This was the first day that I felt even minimally OK physically-- that is, my back still hurts and I can't walk a block or up a flight of stairs at a normal walking pace without getting short of breath and coughing for ten minutes-- so what I mean is, this is the first time since I got here that I've even felt more-or-less all right when I'm sitting still.

Leaving first thing tomorrow. Goddammit.

Um, you can still comment, as "first thing" is liable to translate into "after checking my email and LJ.

Today I went shopping, the perfect activity as I could stand in one place as much as I liked and drift about slowly when I was moving. I went to Nakano broadway, a giganto shopping mall mostly devoted to anime memorabilia but also selling T-shirts emblazoned with amusingly fractured English. (No doubt just like the ridiculous kanji emblazoned on the shirts of people who have no idea they're walking around in a shirt that says something like "Dragon happiness pleases all customers." I'd already bought one that read,

The falling out of lovers is the
Rene
Wing
of love.

Proof wins over argument.

(The last line is repeated mirror-imaged and upside down beneath it.) It took me two weeks to figure out that "Rene Wing" is not a proper name. I'd decided that he made black and white indie films in which aimless people drift through sorrowful cityscapes. Possibly the unacknowledged bastard of Isadora Wing's second husband, Bennett Wing, by some French woman.

The shirts I bought today were sort of like that, but I'm not wearing them so I forget exactly what they say. One's for me (it has a gnomic phrase about Los Angeles), one's for my Dad (it has a long message about world peace, then concludes with something like "Cute girl is hopefulness," only funnier than that, and one's for [livejournal.com profile] tweedkitten, who also got a pair of panties. (The first time I've ever bought underwear for anyone other than myself.) They have an amusing message, but not "cupcake."

I also acquired a silver-colored Trading Arts Ed Elric with blade-arm-- REALLY COOL-looking-- a cheapo figure of Misato from a vending machine, non-trading arts Hughes (at a phone!), non-trading arts Al (finally!), non trading arts Riza Hawkeye, two chibi Hawkeyes (will trade one), two chibi Scars (will trade one), also from vending machines, Asuka in her Eva suit (I have a mostly hate-hate relationship with that anime, but I like the characters and I guess it sort of got under my skin, because I kept feeding hundred yen coins into the Eva vending machine, and some gifts. I saw something which immediately made me think, "OMG [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks would love these!" So I bought them. Tell me if you already have them or not, because if you do I'd be perfectly willing to keep them for myself: a set of small plastic Hikaru no Go figures-- Hikaru, Sai, Akira, um... a schoolgirl, a guy in traditional Japanese dress, and a boy with brown hair.

To my regret, I saw virtually no plushies of any kind and no merchandise from a bunch of my favorite shows. However, my desire to have an enormous collection of Fullmetal Alchemist figurines and teeny plastic models of food has been largely satisfied. At least until they bring out Trading Arts 3.

Last night I had one of my best times since I got here, dinner at the house of the friend of a friend of my traveling companions, with them and her utterly adorable bouncy genki tomboy seven-year-old manga fan daughter. We had to go way out into the boonies of southern suburban Tokyo, but it was so worth it. We had requested "a simple dinner-- don't put yourself out," which, as I expected, was interpreted as "serve a banquet of simple, home-style dishes and break out the alcohol."

We had niku jaga (usually a stew, but in this case, just the boiled contents but not the liquid), tonkatsu (fried pork) on skewers with onions, green beans with bacon, minced chicken-and-onion patties, and finished with rice with nori (dried seaweed), salmon, and salmon eggs. The alcohol included the best sake I've had yet, Tateyama, which was smooth as water and did not give me a hangover, even though I had quite a bit of that plus a glass each of two Japanese beers, Yebisu and Kirin. Rice crackers, garlic-roasted pistachios (from the guests), goldfish crackers, and crispy pea-pods were the with-the-drinks snacks, and strawberry and whipped cream cake (also from the guests-- my pick) was for dessert.

When I was taken upstairs to see the daughter's bedroom and manga, she showed me her two favorite flufy stuffed animals, with names that I forget the exact words for but were basically Blackie and Whitie. They looked mostly like bunnies, but could have been lambs, so I said, "Are those rabbits (usagi?)" At least, that's what I meant to say. What actually emerged from my mouth, thanks to the sake and all, was "Are those eels (unagi?)" She just about busted a gut.

The day before that, my last in Kyoto, I walked down the Philosopher's Path, a woodsy path along a canal, with cherry petals falling about me, to two of my favorite temples, Nennaji and Engakuji. I think they're both more spectacular in the fall, but there were flowers blooming and a small waterfall I hadn't noticed before, if it's not a seasonal thing. It was sunny and beautiful and the first time I'd made it more than four blocks out of the hotel. And then I had to catch a train to Tokyo.

I meant to have some sort of conclusion here, but my time is running out for the session and I have none. I guess it hasn't been a very conclusive trip.
I'm home. It's cold. My apartment still has no heat. I'm giving notice in a week, but meanwhile contemplating staying at Halle's place. I'm giving notice at the end of the week.

I'm also still in need of cheer.
.

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