mandag den 23. juli 2007

Tuesday Oct. 3 - Shinjoku

Walk around an area behind Ueno Station, where 100-plus motorcycle shops are located. Along with me is a young Scotsman from the hotel, Mike. Now newly introduced to the semi-mad world of motorcycles, he then drags me through the electronic equivalent a few subway stops from there. I consider buying a laptop, but – still a bit careful with my money - leave it for later. Same thing with a lung-shaped ashtray that coughs when a cigarette is placed in it. Tokyo seems not as expensive as feared, but Eastern Europe it isn’t either.

In some places the town reminds me a bit of New York City, in others even about the movie ‘The Fifth Element’, because it is humid and hot, and there are people and traffic everywhere. It also has all the charm of Hamburg (i.e. none), which was bombed to bits in WW2. There are mostly concrete buildings here.

Our evening is spent in Shinjoku, a part of town crammed with the type of bars and hookers and misfits and junkies you always find behind the train or bus terminal of any major city. At least there’s light and life like in an amusement park. I’m getting to know the quirks of the subway system – like that it turns into a pumpkin at midnight. By then it’ll be cheaper to find a local hotel than to take a cab home.

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