This event was organised by idiots. It all started when I booked the ticket. I had to fill up a form to book the ticket, fill up a form to prove I had paid for the ticket and then send three emails to the event organiser about why I hadn’t received the ticket. FUN ISN’T IT? I would rather teach at kindergarten than deal with Live Create ever again. Despite the fact that there were a whole host of international speakers, information was not available in English. Yipeee! But that wasn’t the main problem…They’re disorganised organisers. Forgive the pun.
Despite incredibly advanced technological advances in robotics, the banking industry in Japan is painfully traditional. Japan is still largely a cash-based society, so be prepared to walk around with a wad of cash to buy things. Paying by credit card is only available at major department stores and at some restaurants. Most people pay their bills with cash at a convenience store or at the post office. If you can’t be bothered with that, direct debit is also available. Now onto the banks…
I can still remember looking at a picture of the solar system in a children’s encyclopedia and feeling like I somehow knew those great nine wanderers intimately. At the weekly visit to the Hindu Temple, I remember gazing curiously at the personifications of the nev graha – nine planets – as they are they known in Vedic astrology. I often circled around them as though I were a mini-planet earth. To me, the myths and allegories that the planets have inspired over the millennia are as fascinating as the scientific discoveries of the past two centuries. May the night sky never cease to inspire us.
“In Japan, it’s better not to stick out,” a friend of mine advises me over Vietnamese spring rolls and papaya salad in Shibuya. “We have a saying – the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”
Ueno is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Tokyo. It just has so much to offer that I don’t even know where to start. A park. A zoo. A shrine. An array of different museums. And of course, the super famous Ameyoko Shopping Street. I believe I’m not the only one that loves a good bargain?
The Tokyo – Doha leg of the journey is an overnight flight. How fun? I don’t know anyone who likes long haul overnight flights. And although I love love love travelling; flying is the bane of my existence. I bloody hate it. Thankfully – I’m the kind of person that can sleep anywhere. And although I manage to get some sleep on the plane, it wasn’t the restful kind. I was tossing and turning and shifting about the whole time. I felt a little sorry for the guy sitting next to me.
I’ve heard people rave and rave about Shin-Okubo: Japan’s largest Korea Town. Easily accessible on Tokyo’s Yamanote line, I went there today not quite knowing what to expect. The moment I stepped out of the station, I felt like I was transported to a different country.