11:03 AM, Tuesday, May 17th 2005:
I haven't the slightest idea how I got here. Ho-LEEE shit this must be some sort of destiny, 'cause there isn't a more confusing subway system to navigate than in Tokyo. Granted, it's only because I can't read Japanese but wow. After buying the ticket, which was an adventure in itself - I then had to run to every train uhm...dude I could see at the stations having them point me where to go. Then I come to find out I have to transfer to get to the train. OF COURSE I DO. So I just happen to be talking to a guy when he just says "YOU GO NOW!" Which prompted quite the laugh out of me remembering the old "John Pinette" all you can eat buffet routine. I barely get onto that subway that takes me to Tokyo station and then I literally start spinning in circles like a complete buffoon as I now only had 5 minuts to find where to go next. Apparently spinning is the universal sign for "I'm helpless" and I just get pointed and pointed and pointed from one place to the next. Somehow, I am sitting in the appropriate seat, in the appropriate car, of the appropriate train, to the appropriate destination. This is absolutely exhausting...but pretty damn exciting. I'm diggin' this journey...
It really is amazing to me how little I need. This laptop and camera allowed me to record the adventures last night, and then have no problem recording 18 tracks of audio to make that song, simply from the sound of a train bell. What more could any artist need? Part of me is in absolute heaven. That last entry was exactly what this was all about. Tell a story like no one has with video, music, pictures... and of course boobs. Gotta have boobs. ;-)
I'm realizing now of course that for the next 3 days I will be in a different world. I'll truly be happy if I even have power to plug this laptop in. I'm certain there will be no internet until Friday at which I'll upload everything. That's good though, I really, really, really need to just disconnect from everything. I'm hoping this gives me that opportunity.
My GOD this train is fast. The Shinsaken is what it's called and it truly is a bullet train. I've been taking gobs of video. It should be good background for maybe a travelling song or something - who knows. Man, it's days like today that make me think I could live like this. To just get up and buy a ticket and go explore something and document, out the inspiration.... the allure is so inviting. Loneliness concerns me though... Wouldn't I just be depressed within a few weeks or months if I really did this?
Then again, it amazes me that after a really shitty experience last night, topped off by the piano incident, I made that song and video and was literally on top of the world. I can only assume other artists know how it feels to create something out of THIN AIR that never existed before. Granted, I used Beatles lyrics, but that was simply to tie in my one purchse of the day. That's what is so wonderful to me, taking all the days events and inspirations and just weaving them into art. Heh, the conflict is certainly deep in my heart. The yearning to truly give it all up and do this for a longer period of time is so strong at this moment.
Time will tell. Speaking of time we're already halfway there. The next adventure will be trying to find a place called "Matsubayan Ryokan". A ryokan is a type of bed and breakfast where you can stay really cheap sometimes sharing a bathroom or whatnot. Billy (Berghamer of Planet GameCube and now Game Informer fame) said it was a good place to stay in Kyoto. Im also hoping to find some unique shops and whatnot for gifts and trinkets to buy. Everything in Shinjuku was literally what you'd find at any mall in the states. Barely anything even had japanese writing on it. Seemed a waste to buy the same thing you can get in LA. I'm not much of a shopper, but I know I'm going to want several things from this trip scattered throughout my house and life.
It's funny, I had the 3rd person straight up say:  "Holy shit you have balls for doing this" and it didn't really register until today. Today was scary. LOL. Paying $270 for these two scraps of paper that are supposed to equate going to Kyoto, yet not having the fuckiest idea of how to get there was scart. And hell what am I saying - the whole thing is crazy. To step off the plane with no where to stay, absolutely no idea where to go and just walk where your heart takes you... I must say - that's pretty intense. If I can pull it off in the most backwards of backwards places, I can do anything. Oh speaking of backwards, you guys gotta read this. I'll add my editors notes along the way. This from some random emailer that no one I've talked to knows, but she somehow found the site:
Adam, you are the very definition of an Ugly American tourist. Lest you
forget, you are in someone else's country. You are no longer in the US and
should have no expectation for the rest of the world to conform to your
ideas of what constitutes "normal" in your narrowly defined little life. Do
you honestly believe that showcasing your ignorance of foreign culture is
enhancing your image? What next, you going to fly to Europe and make more
narrow-minded observations on how yet more of the world doesn't do what you
expect? How old are you, 8?
