Monday, January 03, 2005

London-style Party in Tokyo Returns

I went shopping at Shibuya, the most trendy (maybe not stylish like Omotesando, though) area of Tokyo. I got some clothes and CDs. I felt dizzy by a massive number of young people in the area. I used to be all right with the always crowded Shibuya area. But I'm no longer Tokyoite.

For lunch, I got three plastic-packaged omusubi (rice ball) at Family Mart, one of those 24/7 convenience store chains in Japan. Each costs 110 to 140 yen; about 400 yen (or 2 quid) in total makes you feel full. With 2 quid in London, you can only get a pair of cheese sandwitches, which leaves you hungry. With 400 yen in Tokyo, you can get three different tastes (tuna mayonnaise, salmon roe, and fatty tuna with green onion) and get full.

For coffee, I got a small cup of cappuccino (300 yen or 1.5 quid) at Segafredo Zanetti, which has opened 21 branches in Tokyo so far. My life in London released me from Starbuck's brainwashing. (It was Starbucks who popularised espresso and cappuccino in Japan, and it still maintains a high status as a coffee shop in Tokyo.)

In the evening, I threw a Western-style party at Bobby's Cafe Tokyo by inviting friends of mine from different backgrounds, like I did a year ago (see 9th January 2004).

For some reason, I've got a wide variety of friends, which seems to be why my Japanese friends enjoyed themselves even though it's not common for them to come to this kind of party. Big shout goes to Ono-san, Hashizume-san, Mori-Shin, Reiko, Kawamoto-kun and Nagayama-san, Mihara, Daigo, Tomoko and Mark, Dave and his friends, Takeshi, and Genki. Thanks a lot for coming.

All of them seem to have enjoyed the party though I personally didn't enjoy as much as I'd had a year ago: I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't talk to each of them as much as I (and they) wanted. Of course, that was expected. The London side of Masa didn't care. But the Tokyo side of Masa did care. I used to be like the one who hated this kind of party; all the conversation tends to be superficial, not interesting at all. Seems like my Tokyo side emerged on the surface this time, probably because I just read a novel written by Risa Wataya (see below), who should be like the Tokyo side of myself.

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