The land of the MASses…
30 Juli 2008 | Japan, Tokio
Let’s start with my last week in Taiwan. As I already said in my last update; the time went way too fast, including the last week. It mainly consisted of going to classes, working on my thesis, quickly doing two interviews for my thesis at ASML and IBM and of course saying goodbye to my friends…and scooter. The latter was particularly painful...I will miss my little steel horsy! Simone…take good care of it ;). Saying goodbye to my Chinese professors was also kind of strange. Well, saying goodbye to one in particular that is. She (women, about 55) said she had to look into my beautiful eyes one more time (because they are not black such as most Taiwanese eyes I guess ). Kind of a bad ‘bold and the beautiful’ scene haha ;). Also had a very long chat with the lady that supplied me with bapao every morning; she tried to convince me to come back to Taiwan and start working there….the best way to further improve my Chinese she said. Not such a bad idea I thought when driving back from the school to my apartment for the last time, pondering about my last weeks in Taiwan and about the future. Maybe that was also the reason why saying goodbye to my friends was not that hard this time. Once I saw Taiwan disappearing under a layer of clouds and the flight attendant asked what I wanted to drink, I namely just knew that I would see Taiwan and my friends once more. Maybe in the not so distant future...
And then...Tokyo...the city where neon sign makers can become millionaires, fashion and hairdo’s seem to change every day and the city where every sentence seems to end with ‘massss.’ And I like it, masss :)! I arrived last Saturday afternoon and after even my package of speculaas was x-ray checked by japanese customs I checked in a hotel in the middle of Shinjuku. Shinjuku appeared to be the ultimate neon heaven of Tokyo where young people wearing the strangest creations congregate. Shinjuku was not the only thing that was a bit overwhelming; so was the toilet. Jaja...the toilet had a lot more buttons that the one it normally has to flush it. Pressing one of those buttons proved to be a grave mistake however, as soon after I pressed it a jet of water reached my buttocks. It scared the shit out of me (not literally), so I fell out of the bathroom cell with my pants on my ankles with the water still squirting through the bathroom. Welcome to Japan haha! Why toilets have these functions was not the only thing that kept me wondering actually. I was also intrigued by the fact that there are sooo many people living in one city, yet there are almost no public trashcans…but also no rubbish on the streets?! And how come I have seen 6 ferrari’s in one day whereas normally it is extraordinary when you see one?! Maybe these are not questions you would normally think about, but somehow it was part of my observations that the Japanese arranged a few things a lot better than us (the Dutch). On the other hand...I might have bumped my head in the entire toilet accident (pics of the evil toilet are added --> they're not because I forgot to bring my camera to the internet cafe; will do that next time).
Saturday evening I met up with Yuko, a friend with whom I studied last year in Taiwan. It always great to see ‘old friends’ again and talk about all the things that happened between the last you last saw each other and now. Of course...the talking was accompanied by some Japanese cuisine and sightseeing. Having a local to show you around is probably the best way to get to know a city :). We went to Tokyo tower, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno and Asakusa together. Really nice…tnx Yuko! On Monday Yuko flew back to Akita for school so I did some sightseeing on my own. I visited Tokyo’s most expensive shopping district Ginza, the imperial palace gardens and in the evening I met up with another friend; Hiromi. We went to one of these sushi places where you take what you want from a small conveyer belt. And if you wanted something else…the chef would prepare it right in front of your nose. Some guy sitting next to us did exactly that, ordering prawn sushi. So the chef gets a prawn from his fishtank, cuts the head of and peals the skin of….and ready is your sushi! Interesting to see...and very good sushi by the way! Afterwards we chatted some more, had desert and visited one of Shinjuku’s famous arcade halls. By the way...it’s strange to find out that it’s easier to talk in Chinese than in English with your friends. Besides it being more convenient, it also resulted in an improvement in my Chinese because I only spoke Chinese for two days in a row. On Tuesday I did some more sightseeing; visiting some Japanese style parks, harakura. In the afternoon I left for Narita (the town where the airport is)so that it is easier to catch my morning flight to Beijing tomorrow. This also means that my next update will come from the Holland Heineken House...Aoyun kuai dian lai!
By the way...one last thing…on the way to the airport I spotted a dutch windmill, complete with dutch flag and ‘ophaalbrug in sneek stijl’ in the middle of the rice fields. Kind of a strange sight...
Arregato gonozaimasssss, masssss and again...massss
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Je kunt nu ook Smileys gebruiken. Via de toolbar, toetsenbord of door eerst : te typen en dan een woord bijvoorbeeld :smiley