October 18th '10 6:13

I sure am in Japan right now.
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I'm not really certain how that happened! I'm in Tokyo (Roppongi? Something I can't pronounce or spell) with Alycia right now. I'm working, she's off having fun, and the city is generally unusual and confusing.

I was expecting more culture shock, as in Beijing last year. Beijing had such a feel of being recently first-world - you never were sure how to get somewhere or what to do. The cabbies didn't seem to know how to get around either. Most of this difference is probably really due to currency - since everything is expensive here, especially compared to China, we've been taking fewer cabs.

Having a cell phone that works, with data, is fantastic. Google maps makes travelling 100% less scary for me - I know I can walk a long way, and having the phone means knowing which way that is. The rental SIM is pretty ridiculously expensive though - $220 for the week - but at least I'm not paying. Network speeds are pleasantly stupidly fast as well.

The only thing that's freaking me out is there are basically no coffee shops. I sort of expected a tea-based hot beverage society, but there's a lot of coffee, and it all seems to come out of vending machines. I think I'd prefer tea.

Photos to come. Jet lag is a real thing and pretty annoying.