Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hand Shake Only

Day 6: After breakfast, D went to work and I went to the Golden Temple. First I took the wrong bus, then I took the right bus and got off at the wrong stop. Fortunately, Japanese public transportation is so marvelous that the buses are almost as easy to use as the subways, a phenomenon that I have never encountered in any other country.

The bus stop tells you when a bus is nearing. See the yellow ball at 205? That's bus 205 (the right bus) approaching.
Kinkaku, the Golden Temple.

After riding around on the bus some more, I went downtown and visited the 100-yen and 300-yen shops (like our 99-cent stores only with stuff you actually want to buy), which D had first taken me to the day before. She also took me to Loft, the best store that has ever existed.

Despite my extreme distate for housewares and housewares shopping (I felt like I was going to die every time my mother dragged me into Williams-Sonoma when I was growing up; the woman can look at wooden spoons for days), I loved Loft.

I had to ask the saleslady what this was for.

This is what it's for. I bought three.

I bought this bag (IV not included) near the Kyoto train station. It's made in China. So are the noses.

I didn't actually purchase this in Japan, but I did cajole D into giving it to me there.


Day 7: D and I spent the first part of the day walking around and the second part sitting around. Both parts were lovely. We went back to Gion, the geisha district, and walked on from there.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that children love pigeons.

Baji, this duck's for you. Unfortunately, the ducks were blurry that day.

Meet Romeo.

Meet Julio.

Meet the two fathers trying to separate them. Fie!

Julio was not going to let that happen.
Later we spotted Romeo sound asleep in his father's lap. Was that in Act III?

Giant Buddha.

Giant orange arch.

We had conveyor belt sushi for lunch and spent a good 20 minutes wishing and hoping for barbecued eel until I finally summoned up enough nerve to say "unagi" (eel) in no particular direction. We got our eel and were happy. Tip: Choose your seat carefully at conveyor belt sushi. Figure out where the sushi starts because if you're next to fellow eel eaters you're going to be very sad, watching the eel come toward you and then disappear right before it gets to you. Lamprey-loving bastards!

By the way, the hot water for your tea comes out of a faucet built into the sushi bar, giving each diner his own personal tea spout.

Caution: Groovy people crossing.

After lunch we went to a cafe and then discovered a new English-language bookstore behind it.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over pop culture--that our lives had become unmanageable.
My name is Amelie and I went to the launch party for this book. Then I went to Japan and took a picture of it.

Of course.

I finally indulged my curiosity and bought one of the mystery bags at the 300-yen shop (plus tax it's 315 yen).

Whatever could be in it?

Why, it's a paper shredder! I dragged it back from Japan and broke it yesterday.

The currency, seen from the front (or the back).

And the back (or the front).

A last look.

Coming up: odds and ends.


baj said...

i wish we had such a sophisticated bus tracking system here.

why am i not surprised that you are now in possession of three free-standing noses?

japanese ducks! i wonder how they would fare against the iceland ducks or the irish ducks.

Blanqui said...

I bet the expression "keeping your ducks in a row" only applies to Japanese ducks. There's no way you could keep Irish ducks in a row.

Zora said...

Awesome! Thanks for the eel tip.

yasmine said...

hahaha duuuude, i loved the photos and the corresponding commentary. yeah, i think i can see why you and baji are friends. also, i want to invest in one of those sunglasses noses. also#2, thanks for the romeo+julio laughs!