Tuesday, April 12, 2005

closed roads

Day 4 - Bike in Akihabara

The main road next to the electronic shopping district is closed to traffic on sundays. This allows the many shoppers to spill out onto the streets without the fear of being skittled over by an angry toyota crown driver.

Japanese Fact #35
It is rude and considered offensive to blow your nose in public. Hocking some nasty sounding phlegm up and pissing in the first available corner in public is perfectly acceptable.

Japanese fact #586
You are not allowed to answer you mobile phone on public trains and it must be switched to silent or off depending on which part of the carriage you are standing in. However, it is perfectly fine to text message, listen to music or watch television on your phone whilst on the train.

In Ueno station, while looking for a locker to cram my bag into I found an envelope with a magazine called “Samson” in it. On the front cover (back cover for us whiteys), was an illustration of two gents in business attire. One was sitting on an office chair, while the other was standing beside him with his hand on the other’s shoulder. With the pair laughing, I got the impression that it was a comic about the fun that can be had at work and the pleasure found in the company of colleagues. I opened it to find that my reading had been right, just the type of fun and pleasure was different from the one I had imagined. Now porn in Japan cannot legally show genitals. However, the impression one gets of what is going on in said porn is not lost due to a few pixelated knobs and fannies.

Walking around Akihabara, you get the impression that the protagonist in the majority of Japanese cinema seems to fall into four distinct character types:

1) I am a 15 year old school girl who looks like I'™ve just done something naughty.

2) I have inordinately large breasts (okii opie), and I'€™m hoping you can help me with dealing them.

3) My clothes have spontaneously exploded and I only have a few threads left with which to cover my shame.

4) All of the above

Great thing about Akihabara is they sell everything electronic. From fridges to laptops; from foot spas to walkmans. And the best part is that one of everything is on display so you can suss out how it functions and whether it will work in your home country before you buy it. Here's a tip on shopping ion Akihabara. Leave the store "AOX"€ until the end. Because on the forth floor they sell massaging chairs which you can try. Oh me, oh my. Just what I needed after lugging a back pack around all day.

It's weird though, some things a really cheap compared to Australia, while other things are either the same or even more. And second hand computer stores look the same as they do here as they do back in Australia. Full of over priced, outdated shit with all the best buys either snapped up by the owner or a local geek who knows the language and therefore can out-bargain some git from Adelaide any day.

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