<!-- March 25, 2003 -->
9:45am, Tokyo Time.
It's raining and everywhere you go there are umbrella repositiories (so you can store your umbrella outside a store) or umbrella packagers (so you can take it with you and not drip water on their pristine floor). You're supposed to stick your umbrella into the packager contraption and it wraps the thing in plastic.
We forgot to do this so the shopkeeper ran after us to conver our umbrellas with plastic. I felt ridiculous.
Good coffee here. Almost like a very small Americano in an espresso cup. Very thick cream (like whipping cream, almost). Despite the size, it costs the same as a latte in Canada; about $3 (300 yen).
I think this is the secret to the small size of the Japanese people: small portions. Everything is smaller than in Canada and the States. And yet costs the same (or more, in some cases). However, you can still buy a chocolate bar for the same price (about a dollar) and it's the same size. Not that I've bought any. I'm hooked on the bun shops which sell yummy pastries (like Furama at home).
The no-smoking section of the coffee house is four tables by the door, separated from the "smoking section" by a waist-high glass "smoking barrier." Whatever. Right, now I can't smell it.
Just finished lunch at the Ginza Lion near Shinjuku Station (downtown Tokyo). It's about 1000 yen ($10) for lunch, so pretty similar to home. Dave didn't like his bowl of cold white/creamy rice-porridge. I think it was congee. He is often negatively surprised by what he gets at meals. Poor guy. And he's ALWAYS hungry.
At Dave's English conversation class this morning (after Douter's), all of his students (adults) were asking me questions about myself. They also talked about what they did this past weekend. One guy found a man passed out on the road and stopped to help (he thought maybe it was "problem with heart"). He couldn't move him and the man was not coherent, so he called the police. The man was clearly just drunk.
Another man happened along and between the two of them they were able to pick the man up and move him to the sidewalk so that he wouldn't get run over. While they were waiting for the police, the man finally told them where he lived (nearby). So they dragged him there, to avoid the embarrassement of the police.
His wife opened the door, but at first refused to believe it was her husband. She tried to send them away. When they convinced her and left, they could hear the screaming a block away.
The Japanese people are so polite and correct all the time, it's hard to imagine them drunk and disorderly. I love that I feel so safe at all times, though. I never worry that someone will try to steal from me or anything like that. A friend of Dave's once lost his iPod on the train. It was recovered at the Lost and Found.
wastful unnecessary packaging
The men speaking japanese beside me in Douter (coffee shop chain).