, even if I overstay my visa XD They can only send me home, which is nice XD But since I had made the long walk to Shibuya in the scorching heat of Tokyo’s August, I figured I might as well look around while I was there. So I did some shopping, bought a shirt that won’t boil me alive and some tights, saw the sights and kept myself alive on a healthy supply of kakigori (shaved ice, kind of like a snow cone). Though it had only been five hours, I was ready to melt by the time I finally got home ><

But tomorrow will be the start of a new work week. Myles starts school on Monday, so I’ll just be taking care of Lily during the day, while also adjusting to the change of having to pick him up from the bus stop. Wish me luck!

Also, I’ve created a gallery for all of my photos, some of which don’t make it on the blog’s front page. Check it out!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alia
    Aug 22, 2010 @ 17:44:46



  2. Onigiri
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 01:29:17

    CAKE!!! IN CREPE!? I HATE YOU!!!! Jk. I do miss you though. I’m happy to hear that you’re having a great time.


  3. Becky
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 04:18:01

    D: I want Japanese clothes! I also really regret not getting a crepe when I was in Harajuku. They smelled really good, but things are so expensive that I couldn’t really merit buying one. @w@


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