55 Days in Tokyo

February 14th, 2007

Ah, valentine's day. I slept poorly through the night, tossing and turning. It seems as if none of my housemates have any concept of moving around quietly or at least not making as much noise as possible. Since I'm right next to the kitchen whenever they turn on the light in there it partially lights up my room. That I can deal with but they bang pots, turn on the TV and stomp up and down the stairs. I'm also underneath the room of the Italian couple, which means I get to hear them moving around. You'd think there were people practicing Judo up there sometimes. And no, before you ask, I haven't heard them making the kind of noises you might expect a couple to make.

Had a rough time waking up but managed to get myself online to talk to my girlfriend for a good long while. It was a very nice V-day treat. I know she's busy and can't always be online. After we finished talking so she could go eat I went to the kitchen and nuked up my lunch of beef and rice. Got dressed and headed out with my backpack again, not knowing where I wanted to go. As soon as I got outside the weather made the decision for me. It had been raining and the clouds continued to threaten the city. No wandering today. I don't want to go into unknown areas when I have to contend with getting wet and protecting myself. Few umbrellas can cover me completely due to my height and I often stay dry above my knees, but below that I'm unprotected and usually get soaked feet. There were few things in the world I find more uncomfortable than wet feet in shoes.

I set out for Itabashi but when I got there I didn't know where I wanted to go. Most of the places I normally go to felt somewhat odd and I didn't really want to go to them quite yet. Instead, I took the train to Ikebukuro, hopped on the Yamanote and decided to just sit on the train and let it take me around the city. The Yamanote does a circuit and if you sit on it long enough you'll get back to the station where you started. Got a seat and just sat back to relax. Unfortunately, all the seats felt uncomfortable and so I wasn't really able to completely relax. For part of the ride I read my history book and for another part I kept drifting off to sleep. I did manage to wake up in time to see a really beautiful picture of the city. The city was covered in clouds and a light mist. There was just enough light left in the day to illuminate the town but not enough to show much details. For some reason, it struct me as wonderfully beautiful and I was sad when I could no longer see that exact shot.

The circuit of the city took just over an hour and I remained on the train to Ueno where I hopped off. My intention was to find some place to eat and then walk down to Akihabara. None of the resturants really appealed to me. Did find a store that was selling old LP records and laser discs. Some Laserdisks were horrifically expensive even though they contained poor movies. And $50 for a Barbara Streisand LP? Pff. Other little stores had nothing to offer except overpriced clothing that would never fit me anyways. By the time I got the nothern part of Akihabara I stopped into the same place I had gone to with Tim and company last friday. It wouldn't be too expensive and I could relax and enjoy my book for a while. Ordered a bit too much food but managed to wolf most of it down. Relaxed for a while before heading towards the main Akihabara area.

Made my usual tour of the arcades, spending most of my time at HEY. One time when I was leaving one of the Sega arcades and heading to Hirose I discovered that it was flat out raining. I didn't want to pull out my umbrella since I'd then have to carry around a wet umbrella in my bag so instead I just flat out ran from Sega back to HEY. Wandered about for a while. Played a bubble puzzle game using Azumanga Daioh characters and managed to make it to the third round where, I kid you not, I got in three moves and then I was defeated. It was really that bad. The character who defeated me was Osaka and it was at that moment I realized why all the top scoring players for the game used Osaka. Seems a tad unbalanced, but whatever. Didn't play any other games during the night. None of the shooter games interested me since I knew all that would probably happen is I'd make it one or two levels into the game and get defeated. Kinda makes you not want to play when you know you're just going to lose. Didn't feel like the Gundam game either. As it got close to 10pm I just decided to head home and try to relax and get a good nights sleep.

Got home and took my shower. Around 1am I realized that the noise I was hearing coming up outside was the washing machine. Evidently someone thinks the middle of the night is a good time to do their laundry. This is the second night in a row. The Korean woman in the room next to mine came out shortly after the machine turned on, turned on the kitchen light, made some noise and then went back into her room without turning off the light. Since she's in the same predicament as me she should know better. I swear, I'm glad I don't live here for a more extended period of time. Finally turned off the lights at 2am.

Photos for February 14th, 2007