So besides being confused about the language of the country we're actually in, we have another language barrier within our own group. We call it: Steveisms.
This is Steve:
No, not the one in the nightgown, that's Adrian (don't ask). The other one.
He's British but currently works with our friend Sean in Italy. And he uses many words that need to be explained to us Americans.
Words like "Scrinson" - used to fill in when you can't think of the right word but it's not crucial to the conversation anyway. I.e. "what did you do last night?" "Oh we went to ...Scrinson and we met some friends and it was great." Or "you remember, we had that great fish and ...scrinson, anyway, we loved that place!"
This word no doubt is quite useful to keep a conversation flowing. Unfortunately, Steve broke his own rules with it and occasionally used it in concerning ways. "Look, we just get on the scrinson line and that train will take us there!"
Steve, the name of the subway line is actually the most crucial part of this conversation. Stop using scrinson!
Another Steveism that isn't always helpful is "Dib dobs," or "Spondoolies." As in "oh that ticket only costs 14 dib dobs" or "how many spondoolies do I need to add to my part of this bill?"
*Facepalm* When you are already confused in a foreign land, the last thing you want is to require a translator within the group you are travelling with who actually speak your language. It did add to the humor though.
Another thing that added humor was the fact that I am 5'8 and do not possess a tiny frame. In other words, I don't fit in Japan. Exhibits A, B, and C:
But back to Tokyo. There were a few more places we saw before we left for our ski lodge in Nagano.
First, I was fixated on finding a Capsule Hotel before we left Japan. It was one of weird things I heard about that I needed to see for myself while I was there. First, I heard of one in Shi BOO YEAH! and dragged my friends along back streets until we finally found it --
...and were promptly kicked out because it was apparently only for men. Then I was told the all-women one was actually located in the area our own hotel was in (go figure) in Shinjuku. I set out to visit that one later and finally had success. (After first finding the all-men's part again accidentally. Woops! I walked up to a steamy door, who knew what it was leading to until you opened it?) Here's what the capsules look like:
Like meat lockers. Or a morgue. Exactly what I was hoping for.
When you open one, they aren't as scary, and actually are bigger than the top bunk I slept in on that Bluegrass tour bus several years ago...
I'd totally stay in one the next time I'm in Japan.
Another thing on our adventure was visiting a museum we found in our guide book that was touted as a "Hiptster's dream" set in an old mansion. It was in a random area of Tokyo and we struggled to find it.
Here's a diagram of what we went through only to end up jumping in a cab. And promptly getting laughed at because the cab driver thought we should just walk.
After enlisting the UN above, and enduring the cab, we finally make it.
And were promptly confused.
I'm sorry, what? This is a mansion? This is art?
Here was the front:
Here is the "sculpture garden"
Thank you for that descriptive title of "pylon"
The inside "exhibits" ranged from movie screens to an installation depicting the death of a Drag Queen behind a toilet bowl. I wish I was kidding. Below are some more gems:
just a curved room, in the dark, with a row of lit numbers^
Not even sure what this is ^ but it wasn't the only character we saw. I nearly got mowed down as a hot dog ran down the sidewalk later. This place is cray cray.
I saw little girls pouring over anime magazines and grown men fully enthralled in arcades.
It was also here that we encountered a restaurant where you pick your meal from a vending machine with only Japanese titles to help. Fortunately, all of us enjoyed our meals. It was touch and go for a minute though.
After finally getting our fill, we ended our Tokyo time and headed to the next portion of our adventure -- skiing in Nagano.