August 4, 2001


Right now I'm feeling: I want to stay!!!

Favorite icchi-nensei girls
Colorful yukata at the temple
The Tokyo that we all know and love to hate
Tokyo misfits
Mariko just loves this dress


I have been meaning to go and visit my good friend Mariko since I stepped foot on Japanese soil three years ago. Since then there has been Indonesia, Egypt, the stock market, typhoons, and the crazy Japanese bank policy of closing up all the ATMs on holidays all bent on trying to keep me out of Tokyo. But my time here is almost up and there is no more time for waiting.

Mariko, big-city girl, made the huge sacrifice of coming out to see me in Hicksville, Wakayama the first summer I arrived. We went out to eat, set off fireworks, and sweat in the humid summer night. I hadn't seen her since then and I've been anxious to get over there to see her especially because it sounds like her job and her parents have been giving her a hard time.

She was there when I arrived at Tokyo Station, one of the largest train stations in the world and it took about three phone calls to triangulate our relative positions so that we could find each other in that garbled mess, which we eventually did in the busy ticket buying area. It was soooo good to see her again!! She looked good, maybe a little worn out on the inside. Her bosses have been working her too hard and paying her too little and her parents have been giving her too much grief. She is a gifted pianist, and wants to pursue that desperately, but her parents and the life in Tokyo keeps her too busy to play. There's a few people I know who I can talk with hours on end

We caught up at a little restaurant near the station and she told me about my possible accomodations. Because she lives with her parents, it was improper for me to stay with her. Her parents would allow it anyway, but it seemed clear to me that it still wasn't quite OK and I got the feeling that it would be an inconvenience for her family. So I offered to stay at a hotel near the station, a cheap one so her parents wouldn't feel too badly, and Mariko would come to meet me for the next couple days and we would go sightseeing from the hotel.

Over the next couple days we saw a ton of stuff all around town.



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