the happy idiot

The travels of an Austlalian on the trans-Siberian Railway

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy describes consuming the drink the Pan Galactic Gargleblaster not unlike having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a rather large gold brick. I've been traveling for just over a week and I've already had 2 drinking experiences on a Pan Galactic scale, these were before I even got to Russia...

After an uneventful flight from Melbourne to Narita Airport I spent a pleasant evening at the Holiday Inn Narita, enjoying Soba noodles and beer for dinner followed by my first cold Sake in Japan. The next morning Haze Chris and I caught the train, past bamboo forests and green fields to Tokyo Station.

Tokyo was thankfully, though oddly disappointingly, nowhere near as insane as I thought it would be. Through my vicarious experiences I imagined Tokyo to be a mad throng of people darting around at a mad pace, mopeds weaving in and out of laneways and crowded motorways, skyscrapers flashing with lights and noise enough to give you an epileptic fit, and Mothra playing baseball. I was prepared to be overwhelmed with terror to the point of needing fresh undies... Tokyo is one of the most amazing cities I've been to!

After Haze left to see his grandparents (poor guy only had 4hrs to see in and that included 3hrs traveling) Chris and I wandered north out of Tokyo station (I'll call it north, I had no idea really it just seemed like up. (actually, as I found out later it was south)). After strolling for a few blocks over freeways and canals we ducked down tree lined side streets (I never imagined tree lined streets in Tokyo!) we found ourselves in a small neighborhoods park. Locals enjoyed a shaded lunch while Chris and I sat and stared like wide-eyed yokels.

Chris wanted to head to the Emperor's Palace, the location of which he'd found on a "You Are Here" map on a street corner. So we continued weaving through Tokyo, with a small side trip that involved jumping turnstiles at a train station to get to a toilet. By the time we got to the Palace it was past lunch and I was hungry. We found a cafe and did something that I'm proud of, I ordered a meal in a foreign city without help. OK, I bought a ticket from a vending machine and gave it to a waitress, but I still had to match the symbols on the menu with the symbols on the machine (tricky ha).
After lunch we checked out some of the sights around the Palace i.e. the fortress wall and an entry gate through which Icould look back onto the city. It's amazing to see the new with the old, a sight that continuously impressed me through out Japan. How the new and the old intermingled, it's beautiful.
Heading back through parks and streets, getting lost, getting found again we met up with Haze and went off ot Shinbiashi to meet his friend Seigen, that's where the next adventure starts. The first Lemon and Gold Brick experience.


Blogger phil said...

i looked at the blog site and your profile... is there something you haven't told me? phil

5:47 AM, August 30, 2006  
Blogger ronin said...

what can I say, strange things happen in Russia

7:11 PM, September 02, 2006  

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