Nude Trump

Sadly it's just a clothing store Yup…

A belated sorry for folks who are worried about my wellbeing. The news from Kansai and Western Japan has been sad to see on the news and I’m sorry for not letting people know I’m okay here in Tokyo as soon as I should have.

It’s been one full week since I landed in Tokyo and I’ve learned several things:

  • I can sweat a lot when it’s 85+ degrees and 92% humidity
  • Nude Trump is (sadly) just a clothing store.
  • New York City rush hour is good practice for Tokyo rush hour.

Tokyo is hot. Unmercifully, brutally, hot. But it’s the humidity. The humidity compels you to collapse against the closest wall and melt into a puddle of your own sweat. After walking for ten minutes, you’re already coated in a pronounced sheen of misery and it’s only 8:45AM. Pretty much every shirt I’ve worn has had two shades of color: normal and damp. Thankfully the damp comes in several designs based on however I wear my backpack; I’ve been trying to mix it up and see which configurations look better where.

I don’t really have much to say about Nude Trump. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed that it’s some trendy clothing store. The name is definitely an attention getter so “well done to you, marketing department.” Here I am talking about your surprisingly-legitimate-or-is-it-really-if-I-know-the-secret-password business endeavor. It’s quite close to my apartment so maybe it’s a good thing that I’m not living next to an extra-curricular recreation center.

Commutes have been quite interesting. The Greater Tokyo area is 9.3 million people (around 13 million if you count the entire prefecture). That rivals New York city’s numbers (roughly 8.5 million in the five boroughs plus another three million commuting in during the day). If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume Tokyo has three times the population. While train cars are bigger, pretty much every one is like the 4,5,6 during rush hour. There’s an added bonus that the platforms quickly fill up like Atlantic Avenue does when the Q breaks down. Once the trains open, a wave of people cascade towards the nearest exits and you hope you’re not pulled away by a commuter’s dangling backpack. My ability to weave in and out of traffic has been put to the test here and I seem to be doing well.

I always felt confident in my ability to navigate crowds while in New York; Tokyo is actually making me concentrate. Since cars drive on the left side of the road in Japan, people are inclined to walk on the left side. Most of the time. My brain is having a hard time deprogramming “walk on the right side” and it’s not helped by the fact that both tourists and commuters in Tokyo behave a certain way 67% of the time. Thankfully the train stations fixed this problem by putting up signs indicating which side to walk on during rush hour.

There’s a lot more I can talk about but I’ll hold back for now. A national holiday is coming up Monday (Marine Day) and I’m hoping to walk around and find interesting festivals related to the holiday this weekend. Last week I happened upon a “Save The Ocean” type festival. They had something not-so-great; you could take a photo with a camel and even pet it if you wanted.

It was definitely weird but seemingly harmless as children stood there in awe (with good reason, camels are a rare sight to most people in the world). But harmless oddity turned dark when you walked to the other side of the booth and realized this exotic experience was sponsored by a cigarette company. It was pretty messed up.

I may forgo any potential viral cigarette ads by watching the new Jurassic World for a second time. It was released today (Friday the 13th) here in Japan. It’s out a respectable three weeks before The Incredibles 2 comes out!

All that said, I’m genuinely enjoying my time here in spite of all the troubles so far. It’s not perfect, it’s not even close to perfect, but I like it and I’m identifying ways to improve it.