JAPAN IS BLOODY GREAT

Evening Style Mongers.I do love it here in Japan. I wanted to experience a very different culture and this gaff delivers on many levels. Aside from reclining on tatami matting receiving nameless triangles of moist substance and raw sea flesh in leu of food, or hunting out the next best place to get wet, endlessly having my arse rinsed by robots, equates to a pretty utopic scene for me. Water is becoming a theme, you see.

   Little shrine in Kyoto

Little shrine in Kyoto

But there’s much more to the gaff than that I’ve discovered.  Travelling alone, espesh' in foreign lands gives you the chance, or perhaps forces you, to observe. Particularly when you are effectively deaf & mutt. I've written a few notes on my travels which am decanting when I get the moments. 

I cannot stop taking pictures. It rather explains what the Japanese are up to when in Europe. I confess, I take pictures of food. I take pictures of rail crossings. I take pictures of the slippers you have to wear. And the socks. I take pictures of the cables above streets. I take more pictures of rail crossings. I am a fully blow picture taking tourist and I dont care.

   View from my Ryokan window in Gora, Hakone.

View from my Ryokan window in Gora, Hakone.

One reason I dont care, is no one, no one, gives a monkeys about me being here. Not a jot to do they care if I have a herringbone bepsoke suit on, or tiny shorts and vest combo- I am tantamount to invisible. Its been double good for the soul. Once I hit the bottom and came up from my shakey entry to the city disorientated by jet lag. Really did shit it, too. Came out of Shibuya Metro, straight into The Crossing (without knowing) and thought, bloody hell, just like it is in the films. Was fine, but then the lag/fear hit me and wondered what the fuck and to who the fuck I was trying to prove stuff. Settled down once clocked their policy on smoking and with a nights sleep. 

   My digs in Shibuya, near Yoyogi park. The yellow building at the end- more of this later.

My digs in Shibuya, near Yoyogi park. The yellow building at the end- more of this later.

That said about invisibility, I did get some recognition. Was in Yoyogi Park, writing by the massive ponds, and treating the gaff like a resort: small Orlebar Brown red Setter shorts and Sunspel vest, with a couple of hundred locals picnicing and enjoying the sun in a more dignified and covered manner, as they do. Full looks, fully styled with nice clean footwear. I was enjoying getting bit gruby, sweating and had filthy feet. One group knocked the baseball into the the pond. I knew with resigned calm that I was the only near naked filthy bugger equiped to help. Swear, really didnt wanna attract no attention, so solemley approach the pristene group of baseballers, said Konnichiwa with modest bow, and waded into the pond to get the ball. Swear was trying to do in lowest key manner possible as was embarrassed bout the spectal of an orange Gaijin walking round dressed like was at  beach. Bless the crowd, as when handed the ball back with another little bow got pretty much a full round of applause from all the pondsiders. Blush red over my organe. Was really funny and heartwarming. Was ribbsing back at my Mac trying to pretend like nothing happened. They are a double sweat lot, the Japanese. Their manners are world beating. 

 

   Doin' in the park. Yoyogi park.

Doin' in the park. Yoyogi park.

Their manners here are so beautiful, at times initially it made me want to cry. Perhaps that’s was the jet lag, but regardless, their respectful ways are to be marveled at, and could teach us a great deal in the West. Its such a good starting point for each relationship. Head bowing goes such a long way. Might have a go in Hackney and see wha’gwan. The level or respect to strangers is so high. Imagine the reverse; an alien looking, language-less old fella arriving in Liverpool Street and the short shrift he’d get from the people around if he appeared bewildered. I arrived at Shibuya, in the absolute bloody thick of it on the Metro at 8am and found people double helpful as I approached/tranced out on the ticket vending machines and stiles. Even if manners mask other things, I don’t care what they’re really thinking, this level of respect has so many merits. Humility is not quite my default setting, as yet, and that’s another thing the Japanese appear to excel at. Perhaps this is partly why I am here. That and the water scene.

Stubbs out.

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Compulsory happy dog policy.

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