Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday: Tokyo

So if you have ever been to Japan you will know how the people reflect what it is like. Cute,
yummy (I haven't actually tried a Japanese person, but I am assuming if I was a cannibal the would be?),
navigators ( I say this one because seriously have no clue how people know their way around Tokyo. The postmen probably are rocket scientists. Our address had no street names just a bunch of numbers. I thought I was a good navigator until I went there. Maybe next time I should take a course on understanding Tokyo streets before I go. We would get maps of how to get to a job with things like turn right at the McDonald's and a left at the 7Eleven. I know craziness!),

Okay I know I could really go on. They are such a wonderful people. The culture is amazing. I love it! Anyway I was contracted for 2 months and I had an amazing roommate, Kelly, from where? Canada! Winnipeg to be exact. We had the best apartment, I think anyway. We were in Roppongi. Which is actually their party district. It might not have been like Kabukicho, which I never went to, but there were definitely some shady things going on. I know!! I still thought it was the best. I guess if it was in a nicer area it would have been better. We had a separate room from the living room and even a separate kitchen which was rare. Most of the model apartments were one room that had a kitchen and a bed with a separate bathroom. I remember the landlady was really strict on recycling she would get so upset with us if we didn't clean and smash and separate.

Everything was so expensive. I seriously think the people must be great at frugal spending or basically have to work until they physically just can't because cost of living is so high. Kelly loved to buy these gigantic apples the size of a small melon to eat. I actually refused because I was sure they were steroid injected alien fruit that probably wasn't good for me. They were 500 yen a piece which is equal to 5$ U.S. I pretty much lived off of 7 Eleven. I know! Not really where you think you can get good food, but they had these awesome rice balls called onigiri that were covered in seaweed for 100 yen. Which was 1$ U.S. I actually now make them for my kids lunches they are super easy and yummy and can be filled with almost anything.

Nightlife was fun. I won't lie and say I never went out because I did. I was a good girl though I never drank alcohol or smoked. One time at The Lex we ran into Barenaked Ladies! I now crazy! They didn't go to the VIP area they were just dancing on the dance floor with us. Ed Robertson made up a rap about me. It was really funny. It had things about being from Oklahoma so you can imagine the funniness that came out. They ended up inviting us to their concert they were having in some nightclub the next night. Did we go? YES!! We even got backstage passes. It was so much fun. There were a lot of Canadians there. Some people were even waving flags. I didn't stay long after because I think I had a busy day the next day, but some of the other girls stayed.

Journal entry.

Everyone told me that Tokyo was the best city to start in Asia for work because it was so safe and clean. I had already been to Singapore and couldn't imagine anything safer or cleaner than that. After going I realized the people that say that are either Japanese or have never been to Singapore. The first week I was there from my apartment window I saw a cab driver get punched in the face and stiffed. The perps just ran away. Not cool. Of course like I said before I was in the red light district. So probably not the best place for me to judge. As far as clean goes. The people are very clean but the streets and subway not so much. And you could buy beer and cigarettes from vending machines. I won't go into all of the other kinds of vending machines out there, but I am sure you can guess.

Into the second week I learned if I was walking in my neighborhood at night to walk fast, keep my head down, and keep nodding no when strangers asked you things. Oh and never window shop not even in the day. In fact ignore the windows. (only in Roppongi other places were okay)

I wish you could see the writing better here, but it is a log of the different things I did. Castings. Jobs. Expenses.

Shopping. Speaking of shopping so much fun. The fashion is incredible. Most of it I would say I couldn't pull off. I think the Japanese have there own sense of style. They way they are bold with there fashion is amazing. Harajuku is incredible. I think that you can get overstimulated with colors and lights and people and certain parts of Tokyo are like that. I wish I was amazing and took more pictures, but these links will have to do. Shibuya is amazing. You don't believe it until you see it. And the train? When you get in you think it couldn't get any more crowded and the another 10 people get "shoved" in literally and then they push until the doors can close. Not fun. I hated that! I don't like people all up in my face and touching where they shouldn't be touching. I learned not to wear skirts. Ginza was the place I wish I could have gone crazy. All of the designer brands were there. I have also learned from a good friend that there are certain brands that have a special collection only sold in Japan. Which doesn't surprise me seeing as how the Japanese there are so fashionable. I definitely felt inspired there. There is a also a district where you can buy all of those fabulous Japanese electronics that are out eons before they get released to the U.S.

The only tear sheet I ever got from Tokyo. I never got to see anything else I did.

Here is a polaroid I got from a bridal job I did.

Cherry Blossom Festival Is definitely "the" time to go. I was there for the very end but the trees were still in bloom. It was so beautiful. I don't remember exactly where, but I think it was a park or a cemetery with trees lining both sides of the street. It was breathtaking. We were always in the van so we never really got to get out to take pictures. I wish I can remember where it was.

The rain was crazy there. Like giants were pouring buckets upon buckets of water on me. It was like typhoons with the wind. The rain came down sideways. You couldn't even use an umbrella because they would just break from the wind. So many occasions I got soaked from head to toe. I was definitely envious of people who had raincoats and rain boots. I never in my life ever had a need for them. I am happy to say now I do own a raincoat and rain boots. So now I can be prepared.

My actual tickets.

Donavan actually came to visit for a week while I was there. We got to go to Tokyo Disneyland! Definitely not Disney World, but at least it wasn't very crowded!

I want to go back. I said it. I know, but it is true. I had a blast and it was definitely an adventure different from any trip I had ever taken before. I actually got driven to most of my castings! Which seeing as how complicated their roads were was probably safer than having 20 girls roaming the streets of Tokyo lost!

I know this post was super long and I apologize, but there was so much to say about Japan. I recommend it to everyone. Oh and the outer cities aren't as crazy as Tokyo, but I kind of liked all the craziness. Would I if I brought my three kids there? Probably not. They would so easily be lost in the sea of almost 13 million people. (that's right 13 million stacked on top of each in TOKYO!)

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