55 Days in Tokyo

February 9th, 2007

My alarm woke me up at 10:30am and in a rare feat, I didn't feel like complete crap. Actually woke up feeling mostly rested. The extra walking must have helped. Wandered around online for a little bit before putting my whites into the washing machine. The same clothes that were left in there on tuesday were still in there today. Took them out and lumped them onto the drying pole. I'm not going to worry about someone's clothes that they leave in the washer for at least 3 days. Put my whites in and went back downstairs to check online.

Started watching some episodes of anime that I downloaded and heard from my girlfriend who was online but entertaining a guest. After her guest left she came back and we chatted for a while. I had hung out my laundry to dry before she returned so I was free to just relax. I had emailed Tim and gotten instructions on when and where to meet him in the evening. Talked with my girlfriend for a while before signing off to cook my lunch. The steaks were pretty good and also had some toast with them, giving me a nice hearty meal. Returned to my room and laid down to take a little doze, but nothing too long.

Woke back up shortly after 4pm, got dressed and headed towards Akihabara. After I got there I went to one of the arcades to play some Gundam Card Builder. First match went pretty normal but I was interrupted during my second match to fight someone else, this time another EFSF player who was actually in the building with me. He was much higher level than me but only had two things in play: the mobile base everyone gets and a single Gundam piloted by the hero of much of the original Gundam series, Amuro Ray. It started off as a decent battle but only having one Gundam to my three turned out to be a big mistake for him. A lot of players seem to enjoy putting all their eggs into one basket. Insanely charging the enemy lines by yourself to singlehandely wipe them out seems heoric but usually winds up getting you killed. Especially against a human opponent and not a computer. Not to toot my horn too much, but so far I am two for two.

Walked around for a while after finishing my game and watched some more gaming. I still had another hour or so to kill before meeting Tim. Found a new rail shooter with an interesting twist: basically, you play as a gunman who runs from cover to cover in a shootout with another gunman. I might try it out down the road to see how it plays but I have a hunch that it probably won't be as cool as it tries to be. Went by Don Quixote to get some Cherry Coke and visit the arcade at the top of the building. Tried out one of the vertical scrolling shooter games and found that I am very rusty at playing these games. After that I headed outside and towards the designated meeting spot.

After about 15 minutes Tim arrived (I was early) and after waiting around for a bit we headed towards a gaming store to wait for two other people who were joining us. After everyone met we headed out and went someplace to eat. Sadly, I cannot remember either one of the other two gentlemen's names but they were fun and interesting folk. Much of the conversation would be considered crude but it was all very funny. During times like these I am generally pretty quiet, only interjecting a few comments. When I don't know most of the people around me I don't feel very comfortable and thus don't open up as much. Not a condemnation or statement about the other people mind you. I'm just not as talkative. Damned funny conversations though. Most often I simply didn't have much to say.

We finally left around 9:30pm and found that it was raining outside. One of the two people I'm unfamiliar with left and the remaining three walked to Don Quixote to visit the arcade. Stopped on one of the floors for a little bit but soon got to the arcade. The other person whose name escapes me played a game of Mahjong where you play against the computer, a form of the game that I am entirely unfamiliar with. Seen lots of the games but have no idea how to play. Most of the Mahjong games over here in arcades are porno games. Allow me to explain. Basically, you play against the computer and if you win, you get to see either a cartoon of the character nude or, in some games (which I haven't seen any of on this trip) you see a video of squeeky porn. He played well for a while but lost to the second opponent. After that we went down to the bottom and contemplated playing Pachinko but decided against it. However, when we tried to leave we found that the primary exit was closed off and the entrance we'd come through had been closed behind us. They were trying to trap us inside! I knew of another exit so we took that one out.

Headed towards another arcade and walked through it only to find it unsatisfactory and left. At this point Tim departed towards the subway and the other guy and I headed towards the train station. We parted company as we got to the gate since I needed to buy a ticket. Took the train all the way to Ikebukuro and then to Itabashi instead of having to talk in the rain. I'll pay the 50 yen more it costs. The Saikyo train was so packed with people that the press of people against me actually managed to press a button on my mp3 player that was in my front pocket. That's never happened before. When we finally got to Itabashi I tried to get out but one of the women in front of me didn't want to move but was slowly forced out of the train by the flow of people. Usually people just step off, go to the side and hop back on. This woman hopped off and just stood in the middle of the path of all the people. Freaking rude. She was too busy texting someone. Partially by choice and partially by force of the other people leaving the train I bumped into her and moved her to the side. Stopped off at 7-11 to get some food and returned to find that most of my laundry had been spared from the rain. I swear, there is no better way to tell if Tokyo will have rain than to do my laundry. Moved things around to protect it from most of the rain. Took my shower and headed to bed at close to 2am.

Photos for February 9th, 2007