Tuesday, September 11, 2007

While Ben Sleeps...

I make a blog post! Poor Ben, crossing the Pacific has left him somewhat laggy and as I type this he has been asleep for almost an hour. It is 8:15pm. He has taken Tokyo in stride and I think is somewhat in awe at the difference between Japanese and Western cultures.

I like having visitors because they either point out or remind me of things I don't think about very often. Ben has noticed that when roaming about the city, we are awash in a sea of black hair. I remember noticing that in the beginning as well, but over time you just don't notice that everyone has the same hair color.

He has also commented on the way in which Japanese people go about their day as they traverse the city on one of the hundreds of trains. He finds it slightly off putting that no one really talks to each other on trains. I explained to him that the time on a train is considered by most Japanese to be their "alone" time despite they are traveling with hundreds of other people. I have been trying to tell him that when you live with millions of other people all very close to you that you have to get private time in for yourself whenever you can and for the Japanese, that is on trains.

Again, my decision for Tokyo to be the initial assault on the senses has proven to work. By the time Ben and I leave the city for other areas of Japan, everywhere else will feel more relaxed to him and he can enjoy "true" Japan without feeling overwhelmed by it all. Tokyo is such an experience in and of itself, it is hard to find a common ground between life here and life in my neck of the woods. I have reassured him that after Tokyo, things will slow down and a Japan more true to outside views of the country will emerge. One thing holds true, Tokyo is really friggin' big.

It is excellent to see how Ben reacts to everything here because he has traveled the world quite extensively but never anywhere in Asia. When Jim was here, it was cool to see his experience because he had never really left North America and I was able to see the reaction of someone who experienced only American culture first-hand. With Ben, he has been around Europe and has a little bit more of a complex index for how "Western" people act. I think he appreciates and acknowledges the differences a little bit differently and it is fascinating to lead him through my little world. I wish I had enough money to bring all of my friends here just so I can see how they react to all of the stimuli I put in front of them. I won't lie, this is kind of my little experiment and the best part is, it is fun for everyone.

Last night, we found a section of town I had never been to and hung around there for a bit. I think we will go back tomorrow night for some more pictures of the place. Today, we went to Akihabara and to eat and my favorite Indian place. We also went to the Japanese Sword Museum. Tomorrow, we are going to hit the skyscraper area of Shinjuku, the Imperial palace, and O-Daiba. It will be a full day but I think we can fit it all in.

Anywho, the laptop is telling me I need to charge my battery and I am getting kind of hungry; so I think I am going to take off. I will try to post more updates and that will not be too difficult if Ben's sleeping habits prevail. (^_^)


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