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Day 298 - March 17 - Japan

Arriving to Narita airport,

and we do the usual. Immigration, customs, bag searches, random passport checks while standing around only for people that don't look Japanese. Hey, wait. That is not so usual. Oh, that's right, racial profiling is 'business as usual' here in Japan and being a 'lound eyes,' we are fair game for the special attention. It all comes back to me. The whole 'no humans with tattoos allowed in public swimming pools' and how hotels used to block Japanese female's from going to the hotel room of a male westerner. Japanese dude like fully blocking the elevator and if you try the next elevator over, he dashes over there for a new block, meanwhile chattering a stream of unintelligible words intermixed and surrounding repetitions of the one word I do follow "Noh!" It has been a while since I have tried it but I have little doubt it still hotel policy in many in many of the not so western places to stay. Ha ha, and just like Texas and other places and culture I love Japan and this love comes with an occasional ouch and the ouches are often as interesting as the enjoyment.

Also not so usual is to see a promoter rep waiting there as we exit customs. Actually that is usual except for today as we still have another plane flight before we are supposed to find the locals from promoter reps awaiting. "There has been a change and the tour has been postpo ...." Ah, you all know the next bit of the story as I spilled the beans when I time-slipped a few days ago.

First stop, my palatial hotel suite

Not only was I thrilled to see that I was afforded such a roomy room with room for a sleep over friend to have their own bed, should such a person I meet, I was head over heals with joy when I discovered that in the event two pals both drop by each needing a bed to sleep in, there is yet a third bed in the room that can be conveniently rolled out in the vast openness of spare space available.

Before heading out for to hunt for food, I may as well do a quick check up on the email. As you may or may not know, Japan is on a cell network that ic conveniently compatible with no one else on earth rendering our Blackberry's useless. No tethering my laptop to my cell here for internet so I break down and cry. Actually I breakdown and head to the front desk for the "internet connection package" which consists of an ethernet cable, a phone cable, a DSL modem, a power supply and a set of simple instructions

Even I, a proficient techno nerd, found myself challenged and nearly aborted the mission when I finally realized to ignore the instructions and found the proper place to plug in the phone cable hidden on a cable stuffed in hole behind the desk I had to move. Aha! Of course that is where it would be. I don't know why my jet lag dreary mind didn't spot it sooner.

Ring ring goes the phone and off to dinner with Chris and Tracy,

Dave Rat


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Monique on :

"The screen copy before..." That is one long run-on sentence.

Dave Rat on :

Run on and a level of meandering confusion I I could only wish to be able to create!

Rachelle on :

Ha ha Ratty.... I love the randomness of some of your stories. They bring a smile to my face every time! Do you have any photos of the loo? I remember the hotel bathrooms in Japan pretty hi-tech .... funny squirty things and all. Here's to finding a sleep over pal or 2! RT

Dave Rat on :

Hello Rachele, If you do a search of the blog for Japan, I put some pics up of the loo on our last trip. Yep, those toilets are cool!!

HowdThatTaste on :

I wonder if the text written in japanese says EXACTLY the same thing! haha! You should send them a note about your confusion translated in the same fashion (w/google language tools). for instance, heres what i just wrote, translated to japanese, then back to english again.------> Whether or not as for me the text which is written on Japanese is the same thing exactly, you think in doubt! [haha]! Note the same method to those (the language equipment of w/google) with concerning your confusion which is translated should be sent. For example, here, and returning to English, being for the second time translated in Japanese, there are some which I write exactly.

Monique on :

Well since I can't seem to post on your myspace: HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

Ashley on :

You may have just been the final straw to dissuade me from getting a tattoo. I was planning on getting it this weekend, but the question of how the Asian countries will react to it (though it will be barely seen, unless in a swimsuit) (oh, I'm moving to China this summer for 6 months) has come to my attention. Are there any other tattoo "rules" that you have come across? I really want to get it!

Dave Rat on :

Train ride into Tokyo. Wandering and observing. Awesome meal at the noodle bar, curious sites and all around culture amazement overload Well, I am not sure that the fact that some people and cultures have prejudices about things harmless self choices people make should be the deciding factor. Sometimes, quite the contrary can be a more harmonious choice and following your path with out letting others biases guide you. Though it is very important to be absolutely sure and comfortable with a permanent choice like a tattoo as it is never good to feel regret at a later date. Also, it is important to balance ramifications with actions. But that is all for you to figure out. As far as other issues with tattoos, well, they are as they seem to be. You get them to make a statement or mark a reminder and hold an image on your body. Some will like it and many will not. The fact that you do it is in itself a demonstration that you are holding your view or position regardless of what they think. The key is never to end up joining the ones that don't like it, for one reason or another. If you are in doubt, then don't!

Some Sound Engineer in Japan on :

Hi guys! how is your Japan Trip? :)

pm on :

ah well, same happens in the usa: dutch sound engineer? then you must be a smoker, let's do a visitation. or better: dutch sound engineer? nah, we have sound engineers as well, of course they're better then you (duh!), let's keep you waiting for a couple of hours... just everyday stuff :)

Dave Rat on :

Oooh, yes I could see that they would tend to chat up the dutch at airports. They got us at the airport but what was really weird was the random 'lound eye' passport checks at the train station away from the airport. Maybe some kind of security alert or something but to be stooped in a public place by police and ID checked was a bit strange.

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