ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

You're reading his old blog-- so change your bookmarks to his NEW improved BLOG.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Year Away from Tokyo

Things that struck me about Tokyo, looking back on it a year later...

1. there is a tremendous 1960s feel to it.
2. Smoking is bigger and much more accepted than it is here in the US.
3. Bicycles are everywhere-- and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere.  They ride on the sidewalk there.
4. The food is amazing.  It's better than I thought it would be and I had high expectations.
5. You can't get a decent cup of coffee in too many places-- Iced Coffee?  Forget it.  They have old coffee they put on ice.  There was a french pastry and sandwich shop which had pretty solid Cafe Au Style, and the iced coffee was drinkable but very weak.
6. Donuts will cost you 2400Y for a dozen-- $20 for a dozen donuts??
7. They can't make a hamburger worth a damn.  It's mealy sausage type meat.
8. It's ridiculously crowded but there is tremendous respect for personal space-- people do not bump into you.
9. The ONLY obnoxious people I met there were European.  Big secret: The Japanese don't like European tourists because they wear too much cologne, and I certainly can attest to that.
10. There is not a baseball cap, pajama pants, pants hanging down to your crotch or sweatpants in sight.  They take pride in their appearance and I think I was the only person in a city of 5 million people wearing jeans.   Polo shirts and khaki pants or suits are the norm.  I loved that.
11. The cars and trucks are tiny-- you already knew that-- but they're even smaller than you think they are.
12. There are vending machines everywhere selling everything from cans of hot coffee to beer and cigarettes in them.
13. Tommy Lee Jones is a big spokesman for some Japanese beverage because his face is on all the machines.
14. They hand out tissues in packages with advertising on them.  Because public bathrooms don't have toilet paper (good to know!).
15. They love Halloween but they don't understand what the hell it means.  Jolly Halloween is not an acceptable greeting people-san!
16. If you don't have dark hair and eyes expect to be stared at.  You're going to stand out.
17. Japanese television is wackier than you thought-- I miss it.