Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alas, I'm home. (あら、帰っちゃった。)

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Except not, because good lord, Kyoto felt more like home than this does.

Not to mention the fact that the sheer convenience of everything there is simply mind-boggling in comparison.

Oh, and the improved fashion sense.

...and unfortunately the number of fat white tourists, but you take the good with the bad, eh?

But really, I say on my blog that I left my heart in Kyoto. It's the truth. I may find myself basing future job searches more on proximity to the old capital than my desired line of work... Oh dearie me.

My poor feet bear testament to my desire to get as much of my old haunts under my feet as possible. Oh dear indeed; good thing I don't work on my feet.

For those interested, my trip to visit my dear friend A mostly involved... eating. Eating lots of tasty, tasty food and wandering around Kyoto and generally having a good time for relatively little money. Funny; she's currently living there, and yet I was playing the local, pointing out all the spots to remember, where to get her hair done, where to go for foreign goods and the like.

And here I sit in Mie, not a clue about my new habitat and thoughts still stuck on Kyoto.

.... Mastusaka will grow on me?


Anyway, after a 3+ hour set of train rides (what I get for being cheap, what  can I say) we:

1) Went to a cake/pastry shop in 京都駅 (Kyoto eki, Kyoto station). A out おしゃれ'd me by a long way, which once again reminded me just how different our two new environments are.

....there's so little おしゃれ to be had in Matsusaka.


2) Took the subway back to her temporary place to put my bag away. Her new company is renting her a weekly apartment on their dime until her visa comes through (which was, coincidentally, today, but as the place is paid up for a while she's not moving quite yet), which is pretty damn nice of them, I think.

3) Popped over to her nearby supermarket to pick up food for dinner, etc. There I realize that, while the supermarket I have been frequenting is cheap... it is sorely, sorely lacking in so many essentials.

Thus, I must find a new one. Y has suggested Cosmos, so I shall try it next.

4) おしゃれ'd up (me, that is) and hit the town, aka Shijo-Sanjo-Kawaramachi area. Ooooh yea, now I was home, baby.

First we just wandered around a bit, heading for Kappa Sushi because we were in the mood for some super-cheap sushi times. After that we wandered a bit more, eventually leading to Lawson's for me to pick up the BUCK-TICK tickets I ordered online for the Nara gig (which turned out to be a pain in the butt due to a very picky Loppi machine, let me tell you). After that, we wandered around a bit more before stumbling onto Sex in the Moon, a bar I used to frequent back in my study abroad days. Unfortunately, it did not open for another hour or so, but A seemed interested in some cheap cocktails, so we wandered a bit more, scheduling a return trip.

We went to LOFT, which has been moved from its original side-street to lining Kawaramachi. What's up with that, I'd like to know. We dilly-dallied enough there to have time for a quick and cheap oolong-cha to split from the Lawson's before heading back to the bar, because everyone knows that drinking when thirty can only lead to horrible things.

We arrived at Sex on the Moon, only discover a bartender I didn't know working. No problem, but a little disappointing. We ordered a salad, some fried goodness, and two drinks to start. They would be followed by a kamikaze each (which I taught A is clearly the best value for one's money at such an establishment, as it is absolutely loaded with alcohol in comparison to, say, a cosmo), and me asking the bartender what his name was and why no one was there I knew.

Apparently, the entire crew I knew is long gone, and Yasushi-tenchou has been replaced by Shin-tenchou, who told us his name by pulling aside his shirt to show us the tattoo of his kanji on his left pectoral.

... have I mentioned how much I love Kyoto?

Unfortunately, Shin-tenchou was too busy chatting with the four loud, obnoxious girls at the counter to pay much attention to us (our fault, really; we should have sat there as well instead of at a table), and therefore I do not yet know if he can properly replace Yasushi-tenchou and his gang.

... considering I had a date with one of them, I highly doubt it.

After the bar, though, we gradually headed back home, as dinner proper was to be home-cooked, and our feet we killing us due to poor shoe choices.

We did pick up some knocked-down (due to the late hour) tofu donuts on the way, though. Yum yum.

5) We ate some mushroom risotto, and watched the first two episodes of Firefly together before curling up to chat late into the night. We hadn't seen each other physically in over a year, you know; we still have a lot of catching up to do, despite talking practically non-stop all weekend.

6) Woke up at a decent hour, and A made us her version of Eggs Benedict, which really only means less hollandaise (aka a reasonable amount) and the lack of English muffins that living in Japan brings. Very tasty, very rich, and a very good way to augment these weeks of jam and toast I've been suffering through living with.

7) Headed back out to the Shijo/Sanjo/Kawaramachi area for another day on the town, this time commencing with lunch at 一風堂, which makes the absolute best ramen I have ever eaten in my life.

Needless to say I had been craving it.

We then wandered, shopped, and wandered, eating a crepe, milk-tea boba, and a 抹茶カキ氷 (maccha kakigoori, matcha shaved ice) between us before heading back to her apartment once more. Though I had originally planned on leaving Tuesday morning before work, my paranoia got the better of me, and I was to set off on the last train Monday instead.

...I feel sort of sad about that now, as my housemate isn't even back from her weekend yet, and she stayed in Mie. Sigh.

Anyway, we watched some more things on her computer, she made me a salad, and then I was off to buy some おみやげ (omiyage, souvenirs) for my coworkers and an extremely cheap, extremely large eco-bag at the station before heading back to Mie.

Stupidly, I caught an early train out of Kyoto, not knowing that I would only get stuck further down the line when the boonies proved too powerfully remote to have more than one train an hour so late. So, due to my tendency to overestimate the amount of time I need to do things, and my general paranoia about being late, I left Kyoto and ended my weekend probably a good forty-five minutes before I had to.

... I suppose it's not much, in the grand scheme of things, but it matters when you're leaving on of your best friends and the geographical equivalent of the love of your life!


At least I have some good souvenirs... albeit in the shape of an eco bag, two moisturizers and advice from A on all manner of subjects.

Good souvenirs to me. I'll get おしゃれ things next time. You know, when I've had a paycheck.

Oh, and I did get the BUCK-TICK tickets, didn't I!

All in all, an excellent weekend which ended much, much too soon.

It was so very tough to make myself leave. Ultimately, I think it was that whole "I don't actually live here, and would therefore become a bum living under a bridge on the 鴨川 (Kamogawa, Kamo river)" thing that actually did it.

...a paying job and a place to live are nice, kids.

This is Edo, signing off and wishing Mie was just a bit closer to Kyoto after all.

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