As before (below? above?) mentioned, I didn’t make my goal down under. Whatever. I’ve reached a point in my travels where it may be irresponsible but I’m going to continue enjoying myself, go through with my plan to spend and see friends in Asia, and burn through the “savings” from my father. So on reaching Japan I’d converted my NZD into JPY – a very surprising conversion due to the strength of the Yen. I had 41,000 Yen. My budget now calls for me to spend that much total in cash or less through the month in Asia. Knowing the price of things relatively in each country, I budgeted half of that for Japan, alone.
All of my Asia tour is planned with a single objective – to see friends I haven’t seen in a long while. 東京/横浜 to see David. While staying with him in 戸塚, I got a first hand look at what Japanese work culture is like: terrible. We were able to hang out all weekend, but the next two days I saw him a total of maybe two hours, as Monday he headed to work at 5:30 and didn’t report back until 23:30, and my bus on Tuesday departed before he returned (left at 23:30). I got to see him audition for an improv comedy group and at one dinner with friends he performed much of his standup material, which was great fun. For his part, he insisted on buying my CD.
Here’s a quick photographic look at the weekend, which was actually highlighted for me more by the food than the sights. 戸塚 Ramen was so good I ate it twice. I think it’s a combination of great food in a country that cares about it and my sudden freeing of inhibitions to spending money and choosing enjoyment of food over mini-starvation. Japan is a dangerous place for a traveler on a newly loosened budget.
Song of the Days: Skinny Love – Bon Iver