So last saturday, I moved from my favorite japanese family to a student "guest house" where I share a small room with a friend.
The change was not without it's anxieties. Mainly, I miss dinner with the Kobayashis, and the high-speed internet connection I had there. You know, for surfing on teh webz.
But I won't complain. It's nice here, and warm.
Saturday was eventful in other areas, too.
After dinner, me and Nathalie headed off to Ikebukuro where a café was supposedly celebrating some sort of anniversary. I knew nothing about it, but tagged along for lack of anything else to do.
Turns out, this get-together was largely one of artists and musicians, three of whom were performing when we arrived. Clad in white, heads bowed, they delicately manipulated their instruments (a steel plate, a mixer with a delay pedal, and some mutation of a record player) to create random noise and ambient hum. It was very good.
Most of the expensive-glasses-wearing clientele seemed a bit awkward by the whole affiair, which obviously made it even better.
After their set, I wasn't late to approach the oldest of the three to compliment his weirdness and ask about his steel plate. His name is Ken-ichi Kanazawa, and he's a sculptor. The audio-thing was just one of many ways to explore the uses and features of steel. Or so he said.
Fascinating old dude, he quickly introduced me to the other two; Shinjiro Yamagiuchi and Hiroyuki Ura. Behind the usual japanese politeness, they were really cool people, and were far less pretentious than I would have thought. Shows me.
The event also hosted a screening of a very artsy short film, which I didn't care that much for. Most of the next four hours was spent talking to nice people. A canadian named Luke took several pictures of our shoes, and his english friend Lisa gave us tips about vegan eateries in Tokyo.
Tired and smiling, we left just after eleven to catch the last train home. Or so we thought. Through some misunderstanding, we missed the train and had to find something to do for five hours. The proximity of Tokyo Dome seemed encouraging, so we approached the premises, immediately finding a 24-hour Denny's.
We figured we could get some tea, get warm, then go someplace else. Right.
We woke up around 4:30, and staggered off to catch the first train instead.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday came and went. Got some studying done, which was good. Went for a walk and found a good 100-yen shop that sells food (not all of them do.)
Yesterday me, Nathalie, Maria and Nathalie's visiting friend Erika went to a vegan restaurant/café in Shibuya to eat falafel burgers. I've been curious about places like that, but it was actually a bit disappointing. The food was bland and expensive, the room small and grey.
And obviously there's a sign on the wall that reads "Vegan. Make the change you want to see in the world." Shit, can't we just eat food without meat? We're not better people for it.
School is trucking on, getting more difficult now. I just hope that when I go home, I'll actually be able to use some of it.
Also, the weather sucks. Hope that changes soon enough.
Denny's. They know their stuff.