October 28, 2012


It's 7pm on Sunday and I'm just waking up. Granted I've woken up a few times in the last 24 hours, but this last nap most resembled actual sleep (bed, no pants, minor REM). Last night was another stay-up-until-5am-to-catch-the-train night.

Those past three sentences, along with the following two, will serve for my blog post about Sunday: I'm going to spend the evening planning my November. I'll enjoy myself around the Tokyo area this week and then start out on another rail adventure that will take me South to Kyoto, then Osaka to be with Kurumi, followed by some time on the Kyushu island for Sumo, a guy from the Pacific Northwest, and then a 25 hour ferry ride to Okinawa.

Now onto Saturday:

It began with what was supposed to be a quick trip into Tokyo to secure pieces for my halloween costume. The plan was to all get dressed up and go clubbing in the evening.  I had a few ideas kicking around my head for a costume and decided I would go with the first item I found:

A Totoro shirt would have lead to Totoroe V. Wade, which would have also included a mini Totoro stuffed toy attached to my stomach via a plastic. Totoro fetus!

A Doraemon mask would have lead to Doraemon the Exploraemon, a combination of Doraemon and Dora the Exploer.

A Duffy hat would have lead to Duffy the Vampire Hunter. I think you can imagine that.

But nothing presented itself.  I began to wander in circles, often getting on the wrong line, walking in the complete opposite direction (thanks Apple Maps) and sometimes circling a block and then walking into a store I had just exited.

It was not a good situation.

My feet began to hurt, the straps of my backpack started to cut into my shoulders, and the sudden sunshine was not agreeing with my jean jacket/hoodie combination. If not for these three discoveries on my trek, I think I would have just collapsed from disappointment:

No one batted a lash
The very rare monkey/Kangol hat combination. 
Someone was displaying a Lisa and Macintosh I in their home window. What?!
I became a zombie aimlessly rambling through the city in search of
a costume. Oddly enough, zombie never crossed my mind as a viable option. I passed a kimono shop and suddenly got a great idea: Kimono Dragon! How hard could it be to find a dragon beanie/costume/hat?

Turns out, extremely. Anything is hard to find when your eyes are glazed over and you're in a bad mood. The best I found was at a store that sold costumes for dogs, one of which was a dragon. Maybe I could buy it, cut it down the middle and just pin it to my head?

I was delirious.

The quiet street that housed the Lisa and Macintosh 1 emptied near Shibuya Station. I took it as a sign that I needed to go home and admit defeat. While the disappointment of not finding a costume was strong, the real struggle was the loneliness. I began to miss home and the people I have spent the last few years with. I've made friends here, but there's nothing like the comfort of familiar faces and places.

I let Catherine and Kaorina know I was going to bail,  but the two were not willing to let me go that easily. Koarina found me in Shibuya crossing and offered the key to her place a few minutes away. A disco nap was all I needed, she said, and then when I awoke everyone would be there and I could either go out to dinner with them and then decide, or just get on the train back home. She also refused to believe that in Tokyo, of all places, I was unable to find a dragon costume. We decided to return to a shop I had been just an hour earlier, and within about... 6, maybe 7 seconds after entering, Kaorina found a full on dragon costume/onsie.

Amazing what not being in a horrible fucking mood can do for your ability to take in your surroundings!

My confidence in the human race was restored, slightly, and I agreed to head back to her place.

We cut a hole in the kimono for my tail
Domo Arigater
The night turned out to be a success! We met friends out in Shibuya and Roppongi and encountered a number of strange characters. What we barely encountered were Japanese people. Between the hours of 1 and 5am in Roppongi (especially on Halloween) one is reminded that there are thousands of expats living in the city. It was amazing how many times a masked character would say something to us in a British accent. Where had all the asians gone? Disneyland, probably.

The night ended with Aziz (you got a shout out, buddy. Congrats!) and a new friend Sam. The three of us found a McDonalds and settled into window seats on the second story. As we munched away, a sea of thousands of elaborately costumed individuals crossed the street below. Some were breakdancing, others were filming music videos. We found Waldo (Wally, I was corrected) a few hundred times, collected a number of Pokemon, and saw Mario and all his Nintendo friends parading about. Police officers shuffled people along who were loitering in the street, including a group of 10 individuals who were dressed as animals and slowly making their way across the intersection on all fours, blocking traffic and generally not giving a fuck. I appreciated the dedication.

Hands down, the best costume I have ever seen.
Sully (Kaorina) and a Jelly Fish (Catherine) making their way to Shibuya

Sam and me with Pikachu
Why not
Porn-stache Mario (Aziz) reunited with his brother.
Felicity performing her duck waddle

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