A Busy Tokyo Week (in Bullets)

Happenings over the past seven days-ish:

  • Celebrated eight months in Japan, and about two more to go (the latter’s harder to believe than the former), with (what else?) a nomikai.
  • Finished Lost season 4, started season 5. Once you start, it’s impossible to stop. Damn you, J.J. Abrams!
  • Started an internship at Naked Communications. It’s a smaller, younger company than Six Apart (already a small, young company), and it looks like there’s more opportunity for me to get my hands dirty and make a difference. Also, their clients are f*in huge. Expect a longer post on this later.
  • Went to an awesome live edition of the excellent Trans-Pacific Radio podcast. All the fledgling Japan podcasts out there (promising as they are) have a thing or two to learn from the professionalism, charm, and general awesomeness of Ken and Garrett. Also managed to squeeze in a meeting with a presenter for Tokyo 2.0 next month. If you don’t know what Tokyo 2.0 is, come to SuperDeluxe this Monday and find out.
  • My Japanese teacher from Lewis and Clark took my friend Alia and I out to the coolest restaurant in Shinjuku, called Donzoko (どん底, or something like “the very bottom”). I forgot to take pictures, but the inside is a maze of low ceilngs and wood doors, accented by liquor bottles, ancient pictures, and a clientele and atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re back in the 50’s. My teacher said it’s a major writers’ haunt, and all the big novelists would go there to eat, drink, and pen the great works of modern Japanese literature. The menu was good too- Italian-ish, with emphasis on varied and plentiful cheeses.
  • Had a nice chat with Arudou Debito, who’s basically the most outspoken, visible foreigner-rights/foreigner-relations advocate in Japan. I have to admit, from reading his blog and website, I didn’t expect him to be near as jovial or boisterous as he is in real life. He’s a pretty fierce writer, and his website and blog are serious and information-dense, but he’s got a big smile, a fun sense of irony and absurdity, and a ton of wisdom to share.

Your to-do list: listen to TPR, read Arudou’s blog, go eat at Donzoko, come to Tokyo 2.0 monday (American readers excused from the latter two). Seriously, you’ll get a lot out of doing them all.

Update: by some chance I helped create a four-Daved table at the Pink Cow. A fellow Dave also has a pretty good write-up of live TPR and Arudou Debito.