wow you guys... long time no talk. it's been almost a month since i've posted and i'm so, so sorry!
but can you just check out this ramen real quick, and forgive me?
mmhmm, that's what i thought.
tokyo was so, so interesting. i was only there for 6 days (including traveling) and was working 7am-7pm, so didn't have too much time to explore the city like you should when you're in such an amazing place.
what i didn't get to do in sightseeing, i did make up for in eating ALL of the food. i'm very lucky to have such great coworkers that made sure i ate the things i was interested in, as well as some traditional japanese dishes. i ate things i couldn't pronounce - this ramen, for one (tsukeman style, no idea what's in it) - and wouldn't have eaten under normal circumstances - beef gizzard, fish sausage (who knew?), so many raw types of sea creatures - and tried a lot of things that i didn't even know what they were. but my palate and my mind were so intrigued. i still am trying to remember and figure out what i ate.
the culture is so different from here - not at all in bad ways. everything in japan is about the group as a whole - not the individual. everything is clean, fast, convenient, efficient, and everyone is polite. exceedingly so. it made me feel very aware of american culture and norms, and how brash and rude we must seem, especially in this type of setting. drawing attention to yourself is a big no no. even on trains and train platforms, it's considered rude to talk on the phone or even have your sound on.
being blonde, i did get some attention from children - one told me i looked like Elsa from Frozen (i had my hair in its notorious side braid) - and i did get asked to have one photo taken with a group of teenagers. it was very different for me to be in a community where i was very clearly not from there. but it was refreshing in a way.
the day i got home, i researched prices on going back and also stopping in a few more asian cities. i almost feel like the city and culture gets more complex the longer you stay - but you want to stay to dig in deeper.
i'm counting the days until i can go back and give tokyo a proper run, but until then i'll be daydreaming about this ramen.
til next time,