Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tokyo Trip - The Beginning

Like I have mentioned in the last couple of entries, I was in Tokyo over the last long-weekend.
My second semester for this fifth year is really light that I only have classes either in the morning, or afternoon in a day. Friday is the lightest of all; I just have to go to my lab to work on my graduation research for less than two hours before lunch. Since last Monday was a Public holiday (Sports' Day) in Japan and I only got class in the afternoon on Tuesday, that technically gives me five days of break.
They have Golden Week holiday in May and Silver Week holiday in September; I self-declare this one as my Bronze Week holiday haha wtf.
Came back from lab, packed my stuff, had my lunch and off I went to the train station to catch the bullet train (shinkansen) to Tokyo.
I am currently studying in Nagaoka, in Niigata prefecture. Tokyo is 270 kilometers down south of Nagaoka, which is about three to four hours of driving. Here in Japan, it is more common to take the trains. As I was travelling for so many days, I didn't get to use the weekend pass which is quite a bargain actually. The only option is whether to take a six-hour normal train ride, or the bullet train, which takes two hours. Price wise, the latter is twice the former.
Considering the physical and mental torture I was gonna go through if I were to take the normal train, I opted for shinkansen.
Umasa Gisshiri Niigata - Destination Campaign; a large-scale traveling campaign to promote Niigata prefecture.
Three hours later, I arrived at Chiba.
I stayed over at WinD's, a friend of mine's place in Chiba during my time in Tokyo. This friend isn't from my PPKTJ batch, he is a Malaysian private student studying in Teikyo University in Chiba. To be honest, we actually forgot how we got to know each other but I think it was him who added me at Mixi (Japanese version of Friendster) some distance back, but we didn't keep in touch until recently.
For someone who isn't really comfortable with governments-sponsored scholars (because he feels the majority of the scholars have been provided with everything without requiring them to work really hard for it, which I have to agree to a certain extend), it is interesting how the two of us managed to click with each other. Another huge barrier is that the language we both speak. I don't speak good Mandarin, he came from a Chinese school; so we do not speak a common language except Japanese haha!
Nevertheless, somehow, somewhere, something just made us get along comfortably.
Chiharadai, the last station in the Keisei Line, where WinD stays.
Unimo, a shopping mall in this small town.
When I reached his place, it has gotten dark and I was supposed to meet him at Unimo. Luckily, the station master at Chiharadai Station was kind enough to come out from his office and showed me the directions to the shopping mall. Walking in the cold night in an unfamiliar place is certainly not the most comfortable thing to do, but I breathed a sigh of relief once I saw the signboard of Unimo parking lots haha.
WinD does his part-time job in a spectacles shop in Unimo and fortunately, it wasn't a shopping mall as big as Midvalley; otherwise I would have a hard time locating for his shop.
Tokyo Glass Company (T.G.C.).
He was on the verge of closing the shop when I arrived there, and one thing I was really impressed is that he only had to switch off the lights without pulling down the metal grill. When I asked him why isn't him doing that and aren't him worried that people might just walk inside the shop and take few specs away. He just replied me, "This is Japan-lar".
It was getting late and we ta pao-ed our dinner from McDonalds' and took a bus back to his place.
He stays in apartments provided by the university.
Room 101.
This is the nearest bus station from his house. It reads Uruido Danchi, and it just suits the place a lot because the place is more ulu than Nagaoka haha.
Paddy fields.


Unimo, quite an achievement for a ulu place to have such a huge shopping mall haha.

I was quite exhausted from the long-traveling, he was tired working for almost the whole day already, so we went to sleep early that night to recharge ourselves for the next day. It marks the beginning of our adventure in Tokyo, as he had a day off from his part-time job. That would come in the next entry, but for now here is a sneak preview of what it is gonna be in the next entry.
I tell you, it is not often for me to post a picture of kawaii Japanese girl in my blog because it is just not my style at all haha.
Hello world! Guess what will be the next post all about.
I will send the girl above right to your doorsteps to those with correct guess, and I won't charge any postal-fees haha.


Ben Foo said...

the first thing that came into my mind seeing two guys, both wearing white shirt, both wearing jeans and erm taking photo together in the toilet WITH a hand over one's shoulder....ok I should stop imagining. lol

erm the guess will be, a next generation technologies kinda exhibition???

calvin said...

@ ben foo:
haha! you better go and imagine about the last picture, not the first one lol! no-lar, actually the toilet looks cool, and it was a coincidence both of us were wearing shirts, so i just pulled out my camera and camwhored in front of the mirror xD

wait a minute, even if you guessed it correctly, does you house still have any space to fit an extra person? =P

CLF said...

looking forward for more posts bout ur Tokyo trip.

btw interested in getting a Flickr Pro account? for long run I think it's worthwhile to invest into it, especially the full-size pics and unlimited photos.

calvin said...

@ clf:
don't worry, they will come very soon :)

i was thinking to get that flickr pro account too, but i guess i am comfortable (or rather too poor) enough to using this current free-service haha.

after all, malaysians are the best when it comes to free stuff, right? xD

Kae Vin said...

? 2 guys wearing white shirt in toilet? where where?

erm the next post will be about the girl you took the photo? She told you you are cute and hot and she likes u? :P

Lun said...

can u invite me to the mixi community? i want to join them, this is my email

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
ben was just trying to attract curious (or rather kpc lol) people like you to ask about that picture xD

yes, and i told her, "sorry, i am taken and no longer available" =P

calvin said...

@ lun:
i have a mixi account but i rarely use it, maybe once every few months lol.

kh said...

yer... you actually have mixi... i dont even give a damn about it ... haha

and fyi, i brought muruku from msia

then, that must be sony building in ginza, or some television or technology exhibition...

calvin said...

@ kh:
i am not even active at mixi; only four friends there haha!

never mind, i can make my very own muruku. add curry powder into cornflakes and tada, i get calvin's style muruku.

you are close, but i don't think you need that girl, do you? you need patrick more, right? haha =P

Ken said...

It's kinda funny for two Malaysian Chinese to converse in Japanese.

From the upper left edge, I see the 'technology' word. And behind the girl, there's a LCD TV (I know anywhere could have a LCD TV).

Exhibition of some high tech gadgets? *Jangan jangan perempuan tu ialah robot?*


calvin said...

@ ken:
it is even funnier if both of us speak tamil haha!
this is called globalisation, it doesn't matter anymore what language you speak, as long as the message gets across :)

and you are really observant man. that "technology" word is partially cropped but you still manage to figure it out. i think you are really desperate to get this girl, right? haha =P

unless there are any more witty guess than yours, i think you have come out with the most creative guess lol!

Ben Foo said...

hey u took off the pic! and no worries. she can either go on top or go below me. lol

calvin said...

@ ben foo:
yea, i took it down, for safely purposes so that people will not make anymore scandals already haha xD

from the top and below only? how about from the sides? lol =P

Anonymous said...

I will not approve on it. I regard as nice post. Particularly the title attracted me to be familiar with the unscathed story.

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.