Nov. 10th, 2014

mangosteen: (allwork)
I'm in Tokyo for the next week or so. Having flown in yesterday evening, the jetlag beast has triumphed in ways that I've not experienced in years, so here's a couple of random observations from way too early in the morning:

Streams: In Tokyo Central Station, people moved in streams. Being a bit taller than the average bear around here, I could get a really good view of it. Outside a stream, motion would seem completely unpredictable and frustrating. Inside a stream, you could move at full speed through the station. This then became a game of looking at overhead signs, looking at the people beneath them, and seeing if the stream you were in was going to take you there.

Coins: Japan is a very cash-based society; credit cards exist, but you can't assume anyone smaller than a big store chain is going to take them. Combine that with the smallest bank note being ¥1000 (~$9), and it's easy to accumulate coinage at a rather astounding rate. This brings Change Management to a whole new level.

90% Clever: If you're traveling from the US or Canada, the good news is that you don't need plug adapters, and most modern switching power supplies will handle the change in voltage/cycles. The bad news is that no outlets have a third hole for the grounding pin, which means that your typical three-prong laptop power adapter may not fit. I can neither confirm nor deny that this may have happened to the author.

Packaging: I've finally had my first moment of "not buying some food object because I was vaguely freaked out by the amount of packaging they were going to swaddle it in." I get it. It makes sense. Space is at a premium, so consumable gifts are a thing, so a lot of things that I would not normally consider gifts, are. And yet.... HOLY CRAP IT'S JUST A CREAM PUFF!

Food: Random fried meat cutlet with curry and rice is a comfort food of mine, but it was not until yesterday when I discovered that adding on diced pineapple, scallions, chopped peanuts, and a couple of dashes of hot sauce was a Thing of Beauty. That restaurant gave me the opportunity to make my comfort food comfier!

So that was the first couple of hours wandering around Tokyo Station. More later. I should attempt to get back to sleep.

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Elias K. Mangosteen

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