Most shopping trips in Tokyo culminate in me throwing a tantrum, screaming, and then eventually quietly sobbing, as I rock back and forth in the corner of the store where I once again failed to find clothes to fit me. I don't think 175cm is that tall, but compared to my Japanese sisters, with their slim, prepubescent builds, I am a freak. I've been thinking about moving to the Netherlands to be around my kinsmen, as I am dwarfed when around the gigantic stature of the folk there, to say nothing of the lure of the cafe scene in Amsterdam. I love a good cup of coffee.
So it was with some surprise that a recent shopping expedition resulted in purchases that were somewhat along the lines of what I intended. Unfortunately, I didn't find any clothes, so I'm still dressed like the local beggar, er, but without Linda's amazing bone structure and fine application of makeup. I think I'll have to resort to mail order shopping to buy clothes I've not actually tried on, which will probably not look any better than the rags I am currently wearing.
My mission on that fateful day was to buy curtains for my new apartment. Much as I fancied my Astro Boy blankie hanging over one of the windows, I felt I needed something a little more... sophisticated. I measured the area with precision and ventured confidently into the metropolis to buy my curtains. How hard could it be? I had everything I needed: cash, a desire to succeed, and the measurements scribbled on the palm of my hand. Unfortunately, after a particularly sweaty train ride, these were left behind on the hand strap I was clutching, as the train careened wildly through the suburbs of Tokyo. Still, I retained my sense of purpose, and managed not to lose my wallet, so all was not lost... until the first department store crushed me. As did the second. Without any will remaining in my broken soul, I found myself being carried along with the wave of masses heading into Don Quixote. After browsing the various levels, in insanely high temperatures and with the cacophonous sound from loudspeakers yelling, er, something or other, I managed to leave with curtains and, amongst other things, supplies of my favourite Nag Champa and Precious Chandan incense. I felt rather stunned, not just from the sensory overload from the store, but because it actually worked out.
It was with great excitement that I made my way home, and I could barely contain myself as I ripped open the packaging so I could hang my new, cool black curtains. OK, so I was a tad disappointed when I discovered that the curtains are see-through, and that they hang too long and onto the floor, but I'm proud I managed to get it sorted. The saving grace has been the incense. It smells just gorgeous and manages to mask (just) the noxious fumes permeating from the piles of garbage that have once again accumulated in my apartment. Along with that other strange smell I have noticed recently... stay tuned for a future posting with possible keywords being swamp, and ancient burial ground.
However, I am feeling slightly more positive about the whole garbage crisis as B, one of the funniest chicks I know, and a complete and utter star, is carrying out critical trash disposal research, even as I write. I'm sure her findings shall help me work out what to do with all this...