Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tempting fate: midnight walk in the city

What`s new these days? Spent most of the day working on my manuscript. I feel like an international student again, with so much of my time in front of my laptop (sans internet connection). Now Choco has finally warmed to me, allowing me to hold her for but a second. She ran away after the picture was taken, and is afraid of cameras pointed at her. I also took a picture to show those of you back home Kurie`s new haircut. I think the hairstylist did a good job.
But I did decide to do something rash: go to the Internet café late night and do some work. Yes, I disregarded Aunty`s warnings and decided to walk to the Internet cafe close to midnight.

I passed by a pachinko parlor(picture at the very top): they seem to be all over Japan. It is a pin-ball like game in which you are theoretically supposed to win gifts, but you can exchange your gifts, or tokens for money at a booth outside the game parlor. Hey, techically, you are not gambling, just swapping your prizes for money, right? I took a picture of this statue of a bikini woman outside the pachinko place.

Walking around a station past midnight – I could never do this in America. I saw very few people walking around, and for a moment, I questioned the wisdom of doing this. Maybe Aunty was right. I calmed down after awhile and realized that many Japanese mistook me for a criminal since I speak flawed Japanese, big by Japanese standards, but do not look foreign. The media likes to talk about Chinese criminals, so perhaps that is why some people seem scared of me when I interact with them. Now I kinda know what it is like to be Black in all-white suburbs.

And then I saw the Japanese homeless. They do exist, but you do not see them during the daytime in Hiroshima. Osaka, you do see them at Shinsekai. Or were they drunken salarymen who missed their last train?
Bought a nori bento for only 450 yen, or less than $4.50! Filling, and way better than a McDonald’s value meal (and more nutritious) and perhaps even some plate lunches. Why can’t we make bento with fluffy rice?

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