Arrived in Japan a week ago, but feels like months since I met Enrico the Italian at passport control, and think I'm not so much turning Japanese ('I think I'm turning Japanese') as living in a magical-land-on-steroids [Hyphens incl. to avoid accusations of drug abuse], straight out of a C. S. Lewis/Aldous Huxley crossover project gone wonderfully wrong. Found myself brushing my trainers with a toothbrush a few days ago, just to make sure they were clean enough for the Japanese (via Venice Beach) gym I now haunt. Had my first muttered 'Hello' from another gym hare today - not quite as exciting as Saturday night, when hipster #1 asked hipster #2 (numbers are hitting triple figures round here) to check out 'that cool cat' as I walked by. Now reads like I was simply in the same vicinity as a nice looking feline, but boosted my ego sufficiently for that night.
Spent the rest of the evening wandering round Shibuya before, after careful consideration and deliberate pavement hopping, walking right into a crowd of Australians set on celebrating their football team's assured victory over the Japanese in the final of the Asian Cup that evening. After much Jap-lish (Engl-nese?) taunting and beery cheering, the Japanese won 1-0. We retreated behind the Golden Arches©, only to end up following a huge Japanese chap who was just as beer-y as he was bear-y across the street to the club he owned. Cue much foreigner-as-celebrity welcoming, with London having the edge over Melbourne that particular evening. London especially carries a certain cachet, although the clued-up hipsters are rather impressed by Brighton connections.
Have passed two evenings (Tues and Wed, just to count it out) touring Tokyo's English-speaking comedy scene, Skyping (Sun), poring over Infinite Jest (around the four-hundred page mark out of a thousand, thanks to daily visits), meeting a rather entertaining OW journalist in the Foreign Correspondents' Club (Thurs) and tonight (Fri) may venture out for my first free gig in the city of cities. (I can't account for Mon - must have stayed in?) I have yet to find a full routine to make sure I can keep track of days/make surethey all blend into one another, but this morning I may have found the café to establish myself as a regular in, and finally plucked up the courage to enter the gym's sauna. All of a sudden rather conscious of the colour of my skin and all that entails, incl. the (urban) legendary endowment of Western males. See Charisma Man comic strip for more details.
I start work, have an interview, do laundry, revise Japanese vocab, and plan a trip to Cuba...