Sunday, April 1
Woke up to the ground shaking today. Looked out the 9th floor window at Godzilla trashing the harbor. Seems that those movies were actually documentaries instead of hours of raw entertainment.
The tanks of course did nothing to his thick, radiation-enhanced lizard skin. They've known for years that traditional artillery is useless against him - I don't know why they keep trying. It may have something to do with the fact that his New York cousin was toasted with four guided missiles a couple of years back, but they had Matthew Broderick's help on that.
After breakfast, Mothra's little larvae things came and made mincemeat of Godzilla for us. We could now go out and enjoy our April Fools Day.
The Sun makes an appearance! No fooling! From the ancient scrolls I saw on my travels last week I know that Japan does have a Sun in the sky like we do in Canada. Today is the first time it has shown up. Unfortunately it is insanely windy and we can't enjoy it as much as we might otherwise. It's a good sign that the cherry blossoms will come out before we leave.
Shopping starts at 10:00 and we started at 11:00. Yeah, I was right, mostly "Fancy Crap 'N Stuff" that I would never buy if I wasn't in another country. There was, however, a music box store with many tunes both classic and modern.. and usually misspelled on the labels, like "My Hert Will Go On" and "Cannon" by Pachelbel. Beautiful thousand dollar music boxes right down to 800 yen key chains. There were even Barbapapa key chains that just screamed 'retro'. I thought Barbapapa was a Canadian thing. When did it show up in Japan?
We met the parents at the hotel they were staying in. Nice by Canadian standards in most ways - sort of like the Hilton in downtown Toronto - but the real kicker was how everyone bowed. And not just a head tilt but full, from the waist, "Work Them Abs" bows over to face parallel with the marble floors under their feet. I have to admit that I was kinda liking the idea of these cute girls bowing to ME - the Mediaman - just because I was gracing their establishment with my presence. After the first few times it started to become a little embarrassing - my blushing was counteracted only by the knowledge that this is simply customary in Japan. That doesn't mean that I have to feel comfortable, but it's an amusing anecdote nonetheless.
Ordered Ramen at a Chinese restaurant. "Chinese Noodles" are how they're known. Order "ramen" and you're only reminding them of how lame a foreigner you are. I know that it is an American invention, but I still have not yet gotten the hang of not getting a fortune cookie at the end of my meals.
We went for a long walk through the town, a park, saw a van with a MASSIVE Pokemon collection on the front dashboard, made a cameo appearance at a shrine and went down an elevator to a cross-canal tunnel. There is a walkway under the canal about 900 meters long. Totally bizarre to see, since it's just one straight walkway for nearly a kilometer. There are ledges on either side for you to rest on at any time, but with my athletic background and legendary endurance I was able to make the trip without having to rest.
Hopping a ferry back to Kyushu, we rested for a while before tackling the shops again and finishing with a traditional All-You-Can-Eat, Japanese style. Well, basically it's just an American-esque buffet with more seafood and a full plate of donuts.
Back to the condo, watched a confusing gameshow with Japanese celebrities - I never did figure out what the Hell the point of it was - and went to sleep on my futon in the livingroom.