I never use the word “blog” anywhere in my normal online writing, but it applies here because “blogging” is an idea and an activity people use as a shorthand for “I will share every detail I can about something I’m doing”. It wasn’t a sufficient enough term for some people so we have “liveblogging”, “___blogging” (about the thing you’re blogging about) and all the rest.
We’ve set off on a 24 day journey here, in a strange new country and with a lot of moving parts. We’re now about 5 days in, and the cascade of things we’re doing that are being checked off the “to do” list is fantastic – cafes, shopping, walking, exploring, not saying “no” and dropping into “why not”. There’s very little in the way of doors and signs we’re going to be wondering about afterwards, and where they led or what they meant.
With this achievement cascade comes all the little bits that annoy – shortcomings in the nature of the WordPress platform, wanting to be both informative and also not have to sweat out every word, and so on. There’s also the intensity of basically a Partnership Boot Camp where if we don’t work out what’s good for the team in the allocation of the day and the energy, there’s going to be trouble ahead in some very nice places indeed. On the whole, we’re doing very well at it, and I’m sure some people seeing a list of what we did in a given day would think we’re talking about the entire trip.
I went on a pretty intense diet change this year to get myself out of a potential health spiral, and had lost something like 25 pounds before getting on the plane here. With the help of my Fitbit, so has begun the next part – walking. When we set up our lists of things we wanted to see (Rachel and I each listed 10 things, which I’m sure we’ll share at some point), I had a general one of “walk 100 miles during the trip”. That turned out to be a very low bar – when we’re walking 10-15 miles every single day at least, 100 miles ends up sounding like “try and take the garbage out to the curb”. Therefore, I set a nice new slightly-unrealistic goal – 262 miles, or the length of 10 marathons. That will be something and it’ll be a nail-biter to June 20th to see if I even come close. And along with this will be the next question in any diet change – can I regulate and enjoy myself food/drink wise in our Japan trip and emerge with weight loss intact and the increased strength? No idea, but if I come out of this thing with all my weight back I’ll have earned that on great food or I’ll have lost it doing same.
Outside of self-improvement, there’s a lot to observe in terms of how space and infrastructure work here in Tokyo. There’s combinations of efficiency (machines outside some restaurants to pre-order and pay for your meal before you sit down) and inefficiency (assigning 2-3 cops to direct traffic next to a truck loading spot). There’s stuff that falls under ideas of “why didn’t everyone do this” (entire buildings are used for unrelated stores and so you get 5 neat things in one place, instead of scattered around) and “why would anyone do this” (the Tsukiji Fish Market has to be the most dangerous thing I’ve been in, in years – imagine you could walk across the track or into the stables at Saratoga Race Track, during a race). I probably should mull more before any major “hot takes”, but the part of me who wanted to see a whole different way of living is definitely getting buckets of what it wanted.
Take these two little guys, which were in a Cat Cafe. (I realize once I’m in a Cat Cafe we’re already in crazyland). These are… let’s go with slipper dispensers. Press the button and slippers come out the bottom. When you’re done with slippers, you put them into the slots at the top, and they drop in, and I assume (?) are in some way sanitized before eventually being dropped out for the next … slipper user. Of course, they were too small for my Size 12s and yes, this seems pretty nutty for a country that is perfectly fine with air-drying clothes, but here we are, I operated a slipper dispenser before going into a cat cafe. New experiences: check.
I’ll have more to say soon, I’m sure. Until then – walking, photos and getting really confused as to why anyone would eat a Sake kit-kat.