17 Sep 2005

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So I received the latest J&R catalog a few days ago. I never ordered it. I never ordered anything from them. Originally I think they mailed them to a friend and previous roommate who is also a computer geek since he ordered things from them. After he moved out they kept sending them but somehow figured out he'd moved and so started addressing them to the landlord, another roommate at the time and I don't think she ever ordered anything either. And since she's moved out they've started sending them to me instead. I wonder who they'll be addressed to once I move out? So anyways, I received the catalog and for once in a long while decided to read through it. I'm sort of making my way onto the market for computer gadgets and it's been a while since I've looked at the market for them, so it'd be interesting to see what's about.

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A month ago when I returned from Japan I promised to write a tale of my trip. And so far I have shirked that promise. Not because I've been meaning to, just... I had no reason at the time, I just didn't feel like writing, the spirit didn't move in me. Looking back on that month now, I suppose I just wasn't ready. Wasn't ready to put those two weeks behind me, wasn't ready to let go so soon. Not that my time there will ever really be behind me, but I think, now, that I've taken enough time to make it a part of me, a part of my history, and distance enough to finally let go.

I'm sitting now in the Fireside Lodge, a city night to finish a lazy end of summer day, in just under an hour a jazz band is coming in to play. But when I first drafted this letter—the rest of it—I was sitting in the Red+Black Cafe, a wednesday morning— before 11:00 if you'd believe it. I'd just biked down for an early morning drink/exercise and hammered it all out on Elsamelys, my new zaurus I picked up in 秋葉原 (Akihabara, Tôkyô) on the second pass since I never managed to find the one I wanted in でんでんタウン (DenDen Town, Ôsaka). While there, other than coffee, I had the "free greek"— a bagel with cucumbers, feta, hummous, and kalamatha olive spread— and by the gods it was good. I'll have to remember to get it again sometime.

Even then in the R+B I was sort of reluctant to start writing a recollection of my trip. I wished I could say it was out of "not wanting it to end", but—to be honest—that's not true. At the time I couldn't entirely say why it was that I'd been putting it off. I had some ideas and—to be fair—part of it was not wanting it to end. But part of it was something else, and part of it—I realized the night before—was that I've rediscovered that I really do prefer writing by hand than typing. It took me a long time to switch over to typing things, influenced largely by having gone to college where hand-writing essays is absolutely not an option.

When I was in Japan I kept my tale in my journal: 42 pages all together. I'm not going to type them all out here. That wasn't the point of keeping it, and much of it has more personal significance than it would have to you. No, but there are portions I feel I should share. Even editing, the tale is quite long, so I'll be breaking it up into sections. I'll be writing place names in their Japanese, glossing them as they're first introduced. If/when I get around to it, all references will be linked to a translation index, possibly with some basic maps of Japan to show where they are.

01. Arrival in 東京 (Toukyou) )
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(This is the second part of my series on my trip to Japan. Be sure to go back and read the first one.)

02. Traveling around 東京 (Toukyou): 上野、秋葉原、浅草、渋谷、お台場 )

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