I actually took her serious at this point. Who is she to tell me I should have no expectation of what normal is?!?! This is my take on things, therefore I get to define what normal is. That's exactly what life is, and why you make trips like this. It is abnormal to me to mix Cream Cheese, Tuna, and pizza sauce in a crepe...which is why I wrote it. That's the fun of life! You can live 30 years thinking one thing, go to the other side of the planet and see people think the exact opposite! The kicker in her paragraph was her thinking I give a shit about enhancing my image. It's the one thing only long time readers understand. It is not my job to make myself look good or bad. I report how I feel, and oftentimes - it makes me look bad. Just take a gander at last month. I am honest to a fault, I constantly have egg on my face and THAT is what makes this journey special. Moving on, it gets better:
Everything in your tiny little ego-centric life has to revolve around what
you would think. It's an American joke, what one American exec is laughing
his ass off, I have YET to understand this billboard, "THEY" are on the
wrong side of the road, "THEIR" language can't possibly be real, "THEIR"
food, other than what your lame ass has eaten in the US, is bizarre, Michael
Jackson, priests, blah blah blah. ALL of that is YOUR world! Michael
Jackson is a product of YOUR fucked up country. Child molesting priests
abound in YOUR twisted country. You and your culture are the puritanical
perverts who think that innocent acts such as breastfeeding a child can
somehow be misconstrued as a sexual act. YOUR LANGUAGE is fucked up.
threw, through, thru! Jezus, open your infantile mind.
This would be the moment I realized she was just a loser with her own issues and is just an angry person. Actually I felt a little bad for the time she wasted writing this to me. Apparently the actions of her government and people within her country are a reflection of her, but that certainly isn't the case for me or anyone I know. Hell my country re-elected Bush for fuck's sake. Who can defend that? And sorry but Pocari Sweat is and always will be funny as hell. :-)
"This shit is priceless," right. You keep right on thinking that yet more
ignorant drivel coming from yet one more hilljack from the bowels of the US
is somehow unique. That'll get you and your project the recognition and
respect you so richly deserve. Maybe it's time for you to put your
impoverished soul back onto a plane and go home to where everything is
right, eh? Forget about opening your mind, seeing another perspective,
experiencing the exotic so you can appreciate the mundane, not gonna happen
for you. And you wonder where you and Jessica are gonna be in 10 years.


Alrighty then. So I reread the only two entries that were up at the time and I have to assume this is what irked her so bad:
No movie or picture can explain just how foreign this place is. Everyone is on the wrong side of the road, everyone is talking in a language that can't possibly be real - the signs are absolutely a child's scribblings playing a big joke on everyone - the food (except sushi of course) is fodder for Fear Factor, not actual food. It's unbelieveable.
Most of you know this, but I'll explain it for the new readers and the "skimmers" of the world. What I wrote above was to explain what it feeeeeeeels like to step off a plane into another world with absolutely no destination, no hotel to find, no where to be - just what it feels like. Obviously they are only on the wrong side of the road to me. This is from MY perspective. Obviously I know the language is real and their writing is not only real but absolutely gorgeous and I wish I could learn it... That paragraph is simply what it feels like when you're bombarded and everywhere you turn is foreign. Much moreso than other countries. All your comforts are gone and you search out anything familiar. That's what makes this sign all the more jarring:
When searching for comfort you look for anything. It would be nice to look at a sign and see they're selling Ice Cream even if you can't read it...but here you look at that sign and uhm, huh? LOL. I love that shit. It's inspirational to me. Oh well, I just think she's too angry to sense sarcasm and hasn't bothered to read much else on the site. The more she searches the more she'll realize that. What's even funnier is she hadn't even read the Kabuki-NO! entry yet!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm sure she looooooooooooooooooved THAT.
