Mirrored with permission from Outpost Nine and Azrael
Azrael Goes to Tokyo Part 2
Having struck out at the club, I now slept at the base of Tokyo Tower. Outside. There were some young people hanging out in the area, but I didn't think much of them. I slept lightly, drifting in and out. At one point, I thought the young kids came over to mess with me...but I don't know if this actually happened, or if I dreamt it.
At some point, a black van had driven up and parked just a few meters behind me. At about 3:30, I was awoken by a loud noise. I turned to see that some of the kids had slashed one of the tires on the van. Literally seconds later, a police car came by. The kids tried to run away, but the police eventually caught them. Another police car pulled up and parked directly behind me. I didn't know if it was ok to be sleeping on the bench like that, so I just sat up. A male police officer came my way. He said good evening to me and I returned it. But I made it look like I was just another random tourist who didn't speak Japanese. He got that vibe, and with his natural Japanese fear of English kicking in, he walked away...but didn't leave the area yet.
Meanwhile, another police car pulls up. This time a policewoman gets out. She actually starts asking me questions, so I figure it's best to start answering. She tells me that it's ok for me to sleep on the bench, but I should be careful because there was a murder in Roppongi that night and the murderer was still on the loose. I did not know that. She then starts asking me questions like where I was from, what I was doing in Tokyo, wants to see my ID, etc. She was really nice about it, and it took me awhile before I realized I was actually being questioned. I think I finally caught on when she asked if I was carrying any sharp knives in my bag. ...Only in Japan will the police ask you if you happen to have the murder weapon on you.
My answers were satisfactory I guess. The policewoman again warned me to take care, and they were off. I thanked my Lucky Charms I didn't end up being a murder suspect. I went back to sleep, and slept lightly until about 5AM. Since the trains were running, I decided to head out to my next location, Ueno Park. I was still sleepy, so I figured I'd find somewhere nice to sleep there. I bid my Tokyo Tower sanctuary goodbye and was on my way.
Az's Travel Tip #4 - If you ever find yourself in a position where you don't have access to a bath or shower, alcohol wet-wipes are the next best thing.
At this point, my feet really hurt. A lot. I wasn't wearing walking shoes, and had done a whole lot of walking. I was hoping that having rested for a few hours would have helped, but they still hurt a lot, especially my right foot. I decided to check it out later.
I got to Ueno Park, but there were NO good places to sleep. And there were a lot of old people roaming around doing their morning exercises. I found a somewhat decent rock and laid down again. At this point, it was starting to rain very lightly, but not enough to actually get me soaking wet so I paid it no attention.
At one point, I woke up as this old guy was heading STRAIGHT FOR ME, while mumbling something. The guy was less than a meter away from me, I had no idea what to do. I just picked my head up, smiled, waved at him and said "Hello!" Upon my stirring, he turned and walked away, still mumbling. Relieved, I went back to sleep.
But, I could tell the rain was going to get heavier so I figured it was best to get outta the park. I woke up with various different bugs crawling over me...I shook them off and headed to the station. I was looking for a Starbucks to chill in, but somehow I couldn't find one (which was strange...there's a Starbucks every 10 feet in Japan). I eventually settled on a Hard Rock Cafe, and after eating a chili dog for breakfast (Yes. A chili dog. For breakfast.), took a nap in the corner.
At Hard Rock, I was finally able to take a good look at my feet. As I feared, both were blistered up pretty badly. I had one on my right foot that actually made it hard to walk...it was right between my big toe and the ball of my foot, and filled with pus. I decided that one had to be popped. Sadly, blister-popping tools weren't among the things I packed with me on this trip. At this point I almost wished I had the murder weapon from before, maybe I'd be behind bars somewhere in Tokyo but at least I wouldn't have this giant pulsating blister anymore. I took a quick look around Hard Rock. Nothing really useable...except for maybe the utensils. I briefly considered using one of the butter knives, or the fork. But then my mind jumped ahead, and I pictured the following conversation happening...
Doctor: So, you tried to pop it...with a fork?
Me: Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Ok, maybe not so much. Another scan didn't produce any better tools. I did find toothpicks, but again I could clearly envision the above conversation (substitute "fork" with "toothpick") so abandoned the thought.
I left the Hard Rock cafe around 11, hoping to continue my day. Unfortunately it was raining quite hard. And my feet were still wrecked. Having left Hard Rock, I didn't feel like buying anything else, so I went into an Irish bar in the station. Here, I put my Batman-like ingenuity to work, and used my keychain to lace a small hole into the blister, effectively popping it. Popping that blister helped a lot, but my feet were still in bad shape.
It was still raining, but I decided to at least try to get on with my day anyway. I went to Harajuku hoping to find something interesting, but it was nothing more than wanna-be trendy, boring clothes shops (I don't see what Gwen Stefani is wetting her panties over). I tried to find an arcade, but I didn't have any luck. I headed out to Shinjuku, and decided to just chill in an arcade for awhile. Japanese gamers are known to be among the top players in the world. While the best of the best didn't frequent this particular arcade, there were still some good players there. I did allright, even winning a few games.
I stayed at the arcade for awhile, then left to go find a bank and meet up with my friends from the night before (who were now ready to go clubbing). As I was walking the street, I noticed this foreigner guy taking a long, hard look at me. Finally, he speaks up. "Hey, don't you have a website about teaching in Japan or something? Aren't you that Azrael guy?"
I'm still chalking this one up to random coincidence though, I don't really believe I have any e-celebrity status or anything like that. It's hard to tell though, because most of my days are spent with my friends who could care less, and Japanese people who have no idea. I am starting to wonder if, when I go back to the states, if people are going to be walking up to me and saying stuff like "Aren't you that Kancho guy?" ...I did always want to be famous, but most certainly NOT for that.
I met up with my friends and we had dinner at TGI Friday's in Roppongi. My friend, who is Australian, had heard of a Philly Cheesesteak, but never actually eaten one. TGI Friday's had one on the menu, so he decided to give it a try. That cheesesteak peaced him the fuck out. It looked like it was going down his esophagus kicking and punching. To his credit he finished it all, but he definitely looked like the loser in a prize fight.
God bless American food.
After eating, we began to mentally prepare ourselves for the Godlessness that is the Roppongi strip...
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Next: Azrael Goes to Tokyo Part 3
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