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19 March 2007 @ 07:28 am
五日: "There Are No Pandas In Colorado"  
Things of note today:

Upon returning to the same hotel, but changing rooms, I have discovered that the shower here is... Shorter. It seems to have almost exactly six feet of headroom (which does actually seem slightly odd in a metric country), which is particularly noticable if you are, say, two inches taller than that.

I should probably note that in fact, yes, I did wear green yesterday. Completely by accident -- I only realized it today, a day after the fact. Yes, the whopping 5/64ths of my ancestry that is Irish would be so proud.

I'm not sure I'm ever going to get used to Japanese toilets. I mean, sometimes I'm completely at a loss to know what the heck I'm supposed to do when I see them, sometimes because they're those, er, whatever that kind of toilet is that some of the world uses that's completely alien to me as an American, and sometimes because, well, they clearly need an operating manual (preferably in English). Haven't seen one with a remote yet -- but I wouldn't be surprised if such a thing existed. Possibly with a built-in widescreen HDTV.

So... Today was the Nippon2007 meeting. Met my Japanese friend on the way in Akihabara, and we took the metro line out most of the way to Ibaraki where the meeting was. We ate at McDonalds, because I wanted to try it once (and, eh... Once is enough), and also because we didn't really have that much time before the meeting.

The meeting itself was, well, a meeting. I tried to read the meeting agenda and such while they babbled on about whatever stuff needed to be babbled about -- wasn't terribly successful, though -- and occasionally traded comments with a nice English fellow who happens to live here and just joined the committee. Sometimes I tried to understand what they were talking about, and sometimes I could almost understand them when they were talking slowly enough and used enough words that I knew -- enough to more or less get the gist of the direction of the conversation, if not the details -- but, well, still haven't quite crossed the wall to true conversational competence in Japanese yet.

While I was there, I gave all of the members attending the meeting a postcard and a Colorado quarter. I'm sure they were being polite, as Japanese always are, but they also seemed to appreciate them, and besides sharing a number of business cards and such, one of them asked for my address so he could send me a postcard in return. I hope a fair number of them will manage to make it to the WorldCon in Denver next year -- I think I've done my part to sell Colorado. :)

I had expected to be pretty bored during the meeting, but with all of the above, I really wasn't too much.

Anyway, after the meeting, a few of us went to some sort of Japanese family-style restaurant. I'm sure there's a word for it, but I don't know what it is. Surprisingly, this was the first time on my entire trip I took off my shoes to enter an establishment of any kind -- I'd expected to be doing that a lot more than I have. Had various interesting Japanese food, drank a lot of beer. For the record, raw horse meat isn't as bad as I would have expected, but it's not exactly good, and once was certainly enough. :-P

So, tomorrow... No idea. I'm on my own until Dusty arrives (my Japanese friend in Tokyo has to work today), and I have no idea what I want to do. Maybe I'll just get on the train and wander randomly around Tokyo or someplace. Oh, if it's clear, I should go someplace with a view of Fuji-san, too -- it was sunny today, but with the buildings and such, I couldn't see it. Maybe Ueno? I've been meaning to scout out that direction since I haven't gotten on the subway at 入谷 yet, and that's the most logical station for going to a few places.
Current Location: Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
In the mood: contentcontent
(Anonymous) on March 19th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
Question about toilets
What's the difference (do you need to squat more? etc.?)

on HGTV I HAVE seen toilets that are remote controlled and do everything from flush themselves to wash and dry the user after the function, and have remote controls.

ps, I've got a Web Cam site that I can view Mt. Fuji daily, depending on the weather conditions.

Can't wait to visit a bit about it when you get back.

Sounds like you're having a blast and that's the idea.

Douglas Triggs: danger death raydoubt72 on March 19th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: Question about toilets
On the toilets -- I guess, I don't actually know how to use them, though, which is really the problem.

As for the toilets that do everthing -- the ones in the hotel here pretty much do everything except flush themselves (although unlike the AC/heating unit, don't use a remote). And yet they feel really cheap -- that's what I was talking about a few days ago.

(BTW, assuming you read this reply, who are you? I'm trying to guess, but I'm just not sure -- I suppose I should put a note asking people to say when they comment without LJ accounts. It's not that I mind the anonymous comments -- after all, I did give out the URL to everybody I know who isn't on LJ, but I still like to know who I'm talking to.)
dragonet2dragonet2 on March 19th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Question about toilets
Ooops. Paula in KC MO here. thought you knew.

Douglas Triggs: domo-kun!doubt72 on March 19th, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Question about toilets
Ah, I assumed someone who didn't have an LJ account, since you weren't logged in.
asakiyume: Dunhuang Buddhaasakiyume on March 19th, 2007 02:20 am (UTC)
You can go to Seibo Byoin (Holy Mother Hospital) in Shinjuku and see Mt. Fuji from there. That's where my third kid was born, and we noticed we could see Mt. Fuji. Are you going to try climbing it? Wear sunscreen if you do; a friend of mine climbed it and got this weird purple sunburn which I thing was actually subcutaneous bleeding or something...

Enjoyed a very hoppy beer today ("Arrogant Bastard Ale," actually) and thought of you.

Also, at my daughter's* concert, they played a piece by Saint Saens--the Bacchanal from Samson and Delilah--it was great!

*actually, she's the one who was born in Japan, as it happens...

Douglas Triggs: quandrydoubt72 on March 19th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
I think I may have seen it from Ueno, but it was a bit hazy, so I just barely saw the outline, assuming I actually saw anything at all.

As for hiking Fuji-san, it's March right now -- that will have to wait until August, unless I'm feeling like experiencing the wonder of a slab avalanche. But -- I know how to handle mountains and UV, so no worries there. :)
asakiyumeasakiyume on March 19th, 2007 10:15 am (UTC)
Oops, yeah, I forgot the season. Guess it's a no-go for Fuji.

Yeah, you *would* know all that about mountains. Boy it was scary what happened to that girl, though...
thjazithjazi on September 27th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Hey, you can sit on the toilets. Wait until you get to be in a facility that consists of a stall designed for 5' tall people so that it is impossible to squat properly over the tiled trench that passes for a toilet (without individual flushing mechanisms... the attendant chose when to flush) - and then it flowed along ALL the stalls from one side to the other. Poo boat races!

Or my experience on the train, where the restroom was a remarkably expansive room with a rotting plywood floor (it had obviously gotten ... wet ... a lot) with a 6" hole in the middle. Through the hole one could see the railroad ties passing by. This 6'3" 240lb traveler (at the time) made the floor bow sharply along with ominous creaking and popping noises wherever he stepped. I was fortunate not to have to make a number two as there was nowhere to brace oneself whilst one squatted.

Toilets with technology... however alien ... must surely be better. I always told my wife that the next time I went to china I'd be taking my own toilet seat... with four folding legs.. then I actually found that people were selling them...