A few things I’ve learned

I think I’m going to keep it simple for my first real post on this blog. Some things I have learned during my time in Tokyo, in no particular chronological order.

It’s easy to forget how much money you’re spending.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been out eating with friends and when the bill comes it’s something on the order of 5000 yen. Worth it, usually, if it was a nomihodai (all you can drink) at least. But even after all this time I’m just now starting to pay closer attention to the cash that flees my wallet as if it were on fire. Americans just aren’t equipped to deal with monetary transactions involving this many zeros on a daily basis.

The trains are, at the same time, the best and the worst part of the city.

There is nothing greater for a drunk than to have a safe, cheap, and convenient way to return home after a night’s libations. Problem is you only have two choices as to departure time. Sometime around midnight or well after 5am. Trains don’t run in the wee hours so if you miss your “last train” then you’re stuck sleeping in a gutter (or manga cafe) or punishing your liver for another five hours.

You don’t have to own a car or even learn how to drive period. The train system is so complex and extensive that you can get pretty much anywhere in under an hour if you know what you’re doing. Of course, so does most of the population. The jokes and horror stories of crowded trains are all too true. I’ve been there…I know…

I’ve once said that I love every area of Tokyo but hate every train station. The reason is the crowds.

Roppongi is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

In reality it’s just the one street. Everyone that’s been there knows which one. If you haven’t, go there. It’ll be obvious what I’m talking about.

Earthquakes are actually not something you can get used to.

I’m tearing down a lot of my own false bravado by saying this but every earthquake still freaks me out. There was a noticeable tremor on the East Coast not too long ago and folks reacted like they should have. Being freaked out. Sorry California, there’s nothing yawn inducing about the very ground beneath your feet moving around of its own free will in my humble, quivering with fear, opinion. Come back to me when you imagine earthquakes even when there are none, like I have for the past 6 months. Earthquake sickness I think it’s called.

The weather pretty much sucks all of the time.

Except for about two or three weeks in late spring and early autumn (like it’s been recently), the weather in Tokyo blows isn’t that great. It’s either way, way too hot. Raining. Way too hot and raining. Or it’s cold. And raining. Good luck trying to plan an outdoor event by the way. Just might get a typhoon up your backside.

Anyway, that’s good enough for now. Need to take the trash out.

Oh yeah!

Wacky as hell trash regulations!

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