::Of Randomness and Japanese Internet Cafes::

Arare on the Beach::

The last four days have been manic, I now sit in a smokey internet cafe in my own cubicle. I am surrounded by other people whom I never see but can now and then hear as they shift in their seats or grab another drink as they take a break from an online game. The guy who booked in before me just ordered 12 hour worth! The walls beyond look as though they are constructed solely of manga, there are that many books. The guy at the desk is appropriately geeky and kinda looks like a Japanese version of the comic book store dude off The Simpsons. Surrounded by otaku is just the kind of subversive creepy I love and totally work the 180 yen per 15 mins.

That said, I will keep the description of my last few days here as simply as possible, just some random sentences that maybe only I will understand, as I must head off into the real (?) world and do some painting at my friends bar.

* How is it possible that I could go to a meeting at a gallery in an area I usually never frequent, buy a ticket to head back to Kichijoji but change my mind at the last minute to have a coffee in one of the stations cafes and be sitting outside contemplating life when I hear some Australian accents and when I look up its my old friend from highschool, Tim.
In a sitting of around 24 million peeps what are the odds!

*Taking the Yamanote Sen to Shibuya I photograph an advertisement on a train I like. Change lines and head towards one of my favourite haunts Daikanyama. Later I am checking my photos from that day and notice the young guy who happened to be in the frame of said photo is actually standing right next to me…..?

*Just outside of the station at Daikanyama I am delighted to find my usual coffee van, the man inside is busily whipping up what is always the best coffee in Tokyo. He remembers me and makes my usual, we get to talking and he wants to know more about what I do. He finds my Japanese so amusing that he wants to meet up some time next week to hear more of it. I imagine I said something like this:
Watanabe: What are you doing here?
Me: Shopping.
Watanabe: Where?
Me: Don’t know name… but… shop… doll …. big head … big eye. Does in not sound interesting?(totally strange intonation used here).
Watanabe : He, he. Dolls with big heads, can’t say I know it.
Me: Blythe.. do you know?
Watanabe: No, but your funny!

* Walking home from a long day at the beach with my friend Jun, we notice the moon is low and yellow. Jun says that there will be an earthquake and that “only I know”…. it’s a gift apparently. Sitting in his room later that night we see there has been an earthquake south of Tokyo. Spooky.

*Headed off to Kujikuri, a beach on the Pacific side of the bay in Chiba Prefecture. The sun was warm but the wind so fierce it blew the black sand right through us. It took two hours soaking in a hot Japanese bath to feel human again.

At times here I feel like I am in a movie, or being drawn by some invisible thread to certain things. Maybe a little like dezavu, maybe a little too much travelling alone but altogether like a Haruki Murakami novel.
Everything means something and nothing at once.


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