Greetings from Tokyo

2006 Japan 0068.jpg

Hey all,
I'm going to try to keep this brief, 1 because i don't know how much the hotel is charging me for the use of their bijinisu centaa and 2 because this f'ed up japanese keyboard is already making hulk want to smash.  anyways my internship wrapped up not a moment too soon and i headed to singapore literally right after work a few days ago.  the office gave me a certificate and a quick n dirty ceremony for exceptional work in counternarcotics, so watch yourself with the weed when i'm around ; okay that was supposed to be a winking smiley, but apparently the japanese are incapable of making those.

so i went to singapore and ishan ditched me on day 2 to go to boston.  so i stayed with my friend kelly and had a jolly good time despite the indian's absence.  yesterday i hopped on a plane to tokyo and now here i am.  alone!  i'm already sort of wondering how i ever got the balls to go to japan alone, but its my spiritual journey for the year i guess -- and it's gotta be good for my japanese skills.  that said,  this  country is completely insane.  even having been here before and taking a bunch of japanese history and language classes, i'm still totally culture shocked.  also tokyo is just remarkably different in day and night.  today it was a sea of designer shops and well-dressed people politely roaming the streets.  last night it was sketchy drunk businessmen walking in and out of brothels with and bars laughing uncontrolably.

tomorrow i'm going to osaka for 3 nights, running around there and going to futami no ura as well because it has this amazing kami -- shinto holy place -- with 2 rocks tied together with a rope, called husband and wife.  i've always seen it in books so i've decided it's an essential part of johnny's spiritual journey to the east.

after osaka i'm flying to wakkanai, the northermost town in japan.  no reason.  i think there's essentially nothing there.  but i want some kind of i went to wakkanai tshirt, and i hear that's their speciality.  that same day i'm gonna take the train -- the trains are amazing in this country -- to sapporo and spend 3 nights there.  somehow i'm getting a walking tour of sapporo from tom daschle's brother so that's kind of hilarious.  definitely gonna hit up the sapporo brewery too.

then, i'm taking an 11hr shinkansen -- bullet train -- ride from sapporo to tokyo.  so by the end of this trip i will have taken almost the entire bullet train line on honshu.  then i spend 7 more nights in tokyo.  should be cool.

nobody speaks english here, like nobody, so i've been having stilted conversations with bartenders about anything that's in my vocabulary -- just to practice and try not to seem like a dumb gaijin.  my hotel is sweet.  really nice bar that overlooks ginza and plays gershwin and thelonious monk.  super classy, relaxing, post-pranial drinking music.  i've already made friends with that bartender, and matsutake, the bartender at an irish pub down the street -- god irish name, eh?  anyways, this wasn't brief as it turns out, so i must really love you guys, or i'm just dying to do something in english.  i will keep you posted if/when anything of note happens, like achieving nirvana or something.  peace.  let me know what you're up to -- i crave english interaction.


p.s. i was walking through ginza today and some random girl said the equivalent of "fuck he's tall!"  don't know how i should take that.