This is Andy’s apartment building itself. Tons of these little six- or eight-room apartment buildings are scattered around Tokyo. Well, just one of them would be “tons”, but I mean there are a lot.
Archive for September, 2003
This is the view from Andy’s apartment door. Tokyo is like the Universe: it looks exactly the same from all locations and in all directions. This could be pretty much any part of Tokyo, because I think there are no zoning regulations; people can just build whatever they want wherever they want to build it. It didn’t take us long to get back into our routine of waking up pretty late, venturing into Shinjuku, wandering around all day, finding dinner, and then coming back for all-night video game sessions, with breaks to visit the Lawson for snacks and drinks. The reason I haven’t posted any of these Japan pictures yet is that I was supposed to introduce an all-new version of the site that would include Andy’s own pictures, taken with my old digicam, alongside my own. We even took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other with our digicams, and those were going to be the first two photos on the new version of the site. I rewrote the whole site and moved all of the old data into a MySQL database and everything, but for some reason I haven’t heard from Andy even once in the two weeks since I got back. I’m playing a little game in which I try to see how many times I can email him before I finally get a response. I finally broke down and re-modified the site back to just feature one photo at a time. Oh well, at least it’s running on MySQL now instead of text files.
After dinner we took the car for a drive around the Tokyo metropolitan area. Cars are not nearly as ubiquitous in Japan as they are in the USA, so driving is something of a rare leisure activity for many people. Much like Leslie and I used to do back in high school, we just picked a direction and drove until we had no idea where we were. I think we eventually ended up in Saitama. The whole time I was looking out the window and freaking out about mundane little things that I missed about Japan. We passed a store with a huge orange sign, “DOG WIZ”, but I was not able to get a proper picture of it. That would have been a good one. Andy also told me all about how he’s become a super-important guy at Tecmo, and about all of the upcoming projects he’s been heavily involved in, about none of which I’m allowed to tell anyone.
Andy convinced me to come out to Japan at the beginning of September. I took some time off of work (I now have negative vacation hours), ordered a ticket, and went out there. I’d been really missing Japan since the very day I came back in January. Everything I saw had me feeling pretty nostalgic: “Ohhh man there’s a Mos Burger! Augh, look at the vending machine! I love those vending machines!!” Andy picked me up at the airport in a rented Subaru and we went to pick up his friend Gou in Kinshichou (Japanese joke: the town where everything is prohibited!). We then headed right for Shinjuku so I could pick up a nice new camera with which to document my trip. It only took me a couple of minutes of browsing at Yodobashi Camera to choose an orange Sony CyberShot U-30. From there, we went to this nice Chinese restaurant. You think you’ve had sweet & sour pork, but look at this: it’s the real thing. Man oh man was it tasty.
Because of some reasons, Andy had a big box full of Japanese games for various consoles sitting around in North Carolina. Because the three people I hang out with most were all in Japan this past summer, Andy decided to have his buddy send me all these games to keep me from getting too bored. His friend got sick and it took a while, but the games finally showed up, and there really are a lot of them. Now I have mountains of PlayStation, Dreamcast, Saturn, N64, SNES, and even Neo-Geo games in my apartment. There were about ten worth keeping, and at least one truly awesome game (Kita e for Dreamcast, from Hiroi Ouji and Red, the creators of Sakura Taisen).