Sunday, 18 July 2010

Whoo hoo!

Just got upgraded at the Hilton to a massive room with free breakfast. Gonna splurge and get me some room service.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Found them!

And I've got a spare pair for one lucky chair owner, let me know if you want/need them. The sun came out today so I set out with camera and without umbrella. The Gion festival parade took place this morning but by the time I got uptown all red and sweaty it was already over. Then there was a thunder storm. Food today included 'mini hot-dog' and 'banana-chocco pancake'. Off to meet my friend Kazushi for dinner, hope it's chips…

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mos Burger

In answer to Reenie's question, Mos Burger is like McDonalds but better…slightly…a bit. The branch I went to today was staffed entirely by elderly ladies, one of which was having a bit of trouble with the stairs. They were very sweet and looked hip in their Mos visors. I tried to do the Mr Spicy (hot dog) quiz on my place mat but I fell at the first kanji, it was probably aimed at five year-olds. It was oishikatta (delicious) but the coke was a bit dubious even if it was in a real glass.

I couldn't find a Mr Donut today so I branched out into Doughnut Planet for a cup of coffee. Managed to find a seat outside, in the shade, with a breeze. Luxury! The heat is getting to me, I have feet like barrage balloons and fingers like Wall's sausages (uncooked). My hair looks like it did when I was ten and anti-frizz serums hadn't occurred to John Frieda yet and my eyelids crunch with salt every time I blink. Had to retreat to my hotel room with pot noodles and crisps again but I might see if a shower and a quick rest can revive me. It's unlikely though, I've been up since five this morning and it's nearly seven thirty now so I've seen the sun rise and set today. I might just see what's cooking on the telly but if there's girls under the age of twenty-one on it I'm going to have to mute them. ‘Night.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Love the Stuff

Ah Daiso! 5 floors of pound-shopper's heaven but make that 80p. Took the Yamanote line this morning which is like the Circle line but overground and with aircon. I might just go and sit on it for the rest of the day, it's sunny out and hotter than a MacBook Pro.

Arrived in Harajuku before the shops had opened so I had a stroll around and was a sweaty mess by the time the temple Daiso opened. Worth it though, I got a bag full of super-useful tat. Reenie: I got you a 'ranchi bokusu' that you'll be able to fit a whole tomato into, providing you slice it first. I'm still hunting for the chair socks that I saw last time and have been kicking myself ever since for not buying. They were like little dog-booties to stop you scuffing your floors but I liked the idea that you could prevent your chair-legs from getting chilly.

Anyway Mos Burger calls, I have to walk through an underground 'city' to get to the station, it's slightly less humid than the street though. Mmmm, chilli-dog.

Tokyo Park Hotel

I've arrived in one piece. Have a room on the 34th floor with an amazing view of the city and train tracks, great for watching the bullet trains come and go. The weather's awful, grey and drizzly and so humid my clothes were sticking to me after a 10 minute walk. I was too tired to go anywhere for lunch so I came back to my room via the local konbini and bought snacks instead. Had a shower and now I'm watching daytime terebi. The only English language channel is the oh-so-serious BBC World so I've been flicking away and I'm sure the women's voices get squeakier as the channel numbers get higher. I watched a cooking programme where they made 'creamy spaghetti' with mayonnaise and a yellow barf-like concoction. Then I'm certain that the pretty-boy chef (who was wearing eyeliner) added mint sauce and stirred it all together in an ice-filled bain-marie. Top tips for us Europeans, we've clearly been doing it wrong all this time.

Desperately trying to stay awake for another couple of hours since it's only 5pm but I'm lagging badly. Laters.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Our Last Night in Dunhuang

Competitive drinking, karaoke, Britney Spears, Oh Baby Baby, Baijiu burps, pics to follow. On the train to Xi'an early tomorrow. Need to pack case. TTFN.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hard at it

We've had a couple of long days at the office trying to get the web server up and running and ploughing through the rest of the training. We were supposed to go out for the day tomorrow but it looks as if we're going to need another day at the coalface. We did get out for a couple of hours to see some of the caves including Cave 158 which houses the beautiful 15 metre sleeping buddha. Lucky Buddha, I've managed to get about 4 hours sleep in the last 48. I've never suffered so badly but at least I have a jetlag twin, Alastair has been keeping almost identical hours to me since we arrived so we can compare eye bags over our breakfast eggs.

Our hosts continue to overfeed us at regular intervals; dish after dish of every conceivable (and otherwise) edible is delivered to a straining lazy susan. I never thought I'd associate the arrival of a plate of food with such misery. Just as you're begging for mercy, the noodles and two bowls of soup arrive and it's only when a fruit plate arrives that you can see the light at the end of your alimentary canal. The very moment the borborygms cease is the time to be thrown into a people carrier and taken to a restaurant to begin the whole cycle again. At least tonight's dinner didn't involve any competitive drinking and we were set free early enough to have a leisurely beer at an outdoor shish stall on sun loungers and watch the suited and booted locals go by.

Now I'm off to bed to see if any of that Buddha's narcolepsy has rubbed off. Wish me luck.