Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Life in Tokyo - as days go by

 So, there is a general rule of thumb that you never try and do more than three things in a day in Tokyo. You can try but your performance is going to head south the further you go. And before arguments commence, going to work or looking after a baby count as one each, been there, seen it, done it. And anyone looking after a baby has already completed more than anyone going to work at the time of reading so don't complain to your spouse you're tired...

Last week thought I had an "interesting" day. I'd known I had a memorial service on the day (not a sad one, he'd had a good innings and passed with the beer he loved, in his hand) but in Japan you reflect on the person a year to the day after their leaving. So, suit on, and we went to the shrine where his remains are held until his wife also passes and then we'll inter them together. The chanting of the priest is hypnotic but we quietly payed our respects and moved on. To the next funeral. This was, admittedly sad and a few tears were shed. But good to be there.

After that one, coming home I received a message from a friend to say he was having a hard time and could we go for a beer. I caught up with him early evening in the (relatively) new Shibuya Yokocho (you'll find me half way along sitting at the red tables). A few drinks down and he was feeling much more in touch with the world and I had an enjoyable walk home through the center of Shibuya across the scramble to where I live past a thousand people.

And I'd achieved my three things. Two funerals and a beer. Not quite a movie title, but you can't have everything...

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Life in Tokyo - Sometimes it can get a little hectic

There was an old saying about life in Tokyo, "never try to do more than three things in a day". Going to work and having several meetings still counts as one before you say it... But sometimes things just all happen at the same time in the same place and, of course, it's the moment you catch flu (very mild in case you were wondering. I had Swine Flu many years ago and that was seriously not fun, this time I'll live, that time was touch and go) and the cold, dry blue skies of winter change to a bone chilling rain and that's when it happens.

So an old friend flew in last night from Australia (on a business tour from Europe). I haven't seen him since before pandemic (Japan's doors were firmly shut both during and months post the apocalypse). However his three days was shortened to eighteen hours, there or there abouts. So 11.00pm saw me in a taxi to his hotel in a race against the closing of the bar, made it just in time. Four drinks ordered and we made it to around 1.00am with help of some very kind bar staff who didn't complain at all that the lights were out and the place was very firmly shut.

So we'll catch up again this evening for an hour before he heads to the airport, my photoshoot I've deferred from today (under the "three things" rule). I'll meet him at a bar he doesn't know, in a part of town he doesn't know and then catch up with another friend before we head to a concert (Wilco, if you were wondering) and my first friend heads to Narita but has to find his car first. At the same time I'm helping my son work through apartment applications and getting myself up to speed on tonight's show whilst also joining a conference for a school where I help out. But as Ben Johnson once said, "mom, nobody died". 

The Queen concert two weeks ago was pretty awesome though...