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I’m being spoiled

I think Tokyo is spoiling me forever.  And so are the people in it.  I don’t know if I can accurately describe just how fantastic my weekend was. I went into it with virtually no plans, but it all worked out for the best. I’m a terrible person for not taking photos of my activities on Saturday – I was more focused on enjoying my evening than taking pictures.  But I do have pictures from Sunday. To recap:

Saturday I attended the Brazilian Festival with a friend. It was a giant awesome-smelling barbeque with live bands, gorgeous women in swimsuits, and tons of foreigners. I really could have followed the steady stream of foreign people to find my way to the event. The weather was great – it’s finally starting to cool down a bit, and these summery-autumn nights are wonderful. Billy Blanks of Tae-bo fame was at the event promoting some doughnut-y food. I don’t want to know how he made the decision to go from fitness guru to junk food enthusiast. I enjoyed meat on a stick, a couple of live bands, and fantastic company. We grabbed coffee-cardio-dinner-coffee-dessert+conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I wish all my Saturday nights were as nice.  I haven’t felt that happy in a long time.

Sunday I lazed around for the better part of the morning. I took a few pictures of the new apartment for anyone who is interested. It’s certainly a change from Akihabara, but I love it here (aside from the occasional yowling catfight at 5:36AM).

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I now have an actual kitchen area and a place to sit and eat! Oh, the luxury!

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I’ve got a decent amount of storage in this pantry/refrigerator/shoe storing section of the kitchen.

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The new kitchen! Now with counter space! And a feeble “spice rack”! The kitchen sink also doubles as my bathroom sink (it’s the only one in the apartment).

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I still have a separated bath and toilet, thank god. No more super toilet…but it’s not like I really used all those features anyway.

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This is the bedroom area. There’s sliding doors to separate it from the kitchen if necessary. The flooring in this room is tatami mat. I kind of like it, but I hear it can be difficult to take care of.

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The bed-desk-tv setup. My tv only gets a handful of channels here, but I don’t watch much television, so it’s not really an issue. The bedroom has a large window and the door to the balcony, so there’s great light during the day. If I look out the window next to my bed, there’s a nice garden area:

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I had a hard time sleeping my first night here just because it was so quiet, I think. I had become so accustomed to the noises of Akihabara. In a way I miss the “white noise” of the chuo line. It was more pleasant to hear that than the aforementioned cat battle.

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Lastly, here’s my closet. There’s more space than I have stuff. Tons of storage here. I could probably hide several bodies if necessary.

This place is located between two stations on different lines, but it’s a bit of a hike to either one. The area is very residential. An older man out for a jog a few mornings ago actually smiled at me and said “Good morning!” (in Japanese). I felt so fuzzy.

I got out of the house in the afternoon and headed back to Odaiba (where I visited the Gundam). Today I took a different route – the Yurikamome line. It felt like a little amusement park ride. The trip takes you over Tokyo bay and winds through futuristic looking buildings on the way to your destination. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the weather was today! I really enjoyed this part of the trip. Here is a horrible, horrible picture of an otherwise glorious view.

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I had originally planned to attend a shindig today at Odaiba, but somehow things didn’t pan out. I either forgot/misunderstood key information or got out to the island too late, but I won’t complain. I ended up with a fantastic afternoon in the sunshine. When I got off the train I just sat and stared out over the bay for probably a good half hour or so. I hadn’t been prepared for such an aesthetically pleasing experience and I was stunned. The view from where I was sitting was nothing short of amazing.

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I feel like I want to bring everyone I know here and make them sit and appreciate it.  I actually had to force myself to get up and do something else because I would have been totally content to just drink in that view all afternoon.

Odaiba hosts a lot of quirky, interesting things (like the Gundam). The place where I was sitting was next to a smaller-scale replica of the statue of liberty. I don’t know why it’s here.

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I walked down to the waterfront where people were fishing, walking, chatting; it was so charming. Charming isn’t usually a word I would use to describe Tokyo, but today I didn’t even feel like I was in the city – being on Odaiba was like being on another planet (with a bunch of Japanese people).

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I didn’t actually have an agenda once I got there. I walked back to where the Gundam was (they’re beginning to take it down, although it’s still standing), filmed a little bit of video, and had a bite to eat.  I watched the footage later and it’s not really enough to make a video with.  Too bad.   The nearby “Aqua City” shopping area was fun to browse – there was a movie theater inside. I got a little too excited when I saw they had Taken (with Liam Neeson) playing in English, but there were only two showings today, and I had missed them both. Maybe another time. Liam Neeson is just so cool.

I thought the afternoon was nice, but when I walked out of the shopping area at night, I was amazed yet again.

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Odaiba has quickly become one of my favorite places in this city. Tokyo is beautiful in ways that Oregon never will be. They’re on opposite ends of the nature/city spectrum. I never could have imagined that I would like this city as much as I do. Parts of last night’s conversation discussed changing attitudes toward the city over time. Who knows – maybe next month I’ll be bitter and jaded and hate this place. But for now, I just can’t get enough. Every time I leave my house I make myself take a risk in some small way. It’s really paying off. I worry that I’m being spoiled by being here and playing by my rules – going where I want, spending time with who I want; making my own decisions. The independence is glorious. People sometimes embark on a journey with the intent to “find themselves”. That wasn’t on my list of things to do when I left the states, but I think I’ve stumbled across myself here in Tokyo.

I read somewhere on the internet a phrase that really sums up what I feel right now: “If this is life, I’ll take a season pass.”

8 Comments

  1. Steve Steve September 6, 2009

    Looks like a sweet place. I am very jealous of your kitchen area. That’s the one thing I really lack here. Plus I only have one burner on my stove and no “oven.” Once I free up some floor space, I really want to purchase another table and drop a toaster oven on there as well as a gas range.

    Love the new digs. Enjoy it!

  2. emilyinjordan emilyinjordan September 8, 2009

    I hope I get in your state of mind very soon. Amman is very cool so far, but I haven’t seen much yet because of Ramadan. So i”ll try to take after you and take little steps every day to try something new. I’m proud of you. And I’m excited to come visit you in Japan someday!

  3. jyankee jyankee September 14, 2009

    Sounds like a cool place. I love Odaiba, only because I only get to visit maybe once a year or less…? from where we are… Really nice pics and a nice apartment. Much better than the one I had when I first moved to Japan!

  4. jyankee jyankee September 14, 2009

    Oops… forgot to say that I’m at jyankee69.wordpress.com found you off of Steve’s blog links… hope you dont mind. Stop on by….

  5. Ryan Ryan September 15, 2009

    I was wondering what’s the diet like there? Are people a lot more active there, or eat better/less?

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  6. Emily Emily September 26, 2009

    we need some new posts Arisha!

  7. Marsha Marani Marsha Marani September 26, 2009

    If I had stayed in Italy when I was young, who would I be now? This is my favorite part of my weekend—reading your week. Love you Lish!

  8. Wood Sliding Doors Wood Sliding Doors December 9, 2009

    Hope you had a lot of fun at Tokyo, love the rice paper, sliding doors.

    Although I think their only good for public areas around the house, like the kitchen, however in places like bedrooms, it is does not give enough privacy.

    However all in all i hope you had a great time.

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