Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lost in Translation

Or just lost.

Today, after training, I took what was supposed to be a 5 minute tangent from my ride home to buy an adapter for my laptop but it ended up turning into 2 hours. I had clear directions on how to get home but thought I was smart enough to figure out how to get back after stopping in Akihabara to cop the equipment.

I got back on the right train but then off at the wrong stop. It took 5 minutes for me to realize I was lost, 30 for me to swallow my pride and ask for directions, 30 minutes for me to try and get directions from a quasi-bi-lingual Japanese lady, 1 minute for her to later remember her fluent English speaking daughter was just around the corner (I appreciated the help though), 5 minutes for her daughter to tell me how to get home and 50 minutes for me to walk back to the hotel.

It was a blessing in disguise though as it enabled me to see more of the city.

A better man than me would've stayed in and crashed, since the jet leg is setting in, but for the aforementioned reason, I opted to explore some more.

I saw peeps enjoying the cherry blossoms (drinking, eating and hanging out under the trees along the river), some "massage parlous" (it's like I'm in the TL all over again!)...and b-boys!

There was a dude was popping and hip hop dancing in front of an Asakusa store with an ipod blasting Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison". I hated from afar for a moment--in true b-boy fashion--before going up to him and asking him if he breaked (by motioning). We ended up cyphering for 10 minutes before one of his crew members showed up, giving me a moment to catch my breath (outta breaking shape), before continuing for another hour.

It was great. They spoke little English and I speak substantially less Japanese yet we were able to communicate with our breakdancing and the universal language of music. I'm going to try and meet up with them again on Thursday before taking off.

I definitely feel it was worth sacrificing my sleep. Though I'll probably change my mind in 5 hours when I wake up.


  1. How long do you have in Tokyo? You've got to go out at least one night. Thursday is the best night to cut your teeth in Roppongi, earlier in the week I suggest Dogenzaka if you like that only-fuhrriner-in-the-hood experience. The memories will see you through the bitter nights in Iwate :)

  2. Check you out ebbie san, meeting b-boys already?! nice one. 30 mins to swallow your pride and ask for help? so brave, takes me about 10 seconds to swallow and digest mine in a foreign country :).. did ever tell you about the time i got lost in Cienfuegos... some other spring!jet lag is a bitch!

  3. I ended up checking out Shibuya last night. Other than the Japanese guys (I was expecting Nigerians, like in Roppongi) offering me "massage" every other minute, it was pretty cool. Mad style in that area..

    I hope there are b-boys in Iwate..

  4. I'm surprised you didn't learn how to say "Do you break" in Japanese before you got there! ;)