For those who don't know, pachinko is a like a Japanese form of slot machines or pokies or whatever you call gambling machines. Being Japanese, it has to be way more advanced yet way more antiquated than gambling machines elsewhere. There also have to be a heap of stupid rules.Read More
I've decided to do a weekly update on my happenings otherwise things fly by and get forgotten. And, for a weekly update, this week has been a big one.
I started the week, well last Monday, which is technically over a week ago but whatever, meeting up with awesome Lucinda. Well before that, I got a JR East pass because I had to head to Sendai later in the week and that was the cheapest way to do it. I still have five days to use up in the next week, must remember to do that.
So, we ended up having lunch at an oden place. Not something I'd have chosen but it was open and looked quiet. It ended up being a great meal. I've been put off oden because they have it in the 7-11 here and it never smells good when you walk in. For those not in the know, oden is a type of Japanese hot pot with various things in it. The best of the ingredients was a cabbage roll type thing. Totally delicious.
We followed lunch with a few hours of karaoke and many classics were belted out, believe me.
Then Korean BBQ. Sorry vegos about the photo but pork belly with cheese is as good as it gets in my world.
So, Tuesday, I lazed about but since I had to be in Sendai early, had booked a hotel in Omiya. I live on the opposite side of Tokyo so figured it was worth getting a few extra hours sleep. It was there that I discovered that Tenya (a chain of tempura places) does mozzarella tempura. That is dangerous knowledge.
Wednesday morning, I got up early to catch the shinkansen to head to ARASHI BLAST IN MIYAGI. This was going to be a huge deal, including the logistics of getting to Sendai, catching a shuttle bus to the arena then another shuttle bus afterwards to my Airbnb. Surprisingly, everything worked like clockwork.
I wrote a long and rambling concert report on my livejournal but the short version -- it was awesome. Beyond awesome. It was the last night of the four concerts and I really wish I'd gone more than once.
The less enjoyable part of Sendai was another crazy Airbnb experience. I arrived to check in and the guy was all nitpicky. You get used to that here but it was like he just wanted to find fault in everything I did, including me not writing my address in his book big enough to fill the whole page! It wasn't a very comfortable environment. Then a huge bunch of Japanese women rocked up who'd obviously been to the concert too. They sat in the communal sitting room outside my room and screech at each other until about 1am. The old guy didn't say one word about that!
I left early the next morning because I couldn't sleep on the rock hard futon. I've slept on futons before and there are futons and then there are futons. This one was thinner than the doona on my bed. At least it was sitting on a thick mat.
I got back to Tokyo, every muscle in my body aching (from standing in queue for hours the day before, not just the futon) and my cold back in full force.
On Friday, I met with a friend to get my Minipresso. For some reason, I can't get mail delivered here (something to do with sub-letting, I bet) so I got it sent to my friend. We had a fun day of shopping including being Barbie-ized in a department store. Seriously, they had a camera set up and, when you walked past, you got turned into Barbie on the screen.
With all that running around, the weekend had to be devoted to some serious writing time. I barely left the house except to get snacks on Sunday. Oh yeah, and I booked a ticket to Thailand for the beginning of next year.
Then today, one of the most stressful days of the year. I found out if I won tickets in the ballot for the Arashi concert tour. That involved checking my email every 5 minutes. Even though I know they don't send out the mails until late afternoon.
And the result: defeat. Always defeat.
I am never, ever going to get concert tickets in the Arashi ballot. I was going to say win tickets but you don't actually win them, you just win the chance to buy them. I was pretty darn devastated because I take these things personally.
Then I was interviewed for the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast about my writing and travel - which will be available from Thursday. It was a fun interview. Well, it was for me because I got to talk about myself.
So, how was your week? What did you get up to?.