Very Lost in Translation

So this is the temporary home of g2007 as that is broken for the forseeable future. Which is ashame, but I will port all these entries over to it when I get it working again!

The night before I left a load of us went out to the Fitzroy and East Sydney for a couple of farewell drinks, which was great fun! Cooster and myself somehow managed to wear virtually the same clothes again, obviously it was not a problem –

Some People think Andrew is my Brother

This was the whole gang that came out on the last night, thanks guys –

Katja took me to the airport in style the next day. She managed to get a black landrover off her boss so that was cool rocking up in that!!

Katja and myself with landrover in background

The flight to Singapore was uneventful, I watched some films on the plane and read a bit about Tokyo in my little book. I got to Singapore and bought a Coca-Cola from the shop. They sell them in 330ml the same as the UK in Singapore, they look like children’s sizes. I got so use to the 375ml cans in Australia! After about 1 hour wait I was on-board the plane to Tokyo Nariata airport! Woo!! I slept pretty much the whole way which was great, I have no jet lag at all because the time difference between Japan and Australia is one hour, but takes 16 hours to get here!! Arriving in Japan was pretty uneventful I am pleased to say. The airport was so quiet it was weird. I got my bag searched by the customs. They gave me a booklet with pictures of every type of illegal drug you could imagine and I had to say ‘no I don’t have any of those’ to all of them, it was funny. I then had the scanner that looks at body temperature pointed at me to make sure I wasn’t carrying some virus that could wipe out the population of Japan. I booked a train ticket as recommended in my book because of the holiday rush (golden week). There was no one around! I had to buy another ticket because I was out of the airport and at the train station by about 08h00 and my ticket was booked for 11h16. The train cruised into Tokyo and everything seemed easy. Then when I got to Tokyo station I had to get the train to a place called Shimbashi (thanks to Henrietta for all the directions), this was a little bit more complicated. It is easy to find the line that the train goes on, however, knowing if that train goes to the station you want is purely a guess. No one else seems to know neither. I started to get concerned about the amount of people wearing face masks as well, as ifthey were trying to stop the spread of SARS or something.

When I finally found the right train it reminded me a lot like London in rush hour (shame I have a 32kg suitcase and 10kg backpack to carry around) –

So I found the train station and then spend the next 30 minutes walking around tryin to find the hotel. Henrietta gave me great directions but I couldn’t find the exit that she had given me, so I asked some one and he pointed at an exit and said “RIGHT, RIGHT”. I tried that but I didn’t get to the hotel, so I asked someone else and they pretty much showed me the entire way there.

So I have spent most of the day looking around Ginza, there’s loads of shops here. I visited the Sony Centre which has the PSP handheld games console that I was going to get but after actually having a go on it I’ve decided it would be a waste of money. In the morning the streets were lovely and quiet and it reminded me of the City of London at the weekends; a little bit too empty its freaky. This changed as the day went on, Japanese people don’t seem to be early starters –

Tokyo isn’t really that much different from London, in a city sense so far. However the biggest difference is the language. I got a map from the hotel but it is useless, getting lost seems to be the only thing to do, you are better off using a compass here. The characters they use in their language are far too complex for my feable western brain.

Helpful train map

One of the coolest things I’ve seen today is the Earthquake simulator. I think it is designed to make kids feel safe. I made a video of it that I will organise another time when there’s more time.

Earthquake Sim (the truck shakes)

Some other highlights of the day are the Sony Center and the Apple Mac shop which looks like a G5 –

Well I am going to have a lay down now, my head is spinning from all the weird characters/electronics/face masks.