Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sayonara, Tokyo!

Time flies!

(... there now, that`s this evening`s cliche out of the way :)

My last evening in Tokyo is well underway -- tomorrow I`ll be spending all day in transit, first from Tokyo to Hong Kong and then from Hong Kong to Beijing where I should be arriving some time around 9:00p.m., local time. I`m particularly excited about this upcoming leg of the journey since it`ll give me the chance to connect with *BECKI!*, our favorite American in exile :) At present, the plan involves my staying in Beijing for the first part of the week before taking a bus out to Tianjin, roughly 90 minutes away, where Becki lives and works and spend at least a day or so with her. (Chris, I know you would never forgive me if I didn`t bring back pictures and detailed reports of everything ;) I`m also (somewhat less significantl) stoked since I`ll be able to bike in Beijing again (... this should have dawned upon me earlier, I know, given that the Beijing travel guide I`ve schlepped with me for the past couple of weeks has a large picture of a bike-riding person on its front cover.)

Tokyo, by the by, is the world capital of shopping, if I`m any judge. Walking through one of the city`s many, mannny department stores is like being that proverbial kid in the candy emporium -- everything your consumerist heart might desire (and quite a few things you never knew you could possibly desire) are there for the asking, not to mention the paying ... soberingly, Tokyo is even more expensive than Los Angeles. I haven`t felt much of an impulse to visit these chain-variety vanity faires, but given that this was my last day in Japan, I felt compelled to pick up presents for "the folks back home" (e.g. Austria, America ...) The highlight of the excursion was a trip to Kinokunya, the fabled Japanese bookstore. I had been to its San Francisco J-Town branch, which paled in comparison with the real thing here in Tokyo, with its seven floors of book-filled goodness.

In the interest of furthering (a.k.a. reviving) my Japanese skills, I picked up a few paperbacks worth of manga -- the characteristically Japanese comic-book genre. The most theological pick was the first installment of "Innocence" -- a manga based on the recently released movie by the same title and sequel to the classic "Ghost in the Shell" (... think Blade Runner, cartoon style -- Blade Runner without the syrupy ending, that is.) Add to that "Gunslinger Girl," a manga following the trite-and-true formula of taking a robot in the appearance (and with the self-perception) of a cute teenage girl, make her fight battles and experience the romantic conundrums of adolescence, rinse, repeat. Finally, I`m ashamed to admit, I picked up the first couple of volumes of a "2nd Generation: Shinseiki Evangelion" series -- a rip-off manga utilizing characters from a classic (and one of my favorite) anime series/movies. But, hey, everything in the service of linguistics ;)

The actual substance of this post was supposed to be reflections on the static and dynamic components of covenants, but thanks to my rambling and limited computer time, you`ll be spared these for now ;)

2 Comments:

At September 18, 2004 at 10:10 PM, Blogger green giant said...

I've never been to Tokyo beofore.
I wish I could go sometime...
Hopefully you're having a good time
in the rest of your journey!
I'm looking forward to hearing your story.

Tomo in LV

(But I've been to Mt.Koya many many times!)

 
At September 20, 2004 at 5:12 AM, Blogger Expat Birds said...

Hey there! Thanks for your comment :) It's oddly encouraging that there are people reading and perhaps even enjoying my random travels -- it's been an interesting ride and I love to share as much of it as I can.

 

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