domingo, 5 de junho de 2011

Land of the rising sun: Tokyo 1

 So here it is, the long-awaited new entry in my adventures in Nihon, where the streets are clean, the people's politeness is just this side of fanatical, the food is deliciously healthy(or healthly delicious), and the toilet seats are electricly warmed up.
 First of all, I should introduce the fine portuguese people who travelled to Tokyo with me. And Telmo.
                                           Introducing The Tokyo Tuga Team

Liane, the mum

            If we were to think of our group in terms of dynamic, Liane would be the de facto leader of our group. The woman with the plan, she's the one always with an idea of where to go next. She's also quite like a mother telling her children to hurry up. "Come on, princesses, we're going to be late." "Andem lá, Marias". That position of hers remains regardless if it's just us or an entire portuguese class. An imposing young lady, she is.

Zé, the dad

              Continuing with the family analogy, if Liane is the pratical, straightfoward mother, Zé is the cool, relaxed father. "Hey, Zé, do you know the history of this palace?""No, ask Liane." Do you know where you're going?" "Hmm, you really should ask Liane". "Can I eat some of that?"No, ask Li... actually, this food is kinda weird, you can have it". Anyway, both of them love travelling, and are the ones who came up with the idea for the "Trip to Tokyo" all the way back in September, not to mention the one to Tibet and Shangai. Um milhão de obrigados, ó Zé. Um milhão de obrigados.

Skull, the cool uncle

       Pronounced as "school", not skull, but the meaning is the same, because portuguese accents work that way, and if any anglo-saxon has a problem with that, they can try saying "arroz de coelho" properly. Go ahead, Marson.
       Skull is Zé's longtime friend(ever since they were 8, I think) so he´s basicly the uncle in the family dynamic. He can be intimidating, which is useful if you want to break a line, but annoying if you want to catch a taxi. Rumors say his name was once Luís, but personally I don't buy it.

Telmo, the... umm... creepy uncle?...



And me!!!

      Yours truly. What? The intruduction? C'mon! If your not the least bit familiar with me, why would you even be reading this blog? It's not like I typed the words naked people having sex free porn on it. Except I just did. Well, if trolls start showing up, I'll delete those.
      Anyway, my place in the group dynamic? Well, dear readers, that's what the comments' section is for. I welcome my fellow travellers and Telmo's insight on how wonderful is the experience of having me around, looking slightly autistic and taking pictures of everything (even stuff that wouldn't interest a single setient being in the universe). 

The journey

We started our journey into the (further) east on a beautiful wednesday morning, when I soon found out I lost something I shouldn't have(don't ask). After heading to the airport, we met a portuguese on the way(TU ÉS TUGA, PÁ?!!) and I was interrogated during the check-in. The lady was really nice about it though. It was either because it's random or my beard scares people. Or both. My first taste of japanese culture was the typical in-flight message "Dear passengers, yadayadayada". The difference is the way it's said: in japanese it's really sweet, like the hostess just ate a really nice cake or had a shower after a long day of work. Honestly, she could have been saying "Die, you evil westerners who corrupt our holy land", I wouldn't know.
        We then left the Narita airpot to our hostel in the old area of the city, Asakusa, apropriately named "Asakusa Smile". There I met some interesting people. Some of them included your mandatory australian girl trio, a guitar playing dannish dude, an american who literally turned japanese via mariage, a brazillian lady with the only half-decent portuguese accent I've heard from her country(she still sounded a bit Ukranian, though), and a cute austrian girl who memorized my name because it sounds like "diet youghurt"(Kathy, I might never talk to you in my life again, but I'll never forget you for that). And, most of all, the dutch couple David and Merel, who later I would catch up in other cities.


Ps. The next day, we went to a wonderful, unexpensive waffle selling place.

    I just want to take this moment to thank Belgium for the wonderful invention of waffles. Thank you Belgians!

   But not these ones. They were probably too busy getting into bar fights.

"O no! A big monster that will eat anything on sight! Right next to Godzilla!"