Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002
Subject: Re: hey mike
Okay, I reserved a room at a hotel I know in Tokyo. I've never stayed there, but I walked into the lobby and was once told it was full and it looked pretty nice. It's one of the cheaper ones in Tokyo, and one I could actually find last time, but the cost is a bit more than anticipated: 14800 yen per night. The cost for a single room is 8500 yen per night, so it saves a bit.
I'll have to head home Thursday night since I have to work Friday, but I'll track you down at the airport on Tuesday and make sure you can find your way back Friday morning.
I was thinking of the following possibility: since getting yen might be a hassle for you, and they often don't accept credit cards outside hotels in Japan, maybe you could cover a larger portion of the hotel cost on Visa (or whatever) and I could give you a bunch of cash and save you the trouble of exchange rates that suck. To give you an example, the train from Narita airport to Tokyo station costs about 2000 to 3500 yen depending on which one you catch (takes about 1.5 hours), and going station-to-station on the subway is usually between 120 and 300 yen. The average drink costs 500 or 600 yen at a bar, although a bottle of vodka at a liquor store only costs about 1500 yen. An average McDonald's combo meal costs 500 yen and you can buy bento lunch boxes for 350 to 800 yen, while a real meal at a restaurant will seldom run you less than 2000 yen. They have something called nomihodai here, which is all-you-can-drink, and sometimes comes with some food, and costs between 2000 and 3000 yen.
Don't forget to send me your flight details.
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002
I just bought and watched my first DVD on my laptop! After a week of trying to rent it and repeatedly finding it out, I bought the amazing Evangelion: Death and Rebirth double DVD. It comes with both D&R AND The End of Evangelion! I'm so pleased! The only problem is that there are no language options, but I've seen both of them so many times that, between what I remember and the little Japanese I can understand, I have a pretty good idea of what's being said most of the time. I guess if anime DVDs had English already built-in, fansubbing wouldn't be such a bitch. Still, I was very happy to make appropriate use of my Japanese-protocol DVD player.
Incidentally, the price of DVDs in Japan is insane: about 3000-6000 yen, or $37-75. This one cost me about 9000 yen. Expensive, yes, but oh-so-good.
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002
Subject: Re: Here you go
Well, you've been getting my e-mails, so you know I've been writing a bunch of stuff. I'd like to publish modified versions of some of those, but the problem is, I don't know where to send them.
I also just sent an article to the Star about the possible effects of stubbornly sticking with a bad choice of program in university. We'll see what happens.
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002
So you're back in Toronto? Not a bad place to end up, in my opinion. Having spent the last while looking for work in Japan (not to worry, I still have my job, but I'm looking for a better one), I've determined that it's frustrating looking for decent jobs outside the major employment centre of the country you're in. All the jobs are in Tokyo, but I'm 3.5 hours away by bus, or an expensive 1.5 hours away.
I'm off to Tokyo tomorrow to meet a friend who's stopping over on his way to Australia. I don't know Tokyo any better than he does, and I'm not even sure how to get to the airport, so this could be fun.
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002
Subject: FREE E-mail - but where?
Two brief notes:
1) I'm presently using FREE internet access in a Yahoo Café in Akihabara, Tokyo. I'm on the third of a three-day stay in Tokyo with a friend, who's on his way to Australia tomorrow. You will all likely hear much, much more about this later.
2) The Toronto Star wants me to do some research for a follow-up article to a piece I gave them last week. I would love to write the follow-up, but it would require me to interview people in Toronto and Kingston, and I am, as noted, in Tokyo right now kicking myself with incredible force for not having written that article five months ago when I was still in Canada.
Opportunity is knocking, and I'm in the wrong hemisphere.
After I bury myself in the hole, I want one of you to pave a highway over it.