Anyway, I'll save my battery to write at the end of the day when I hopefully find a place to stay. Those stupid jap sons-a-bitches better have some budweiser stocked in the wetbar or I'm gonna kick some ass.
3:00 PM
I could act like this is exactly how I planned it. I could look to enhance my image by saying I knew this would work out like this. However it couldn't be further from the truth. I stepped off the train and went...uhm what the fuck. This is just another big city. I thought I was going to be seeing temples and monks and bells and whatnot. I expected an area completely off the beaten path. I was 100% wrong. So I just started walking....and walking. My shit got heavy, so I stopped to get something to eat:
I love japanese food. I could eat it the rest of my life. Of course that joy was short lived as I still didn't know what to do. I had to find a place to stay and uhm...those temples? This just seemed like Tokyo but more spread out. I figured I'd just walk all the way back to the train station and go from there. That was a good move. Found a bookstore, a book pointed me in the direction of going upstairs to the Tourist information center...I booked a room and voila. Ryokans are awesome, so awesome - wish they had them in Shinjuku because not only are the half the price of regular hotels, I'd pay double for this. Granted, no wifi -but no offense, you all can wait to read this. ;-)
On my way to the ryokan I realized why I was so confused. I went the wrong way out of the station the first time and now I immediately saw a temple on the north side. Whew.
Man, I just love this. I completely understand why rich kids just travel the world on their parent's dime. I would travel the entire world like this writing songs - taking video...just being inspired day after day in a HEARTBEAT. I am amazed that what would stress the normal person out to no end just fuels me.
I mean, I kind of realized that last fall when I got the loan officer job. The situation was dire to say the least and I just fed off it and excelled beyond my wildest imagination. Now, even this trip to Tokyo illicited fear in many people's eyes just because I was going alone! Nevermind that I never even booked a hotel! Well that's just CRAZY TALK man. CRAZY I tell ya. LOL.
Alright enough talking. I'm gonna go get something to drink, enjoy some local trinket shops and hit the hay early. I can only stay here one night so I'll need to find a place tomorrow relatively early.
PS (6:20 PM)
I'm fumin' and just had to vent. So I go to a sushi bar after searching the entire city for about an hour to no avail, there's one literally 5 steps from where I'm staying. Of course, there's no english. I go in and the owner comes up and tells me this is a very high class sushi bar (I could tell from the expensive bottles of alcohol everywhere) and they had no english menus. He explained that I could do the standard plate at $18.00 (1,800 yen) or the high class plate at $50. The plates are only 8 pieces total. Obviously I pick the $18 plate. $2.25 per bite is already too rich for my blood. I'll just eat slowly as it's more than TRIPLE what I was paying back in Tokyo.
To their credit, it was extraordinary and worth every penny. I figured I'd have 2 more bites of what has come to be my favorite, bintoro. What's another $4.50. I'll live a little. It was easily the best bite of sushi I'd ever had, almost impossible to describe. The second bite was almost too much, but couldn't resist. When I go to pay - the bill is SIX THOSUAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TEN YEN.
Those pieces of fish, were $20 a PIECE. One bite, $20. Whole plate? $18. One more bite? $20. Another bite? Another $20. I just spent $65 for 10 pieces of fish that back in Tokyo would've cost me $7. I have been SOOOOOOOOO watching every single penny out here and in two bites I totalled my entire food bill the entire time I've been in Japan. Well this $10 bottle of saki I bought at the 7-11 will be enjoyed tonight. You'd better BELIEVE I won't drink until I puke NOW. Not with $65 worth of fish in my stomach.