Sunday, March 18, 2012

Home from Home

I've had the wonderful fortune this weekend (despite a slightly dismal prediction at Asakusa Temple) to meet up with a man called Seigi, a fellow member of and for the last two days my personal tour guide.


First things first, my shelf. This wee wooden shelf is the only space I have for myself and my things, so some organising had to be done. I disovered hooks screwed into the open edge underneath the next shelf up, so I started by hooking a blanket up for privacy. Then I assigned the hooks - the one nearest my head held my handbag and the one nearest my feet was paired with a carrier bag to form a bin. My suitcase was opened and kept upright at the end of the bed, with its inner pockets used to store toiletries. Job done.

It actually turns out that my new cabin is slightly larger than the shelf.above the engine bay of my VW bus. That realisation was rather comforting.

A night on the town

I met Seigi at Shinjuku station, central Tokyo, and barely left! I was amused at first that he couldn't find me, "I'm the only white girl here!" but soon learned that Shinjuku station is roughly the size of Scotland.

We went for a meal of soba noodles at a small restaurant (inside the station) and then browsed a 100yen (basically £1) shop, where I amused myself looking at all the gadgets and foodstuffs that one only ever sees in these types of outlet.

We walked through major roads packed with people and rode escalators up and down but still seemed to be right next to the station.

Finally of course it was time for karaoke! Now, karaoke I'm familiar with. This is the art of getting plastered and rolling into a bar to scream the lyrics of 'Don't Stop Believing' into a microphone, often in groups, while fellow drinkers groan or cheer depending on their own state of inebriation.

Checking in for Karaoke
 Japanese karaoke was not like this. The two of us were invited to occupy a small private booth with seats, a table and a pair of remote controls. We could each take it in turns to search for songs on the remote control while the other made best efforts to perform on their hygenically wrapped microphone.

It was a lot more fun than it sounds! Seigi professed not to know any English language music but he was soon off on Stevie Wonder and Maroon 5. We ordered Asahi beers and Seiji played the waiter at 'Scissors, Paper, Stone' to win a discount on the bill.

Finally our allotted time was spent and it was time to get the train home, something I had finally got the hang of.

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