mandag den 23. juli 2007

Monday Oct. 2 - Tokyo First Impressions, Pacinko Parlours

Twelve hours of flying by way of Siberia brings me to Tokyo, where the airport personnel is extremely embarrassed to tell that most of my luggage – sadly the part with wheels on it - is still in London. So I drag the remaining 30 kilograms through the subway, a bus, and finally on foot towards my hotel. An elderly gentleman bicycles past, then feels sorry for me and turns around, offering to take the luggage to the hotel. He is from 1926, he says, and his English is worse than my French, so here I walk along in the darkness, jetlagged out of my mind, speaking French with an 80-year old Master Yoda clone on a bicycle. Good start.

Hotel New Koyo is situated in Tokyo’s poorest neighborhood, but for 2,700 yen a night I can cope with a room measuring 2,3 by 1,3 meters. The bathrooms have – thank God – both Japanese and Western style toilets.

It’s too early to sleep, so I’m walking around in a slight drizzle for a couple of hours, taking in all the impressions. The noise from a Pachinko Parlor – an absurd cross between a game hall and boom cars – assault my ears, fastfood places are omnipresent, some roadways between houses are so small that two bicyclist barely can pass each other. Not many motorcycles about tonight, but lots of scooters. Especially the large Burgman-type ones seem popular, usually with a large sports-can for an exhaust, which makes them sound like proper motorcycles. On the other hand many of the small vans sound like sport bikes, 660 cc engines whirring their way up the rev range.

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