Monday, September 10, 2007

Weird and Wonderful Things About Tokyo

My first visit to Japan was indeed a trip. I am comfortable and happy almost anywhere I go, I behave myself as an "ugly American", attempt to speak the native language, and obey both local and universal customs. However, none of my world travels prepared me well for Tokyo. Tokyo is so many things, in so many parts of the city, that once you get used to the customs and flavor of one neighborhood you are quickly adjusting to the next. It is genteel, mild mannered and steeped in tradition, wildly exotic and kinky, luxurious and frugal.

Some cool things about Tokyo:

Diet Coke out of a vending machine with a screw top lid. Isn't it pretty? Small things amuse the small minded. What can I say? Light Taste & Refreshing.

This truck advertising a new song by the band, "Arashi" haunted our tracks for days. The sound of the new single "Happiness" blasted into the air in neighborhoods as far and wide as Shinjuku, Omotesando and as far east as Ropponggi.

Bathrooms are an experience unto themselves. In a ritzy department store in Ginza, when a customer sits on the seat the music of a running stream and chirping birds plays to drown out the sound of any untoward flatulence. In nearly any westernized locale, the toilets are equipped with seat warmers and a bidet with three choices of stream direction and intensity. And in a final thoughtful gesture, I noticed several toilets accesorized with emergency systems. If your flatulence, nausea or bird flu gets the best of you, pull on the red emergency chord and help will come running.

Lastly for today, boobie pillows.

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