nostromos bLog

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  `-bruxelles_07 (8)
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08(01), 07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)

Mon, 21 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 03 (0 comments)
day 03 started just like day 02, at McDonald's. choco-croissant and a hot coffee made a perfect start for my day. and this time i really went to odaiba, a large artificial island, connected to the rest of tokyo via the rainbow bridge. to get there one can either take a ferry or the "yurikamome" train[002]. this train is a driver less system, fully automated, including closing the doors and stopping at the next stop. i got off at the southwestern part of the island. right when i got into the park i saw another cat[006], but it had no tail. poor cat. around the park is the "telecom center"[007], the "aomi frontier building"[008], and the "aist tokyo waterfront building"[010]. "fuji television"[013] has two skyscrapers there too, this one is called "fuji television wangan studios". the other one, "fuji television"[015], is the landmark of this island. one can get a nice view of the surrounding area from this sphere in the building. at the west part of the island is the "museum of maritime science"[020] which i did not visit, just as the "museum of emerging science and innovation"[011], although they had a presentation of "asimo", the robot. unfortunately only twice a day, and i missed both of them - too bad i missed that. instead i took a walk along the harbour[021-028], and smelled some genuine sea odour. on my way back i crossed some unidentified park that was pretty expensive (around 6EUR) but no english information at all. the thing is, only a few japanese really speak english. in a shop always at least one, but the level differs from beginner to fluent speaker. most of the time i mumble something like "hmhmh mhmmmh mhhm english?" - and that's the keyword. then they do a gesture of "wait a minute please, i'll get my colleague". i bow, wait, and ask the english speaking employee. this works quite well most of the time. but not here, for this park. no folders, no english speaking personnel. well, later that evening i would find out, just as another fact that was linked to this park that might have been very very important as i planned this trip to odaiba. and if i had known earlier, i think i would have postponed the trip. but let's get on... odaiba turns out to be a huge amusement park. there's sega's "joypolis"[035] (i did not enter since this would have been really time consuming, though it looked like great fun from the outside). various impressions from the area can be seen from [031] to [057]. yes, there was a woman with a little monkey wearing a dress. cute creatures - both of them. next thing i stumbled across was "MEGA WEB", a toyota showroom that fills an entire hall. inside there are all kind of cars one can sit in for testing purpose, get on a car that navigates automatically (you can see the special streets the cars drive on at [059]). some visionary stuff[062,073-077] is shown too. and then came the first big "WTF???". i entered a hall called "tokyo leisure land"[078-104]. inside were all kinds of arcade games like "street fighter II", but also games like "guitar freak V5" (for europeans better known as "guitar hero") and variations of it like "drum mania V5", and traditional japanese drums, like i saw on day 02 at the traditional japanese dance contest. inside it was loud and full of people - young and old. best of the strangest things i've seen in there: this guy[092] was brilliant at this game, another variation of "guitar hero" but with buttons instead of a guitar. i had troubles following the dots (you can see them on the left side of the screen), but this guy was punching the buttons like hell. and it always said "good" or "great". i wonder how long he had been practicing this (and how much money he spent on this). another creepy thing was those people doing bets on virtual horse-races[088]. those things shown in [089] i already got used to, though here there were really loads of them. another funny thing was right at the entrance. there were several small basins filled with fishes and one could put their feet in there. i guess those fishes eat parts of the outer skin layer. quite common in health resorts, but in a gaming hall? and finally i found an "alien arcade"[102-104] machine, but the player had the role of a marine, so i refused to play. i continued my walk through the area and found a sony store with a "sony exploraScience" floor. it was a small museum and mostly like a mixture of the "ars electronica center" in linz and the "technical museum" in vienna. so loads of technical and electronic gimmicks to try out and explore. loads of kids where there having great fun. another attraction was the "planetarium", using sony's "star projector", a projector that is actually built up of several projector-units, but they are synchronised so they act as one projector. nice demonstration in a room with a spherical ceiling. no photographs allowed in the entire museum. after leaving the sony store i encountered the next "WTF???". a shop called "cats alive"[114-117]. inside the shop you find all kind of stuff that is related to cats. unfortunately i was not allowed to take pictures. nice collection of various cat-items. the real disturbing thing about this shop was a separate part where one can pet cats, taking pictures of/with them, and play with them, with no time limitation, and it cost about 10EUR. at first i was really baffled, but then it made purrfect sense. in tokyo flats are small, people don't have much space at home. so a cat would have a poor live. additionally many landlords don't allow cats in flats. so maybe this is a really great thing for both sides: the tenants who can't have a cat and the cats who get a little distraction. oh, and for couples it's cheaper. i planned to go to odaiba on monday as i thought it's a working day and not too many people will be there. but odaiba was crowded all over. what i didn't know at that time, today was a public holiday in japan. so as i mentioned before, if i had known that beforehand, i would have definitely not gone to odaiba. but, just as i wanted to drive back to the hotel it turned out it was a good decision, since i saw a really beautiful sunset[119-139]. and finally another cliche that turned out to be true: japanese bow. all the time. i found myself starting to excessively bow too. and (almost) falling asleep on the metro/train. seems like i adjust to japanese style pretty fast. additionally the heat is getting less weakening every day. i started to decrease the air conditioning in the room by two degrees every day. so maybe one day it will be bearable. let's see...

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