about Japan

Happy Japanniversary

My eyeballs need cocaine

Wow, it’s been a year already.
Craziness.

I often get asked how long I’m going to be here and my answer is always: I don’t know.

At the onset, I told myself that I would be in Tokyo at least two years for two reasons:
1) Lease agreements are usually for two years (though you can break them)
2) Year 1 would be simply surviving and experiencing everything anew and year 2 would  enable me to form a more true and objective opinion about living here- do I really like it or not.

Survival year 1 wasn’t too shabby; definitely a whirlwind and I’m really glad I had trips to Thailand and the States to break up moments of culture shock.

Some highlights:

apartment hunting and procurement in <36 hours, wading in Tokyo indie film production waters, love relationships morphing, friend relationships proving distance can bring us closer (because they ROCK), torrential downpours, best noodles ever. ever. ever., cuteness, street drinking, garbage water (more on this later), fucking Engrish, countless hours on planes (aisle seat only from here on out), A/C love, summer flu hate, cedar incense, public transport dependency, pedestrian hate, blinding island sun, meat smoke, ridiculously overpriced taxis, beer (so much beer consumed), strangers making me smile, sweat, snow, fear, joy, change, panic, loss, and love.
Always love.

Thanks for reading, y’all.
Cheers to year 2!

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about Japan

Shit like this

This shit

happens to us all.

I’m always ギリギリ (gi-ri•gi-ri=just on time) to work.  Just yesterday, after descending many spiraling steps into my subway station, my sandals turn into fucking reverse flip-flops because the inner sole has peeled away from the bottom sole.

Awesome.

I noisily clap-clap around and see if my vintage Marc Jacobs will be able to make it many more steps and stairs to final destination and back.  My poor sandals are falling apart more and more so I call my boss because, yep, I’m definitely going to be late tonight.  He asks if I can work at all and I think he thinks my foot is broken (his Engrish, not so good) so I’m like, yeah, I can work.
WHY I didn’t take this opportunity to take the night off is beyond me.  Remember when I said I do dumb shit?

I backwards my steps and go to the conbini (Japanglish for 7-11 type place) to buy superglue because there’s at least one (if not three) outside every station.

Then I sit and try to heal my beloved sandals.  That they’re in a pathetic state makes my heart sniffle because they were a lovely birthday happy from my right-hand bitches.

So this is what I’m dealing with:
This shitExcept they’re even more peeled apart than the pic indicates.  I use the whole tube of superbondo but the leather is jerky-dry and it’s not sticking(!).  I stand up, put all my weight on my feet and wait.  After a few minutes it seems like the soles have bonded- hooray!- so
I start spiral stair descent #2.  

I get- I swear- to the exact same sandal doom spot when- clap-fuckingclapclap.
Are you kidding me?!  I used the whole tube for fuck’s sake.  No, not a situation where I used too much; too little if anything.

I call my boss again because my 15m delay= as if at this point.

He’s excited: “Oh Rumi-san, you speak good Japanese!”
Really it’s that I speak better Japanese than he does English.  I normally do the English with him because he likes to practice but I don’t want to be misunderstood so I go native. He suggests that I buy some cheap sandals at the conbini because conbinis sell everything.

Except shoes.
Or sandals.
Or even a pair of house slippers.

Dammit.

At this point it’s quicker to backtrack two stations (4min), buy some much-needed flats at the second-busiest station in the world and GET ON already.

30s away from the underground electronic turnstile is huge department-store-land and I escalate my ass up to accessories, 2nd floor.  I pass Coach, Hermès, Sergio Rossi without pause as this is no time for fun & decadent retail splurging.  This is 100% practical fast!fast! shopping, which panics my heart.  I’m suddenly overwhelmed by 100’s of pairs of studded, leopard, neon, wedged, pastel, strappy you get the idea.

Crap.  Ok, quick scan- I find a potential pair of muted robin’s egg blue flats with many symmetrically punched-out circles.  Except I don’t want to drop $150 on a preppy-meh pair so I keep looking.  Got it!  Perfectly sensible patent seafoam flats.  They don’t make my heart sing like a new crush but my gut knows they won’t let me down.
This shit 2

Total shopping time= 12min (4 to pick and 8 to check out*).
Total delay= 60min

If there’s some lesson to be had in your beloved shoes getting busted mid-commute in a walking city:
Sometimes you just have to throw money at the problem…so always keep a globally preferred CC or the equivalent of $100USD on your person.

*Of course the retail experience is full-service, meaning I don’t move from cushy mod ottoman while CC is run and old shoes are wrapped and bagged.

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