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October 21, 2003

Well, I'm not dead yet, and yes you must say that in a British Monty-Pythonish accent or it doesn't work. However, I've felt very close in the last week. I got back Sunday night from Tokyo after a little more than 30 hours of travelling. That's 30 hours straight, from leaving the hotel in Tokyo to getting home, sitting in numbing economy seats on really long trans-oceanic flights. That's after getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before because I was out dancing at a bar. What?! Cameron, dancing? Yep, and it was at a bar. One of the guys I was with was stunned after a while and kept telling his girlfriend that I had moves. I always say "I didn't say I couldn't dance, just that I don't like to dance." Anyway, it was either the bar or a "gentlemen's club," and I chose the bar. I actually have to say it was fun. I even tried picking up on a girl I was dancing with, just to say I tried, but failed miserably. No biggie, I still had fun, though I don't plan on returning to bars anytime soon. That was in the famed Roppongi district, frequented by Navy seamen. Jason, you might have been there.On Friday, a cute Japanese girl who speaks decent English took me out on a sort of date and that was pretty fun. Whenever we'd eat, the guys I work with would have her sit by me, and then they told her to take me to go see Thunder Gate, a famous Buddhist temple. So she took me there (paying the very expensive taxi fees), and even took me for ice cream. I made her happy by estimating her age to be about 6 years less than she was. She was delighted with my error, and I was quite surprised to find out she was really 32. So yeah, I played a little, but worked an awful lot. Friday, I worked (battled is a better verb here) until 4 AM, though the guy I was battling with did buy pizza: a large and two mediums (which is about a medium and two smalls by US standards), along with a few sides, all of which came to about US$85. Yes everything in Japan is small except prices, which are very, very expensive. When I get pictures up, I'll have to show you my first hotel room there. It was about 8'x8' with a bathroom about the size of an airplane's bathroom -- all for only $153 a night. The bed took up about half the room along with a narrow desk. It was ridiculous. The ticket was purchased from a vending machine. There are vending machines everywhere, but I saw none with undergarments -- mostly just drinks and cigarettes.Oh, and did I mention they want me to move there and live in Japan? Yeah, the guys in Taiwan also want me to live on that island for a couple months or more. I'm not sure I'm up for that right now. I do like Taiwan though.If I've sounded negative about Japan, I don't really feel that way. I did have a good time, but it really wore me out with all the work and little sleep. I got sick and never fully adjusted to the jet lag this time. I'm glad to be home, but guess what? I'm leaving again tomorrow morning for California, so my rest is short. That trip, however, is for a little personal R&R, with no plans to answer calls or emails from work. I'm In-N-Out, but I also plan on eating at the In-N-Out restaurant several times. For those of you unfamiliar with that little joint in the West, you're missing out. But, I'm going to take my digital camera along and try to organize my photos, and maybe even upload them to the server. I could say more about my trips, but it's better to talk about them I think.

Posted by charr at 12:30 PM
Reader Comments

Welcome back (at least for a short time) and have fun in CA. It sounds like you could use the R&R.

Posted by dan at October 21, 2003 12:51 PM

Welcome back, and enjoy your vacation!Oh, and I think In-N-Out is rather overrated. I don't understand what the fuss is all about, and I don't think the people who are unfamiliar with it are missing much.

Posted by Levi at October 21, 2003 1:45 PM

I partly agree -- in that In-N-Out is somewhat of a following-type thing, where because it is cool, it is good. However, I honestly feel that the burgers are pretty good there, and I try to hit it when I can.

Posted by Cameron at October 21, 2003 2:39 PM

I've only ever been to one In-N-Out and that was in Las Vegas. My fries were really soggy both times I went and the burger was just okay. The milkshake was really good, though, and it was fun to watch them slice the potatoes. Other than that, eh, it wasn't that exciting for me. So I think I agree with Levi. Either way, welcome back, Cameron. And, bye, see you later, Cameron! :) Have a nice time in California. I'm headed in the same direction next week, to San Francisco.

Posted by Heather at October 21, 2003 8:33 PM

Welcome back! Man, 30 hours of travel? I can't imagine it. I can't imagine living in Japan either. Might be kinda neat if you didn't get homesick. Are you seriously considering it?

Posted by Jan at October 22, 2003 9:35 AM

Heather, I'm sorry your experience wasn't that good. I had a nice burger this afternoon, and still think they're pretty good. But we live in a country where you have the liberty to choose whether or not you like a restaurant, so you may disagree :).Jan, I don't get homesick much, but I don't think I'm up for living in Japan right now. Nor do I think my managers would ever let it happen, so I'm letting it be a moot point right now. I would however like to live in a foreign country for a while, but I'd prefer to live somewhere where I can speak the language -- maybe South America for a summer or something.

Posted by Cameron at October 22, 2003 10:25 PM

Cameron - You know, I bet the In-N-Out I went to was just a bad egg. Are they as far north in California as San Francisco? Maybe I should give another location a try and see what I think.

It's too bad you couldn't find an undies vending machine in Japan. Thanks for trying, though! :)

Posted by Heather at October 22, 2003 11:32 PM

The last In-n-Out burger I went to was in San Jose, I think, so there ought to be one in San Francisco. I've been to a few of them, because I was with people who thought it was the best burger place ever, but I was not really impressed by any of them. Not that there was anything particularly bad, they were just decidedly mediocre compared to all the hype I was hearing.

Posted by Levi at October 23, 2003 11:37 AM

Okay, I have got to defend In-and-Out. I think it is incredible. Best burger place, EVER. I actually gained weight because I lived to close to one of those for a while. Especially if you get the burger "animal style". I am really missing that place.Cameron-
I can't tell you how jealous I am that you got to go there. I am really interested in seeing asia sometime. It must have been a really neat experience. Make sure you post some of those picts.

Posted by carlene at October 23, 2003 1:14 PM

I think In-n-Out must put something in the water supply in the regions in which they do business. I can think of no other reason for the fanatical following it has. ;)

Posted by Levi at October 23, 2003 3:09 PM

I just read this article about Japanese cliches by a man who is visiting Tokyo. Interesting stuff. Is this exaggerated?Here's the link.

Posted by Jan at October 24, 2003 8:34 AM

I would say it's not exaggerated. In fact, I think he could have done better. All the East Asian countries love seafood, and it is a known fact that Japan is the biggest killer of whales left. I don't think I've eaten any of it, but I've had some interesting meat. When I asked what it was, I was told not to worry about it. Hmm.However, one of the pictures I want to put up is a big fish head, with a couple lemon halves and a bit of sticky rice. Yummy!

Posted by Cameron at October 24, 2003 12:33 PM

I've been to the In-n-Out place and I was so not impressed. My hamburger bun was dry, and about as tasty as an Artic Circle hamburger. Ugh. Also, the fries were soggy.Welcome back Cameron!

Posted by Mel at October 27, 2003 8:21 AM

I don't like fries and never get them, so I can't comment on that, but I still maintain my opinion that their burgers are pretty good.And thanks for the welcome back. I'm now in town for the forseeable (sp?) future. I was pretty excited to get in my bed last night, and rather loath to leave it this morning.

Posted by Cameron at October 27, 2003 8:39 AM

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Last Updated 11/07/03