Posted by: marthacoolcat | December 22, 2008

Back to Tokyo

I took a tour of the peace park and all the monuments that have been erected around ground zero. It’s odd to think of ground zeros, not just the 9/11 ground zero. Interesting how one event eclipses a term.

Matthew did make it to Miho-san’s tour. She lost uncles in the A-bomb attack, who are probably in the mound of 70 000 people cremated together, because no one claimed the bodies because often every next of kin was also dead. They now know 8000 of the names, but that’s less than one in seven. There a big mound where their ashes are. I stood where they aimed the bomb, andI saw the actual ground zero. Everywhere I walked felt like a grave, felt haunted, creepy, like a murder scene or a grave. Well it was. It was odd to see trees with green, to hear birds.

Then I Matt and I went out for Japanese. Another exciting ordering experience. It was a really fun dinner. I learned that in Korea (where Matt lives – he’s a five board-kicking TaeKwonDo instructor in Seoul, but get this, from Oregon) you never pour your own strong rice spirit, you always pour for the other person. We ate weird food, but they were out the beef “stamina-increasing dish”, which could have helped Matt’s return to health.

I caught the night bus to Tokyo in the nick of time, in true Martha fashion, and settled in till we got to an odd rest stop, and the doozey Japanese business men and I stumbled into washrooms and back out onto the bus again.

In Tokyo I went to a fun shopping district, and couldn’t choose how I wanted to spend my day, and I ended up at the zoo. I thought in such a big city, the zoo would be large, humane, well-funded, and spacious. Uh, not so much. Memories of _Happy Feet_ started to harsh my mellow a bit.

I decided that I wanted an acupuncture massage as my last ting I’d do in Japan. I pointed at my back and signaled poke poke poke with my finger. Pretty clear, right? The tourist information people misunderstood me and told me how o go to the department store to buy … pins? “You want to do it yourself?” I thought they meant I could buy a kit. “No I want someone to do it to me”. They were talkign about body piercing I realised. I think it was because I have a nose ring, which is uncommon here. I said it is like shiatsu. A round of “Ahhh”s erupted from teh perplexed girls when I said that and when I made a massaging gesture. Apparently acupuncture clinics are everywhere, but I’ll never know. I decided that a shiatsu massage would have to be a sufficiently cultural activity.

It was different. After changing into a little cotton kimono top and drawstring shorts, I lay on the table, and a small Japanese woman climbed on kneeling and shoved fingertips, wrists, elbows and arms into my back. Interesting, felt good, but some of it only felt good afterwards.

I took the train to the wrong terminal, and madly dashed around, late getting my suitcase out of storage, getting more cash to pay for storage, and getting to my counter late, and breezing breathlessly onto the plane. I was not the last – some Americans with a late connection held up the departure for 15 minutes. I squeezed in some postcard posting in their, and some snack-buying. I’d hate to be bored!

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