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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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lazy Tokyo sunday

(conclusion of a multi-part Blathering which begins here)

Sunday, Sept. 9, 2001 7:20 pm, Tokyo time

Yay, finally caught up in my Blatherings!

Last night, we watched The Postman on an English movie channel. Baaad movie, but part of this could have been because the original three hours had been edited down to less than two hours. We had fun tearing it apart throughout, however. :-)

My dad had warned me that two typhoons were heading towards Japan today, and Alison confirmed that she had heard something similar. The worst must have hit another part of Japan, however, because we only got a ton of rain and some wind. Weather was pretty weird today, alternating between sunshine and heavy rain. VERY humid, yuk. I was perspiring within a few minutes of leaving Alison's air-conditioned apartment.

The Japanese must be used to it, however (I know Alison's already adjusted somewhat)...many of them were walking around with sweaters and vests without a hint of any discomfort.

This morning we decided to check out the east gardens of the Imperial Palace. Very pretty, an oasis of green in the center of downtown Tokyo. I especially liked seeing the section containing all the different trees representing different prefectures (each prefecture had a symbol tree, similar to each Canadian province having a representative flower/plant). There were even palm trees! My favourite of them all was the Japanese maple.

Next, we explored the Tokyo International Forum (air conditioning, yay!) and had lunch. The Ginza area was next...the main road was closed until the early afternoon, and there were tables and benches set up in the middle.

We browsed the Matsu-yo department store, then went to the Sony building, which is supposed to have many floors of interesting high-tech displays. Alison and I accompanied Jeff for one floor but then decided to head back home, leaving Jeff free to peruse each floor as long as he liked. He also checked out the Sony Museum....perhaps I'll be able to convince him to Blather about it later on.

Alison read and I caught up on my Blatherings in the late afternoon. Jeff came back to the apartment a while later, laden with electronics brochures and lunch from Macdonalds.

As I type this, Alison is in bed reading, and Jeff is in bed snoozing. And I'm caught up in my Blatherings! Very soon we'll take out our bento boxes for dinner. We have a number of interesting things to choose from for dessert. I've made a point of buying something new or unidentifiable to eat each day. So far, everything's been yummy. My favourite so far is red bean icecream bars (I've had red bean icecream back home, but never on a stick; the texture is different). I am REALLY going to miss these when I go back home. :-(

And I went out on my own FOR THE FIRST TIME today. This may not seem like much to most of you, but I am abysmal at navigation; I've left it all to Jeff and Alison during our stay. If I have no choice, then I can do it (e.g. while living alone in Philadelphia), but I know it's definitely not one of my strong points.

So I went out to the AM/PM a short walk around the corner from the apartment by myself. It was very liberating. :-) And I never had to use Japanese even once, except to say thank you when paying for my groceries; maybe the clerk didn't realize I was a gaijin. I bought toothpaste (I bought the only brand I could recognize, which was Aquafresh) fruit popsicles, some juices, a "new soft" bun for Jeff (it turns out they're a sort of soft bun with pork inside; he really likes them).

Hm, all this talk of food is making me hungry. I think it's time to pull out my bento box...

Today's Blatherpics:

- Haagen Daaz green tea icecream! I wish they sold this in Canada.

- In the east gardens of the Imperial Palace.

- Tour group near the Imperial Palace. Note the flag-bearing tour guide...this was a pretty common sight at popular tourist attraction areas.

- Umbrella stand at a park near the Imperial Palace. I find it fascinating how prevalent umbrellas and umbrella stands seem to be in Japan. Umbrellas are used in both rainy and very sunny weather, and it does seem to rain more in Japan than back home.

- I'm nuts for Japanese children; they are so adorable. Whenever we pass a particularly cute infant, I'll tell Jeff, "Soooo cute! Let's have one!!" He knows enough about me (both of us are rock-solid in our decision not to have children ourselves) to react by laughing instead of being horrified. :-)

- Baby food in a grocery store we explored. I'll bet North America never sees these Gerber flavours: "Turbot and Cod White Stew" and "Mugwort and Sweet Potatoes". :-)

- A display in the Sony building.

Today's Poll:

If you had to choose between a temperature extreme, would you rather be too hot or too cold? (choose YES for hot, NO for cold)

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