Have you ever walked through a grocery store and not known what anything was? I had that experience this evening. Although there are pictures on a lot of things, the only items (aside from fresh fruits and vegetables) that I could clearly identify were Frosted Flakes, Coke Zero, and Cote de Rhone. It might have been daunting if I had to fill my fridge and feed my family, but as that was not the case I was just in it for the experience. There’s lots of everything… I just don’t know what anything is. There was one item that intrigued me… a bag of what appeared to be whole dried worm-like fish, eyes and all. Although I assume it is a delicacy of some sort, it looked to me like freeze-dried fishing bait.
Although I have been told there is a bank machine where I will be able to use my debit card to withdraw cash, I have been relying solely on my Visa card. As impressive as that may sound, it has thus far amounted to four purchases, two of which were transportation from the airport (train then taxi). I paid for dinner this evening in a lovely little restaurant down the street, which in Canada would have been a five-star restaurant, but in Tokyo was little more than a glorified fast-food restaurant. I had the best sashimi I have ever imagined, and the meal cost about $12. They refused my tip. I then went back to the grocery store and bought a little fresh-fruit cup and some dried mango for dessert. No joke, including the food in the cafeteria at lunch, I have not had a morsel of food that was not among the freshest I have ever tasted.
I have not gone out to experience ‘the real Tokyo’ yet, but I will this week-end. So far I have ventured out from hotel alone three times: once for my morning stroll, once for dinner (along the same route as the morning stroll), and once to go back to the office after my siesta. I have to admit that I got lost that time, but I found myself quickly enough. When you know you are within a block in one or the other direction it is not hard to find your way.
The weather here is not too hot, but it has been incredibly humid. I’ve been sweating a lot, especially with all the walking I did today. It cooled down in the evening to the point that I could have worn a jacket if I had wanted to, but it still wasn’t necessary once I started walking.
It’s time to get some sleep… See you tomorrow!