Sunday, 29 November 2015
I learnt to say "交渉" or "kousho" which directly translates as "negotiation" but is actually used in the context of asking for a discount. Which I was asked for by everyone.
Monday, 23 November 2015
Sunday, 22 November 2015
Saturday, 21 November 2015
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
For half an hour. From Iidabashi to my share house in Sendagaya. It was dark, and as British people say "pissing it down".
I quickly learnt that when its raining, cyclists in Tokyo should watch out for:
- Young children who haven't quite figured out spatial awareness
- and incredibly slow to move out the way old people.
GET OUT OF MY WAY. My trousers are drenched.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
I went to the big hotshot Shunga exhibition running in Tokyo's Eisei Bunko gallery.
Very old pieces of traditional Japanese erotica art beautifully preserved and presented.
I knew it would be busy despite going on a Wednesday morning, what I didn't expect was to be the only person under 60 and foreign at the exhibition.
Imagine being in a small art space shoulder to shoulder packed with ojisans and obachans (old men and women) surrounded by erotica, some of it pretty weird. Claustrophobic, uncomfortable and awkward. I didn't stay too long.
To find out more about the exhibition go here:
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Saturday, 7 November 2015
I spoke to a UK person who was on holiday last night - he thought my accent was really strange. But, after speaking to him for longer, I slowly reverted back to normal - apparently.
"oh, well, now you're sounding like a London person, but before you were talking all weird."
So that's what happens, accents revert depending on where we are or who we are talking to. Ground-breaking discovery Ms.Zara thank you. However, how much are we aware of it, when we are doing it, and how much can we control it?
You know when people hate hearing the sound of their own voice on an answer machine or in a video? "oh, ewww, turn it off, I hate hearing the sound of my own voice". Why? embrace it fools. That cringe noise is what the rest of us have to put up with every time you deem it necessary to speak. If you hate it then try to revert it, because apparently there's nothing unnatural about that.
I will leave you with this motivational thought which 100% highlights everything we have discussed this evening (or morning if you are in Japan):
Do you think Pokemon just evolve by accident?
Or is it? I stayed up all night doing karaoke with some of my housemates and a couple of tourists we might as well have picked up off the street. But the case is that we actually met them at this thing we went to.
They were nice, I just like to be dramatic. The thing was good too.... very 'artsy'... oh wow, this is so Tokyo-life blog right now.
Here's a question.
When you read something written like this by someone you know, do you just read it in your voice, or is it through a sudo-me voice. For those who are familiar with my deep deep ladyman voice, is that what you imagine saying this? What about this? Or even this?
Let's try an experiment with some example sentences.
I want you to imagine this read in a French accent:
Stop doing that and focus.
If you read that correctly, then the word focus, should have sounded like "fuck us".
OK, here's another one:
Ok, so, take a deep breath and now imagine this said in the voice of Alanis Morrisette:
Isn't it ironic...don't you think?
If you read that correctly you should now have the song 'Ironic' by Alanis Morrisette stuck in your head.
OK great, we can all compare notes on how this experiment went and write it up in some high-brow academic journal.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
I've been here for almost two months now and it still doesn't really feel as though I live here. Moving to Tokyo was something I wanted for so long, and now that I'm finally here, I feel quite deflated.
It takes a lot of time, and a lot to happen in order to really feel established somewhere. Each time I move to a new place, I have to go through the same processes. Working out a new routine, a new way to get around, where to go and what to do. Will I take on any new hobbies here? Who will I be friends with? When you move to a small place, there are fewer choices so it becomes much easier to figure these things out. You can just go with the flow, see what happens. I'm learning that in a big city, it’s not so easy.
Tokyo is a place in which it’s so easy to be lonely, get lost, feel like a nobody and achieve very little, I'm realising how much of a challenge it really is. After feeling so secure in myself and who am I, being a new person in a city of this scale means that it is not only hard to establish yourself, but you can quickly loose comfort in your sense of identity.
I am aware that I am just going through a common process. These feelings are something I have experienced before and recognise. I felt this way when I moved to Bristol at 22, to Ibaraki at 24 and now, to Tokyo at 26. In each case, I made the most of my situation and turned them into places I was able to consider a true home, with true friends and a strong sense of familiarity.
I don't doubt my ability to do it all again, I am just feeling a little drained. Perhaps there are only so many times in my life I can pack up and move on somewhere new. I am worried that before my real career has even begun, I have lost a lot of the enthusiasm and energy I had for it. I had a nice job and a great group of friends in Ibaraki. Although I hope I can have the same again in Tokyo, I sometimes don't feel like being responsible for making it happen.