Thursday, March 26, 2009

Work Impasse

So I've hit a bit of a snag at work and haven't gotten much done the past couple days. I'm probably just over thinking the problem and trying to come up with an optimal solution when my time would be better spent just hacking some crap together. This seems to be a problem I have.

My response to work frustration is usually to go wandering around looking for somewhere appealing to eat. I still find Tokyo endlessly entertaining to just wander around in. You don't have to go far off the main streets to get lost in maze like residential areas. With the narrow, winding roads these places feel very removed from the giant apartment complexes, even though they're really not.

Tonight's wandering led me over near Tokyo University. I had the hamburger and omelet combo plate (a fantastic menu find). Unlike at some nicer restaurants, the places near the university don't skimp on the food. For like $10 I had more than I could eat.

A few other fun wandering stories:

-On my way back from the Mexican restaurant the other night I was in a convenience store when it was invaded by a herd of formally attired Japanese youths on a beer run. I walked outside into a mob of them that had apparently just exited the karaoke place across the street. This karaoke place is not a bar with karaoke, mind you, it's a multi-story building dedicated just to karaoke. And there are many of these places in the particular area I was in. I don't really understand the appeal.

Anyway, I ask one of the beer drinking guys in the street what's going on and he explains that they all just graduated from a nearby university. Hence, formal attire and drunken karaoke debauchary. I guess the karaoke places were closing b/c there were mobs of graduates all over the place. But my favorite part was when I came upon the group presumably waiting for cabs near one of the main rows. One guy in a suit is bent over a railing puking into the street. He then proceeds to fall over as his friends look on without concern. They were probably unconcerned b/c another of the group had beat him to the punch and was already lying on the sidewalk unconscious.

It's not that there's really anything that strange about drunk college kids, but at the time the scene seemed very surreal. I think it was the formal attire combined with the fact that everyone treated the situation as completely normal.

-I discovered a new super toilet feature. I dont't think I've previously mentioned, but bathrooms have a tendancy to be a little insane here. In a lot of the cramped little bars and restaurants they have short doors and are about the size of an airplane lavatory. On the other hand, if they place is nicer, it will have a super toilet. The ones at work have heating, deodorizing and adjustable water pressure bidets, as seem below. This is relatively simple compared to some toilet controls I have seen.

But anyway, the new feature I discovered was a toilet that automatically raised the lid when I entered the bathroom. It took me a minute to figure out, but I was able to decipher the pictures to also raise the seat using the wall-mounted control. This place was also kind enough to label in english the flushing button. A good idea, as not being able to figure out how to flush a toilet makes you feel really dumb and no one wins in that case.

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