Sunday, 10 April 2011


One of Stevie Wonder's great albums, is that. Now I'm leaving Tokyo come Tuesday morning my time, and tonight will be my last sleep in my bed of the past few months. So although I'll try to avoid getting too reflective or melancholy or even spiritual, à la Stevie, thought it might be worth writing a little something tonight, even if just to counteract my last post's rather 'down' feel. But there'd be no Innervisions without 'Living for the City', which is a nice title but a black tale (in more ways that one) of living in a city when everything you've got just keeps going down. And so - here, and not in order of to-be-missed-most, after a swinging (almost) three months, is what I'll be missing come Wednesday...

1.) All The People I Didn't Meet
Trust me, they seem pretty cool. And pretty nice, too. We could even just go with pretty. There are a helluva lot of them round here, this being one of the most densely populated collections of metres cubed in the world, so the minuscule but hardly insignificant fraction that I did shake the hands of, say hello to or share a drink with will have to be my representative for the rest. I'd have liked to have been able to speak to more of them with a bit more fluency, but we've coped on both sides, and it's been fun. I'll be back one day, and I get the feeling most of these folk think they're on to something here, and won't be leaving anytime soon.

2.) All The People I Did Meet
From the comedians to the cougars, the bartenders to the bachelors, the waitresses to the weight-lifters, I think I've had fun with most of you all along the way. I'm not quite sure who that apostrophe's addressing, as I haven't spread the word about this here blog around those whose antics may feature in it - rude, perhaps? Over-protective? Not sure, but no complaints so far. To all those who laughed that extra bit loudly at the open mic nights, to all those who put up my hour-long lunch-breaks and inability to use Photoshop, to all those who smiled wearily when I went to eat even more toast... Why thank you. It's been charming. 

3.) The Toasty Mornings
For most of my stay here, that 'toasty' has been only in the sense (and it may be a new one) of 'involving toast'. The temperature when I'd crawl out of bed before work in the not-so-early a.m. was hardly balmy, even once I'd switched on the heater. But the prospect of golden peanut (butter) cream melting on just-so toasted bread was enough to get my down to the bathroom and under the hopefully-not-radioactive water in enough time that I could probably enjoy my coffee and Kindle time. And did I mention the toast? Also - the quiet. Save for the occasional rattle of the early commuter fetching his coffee from the vending machine, those twenty-plus minutes were quietly nice.

4.) The Surreal All-Nights
Remember that scene in The Jungle Book, where all the apes are dancing to the tune of King Louie singing 'I Wan'na Be Like You'? That's how I moved in Womb, only one of the globe's top clubs, to the sound of Sasha, only one of the globe's top DJs. No regrets, obviously. But as if turning the lights on at the end of the night wasn't bad enough, leaving the club and discovering it was bright outside? I was in there for a little over six hours, and the walk back through Shibuya at dawn was enough to make me sure I'm going to miss this here place. And that was only one night... Throw in and indie gigs and some U.S. Marines and it's been swell.

5.) Day-To-Day
So getting up's not too bad and I can have a good time into the wee hours of the morning, but that wouldn't count for diddly if I couldn't get myself a hot coffee out of a vending machine or meet people by a statue of a dog or learn how to treat a green light the Japanese way or ride the subway to-and-fro or see all those cherry blossoms or just watch all these people in all of this city that just keeps on going - there's always more, and what earthquake are you worrying about? We're here for a good time, not a long time. But now I'm off and out. That'll be a 'sayonara', then, I guess. So long, Tokyo.

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