Tuesday, May 29, 2007


chimping on the airmachine again. it's like CSNY, deja vu. starting to get used more and more to this traveling thing, but i still feel somewhat like a little boy on them airports, i'm telling you. it was interesting seeing security the other way around in japan this time, and i'll stick to my previous statement; nothing but good vibes and righteous treatment from everyone here. it's definitly got that rigid airport feeling, but you're treated like you're someone of decency, instead of a potential terrorist. and they have all the same checks and inspections in place that america does. i guess it's just the way things are. the american diplomatic way (nothing bad about the people here, though) seems to be controll through intimidation. that's how japan got opened up in eighteenfiftysomething, a general named perry came down tot he nagasaki harbor with his fleet and told the country; if your dont open up your land for international trade, we'll bomb your ass. so a year later, japan opened up it's boarders. it's interesting though. man, what do you know, y'all got a personal history lesson and i haven't even properly started chimping yet!

popped at 5, but chilled out in bed for a little longer, going through my email and all that jazz, always takes me a good little while to get them all properly read, digested and answered, but i enjoy it much, it keeps me in touch with you people. i slept horribly, though. i always wake up at one or two in the morning, when the manager goes to sleep, quite often drunk. that dun' wake me up though, what gets me is that about 30 minutes after he's konked out he starts snoring like a motherfucker! he's in the bunk above me, but even when i'm wearing earplug the man still wakes me up! usually i just slam the wall a few times and he stops, and i fall back asleep. but this night his snoring was particularly persistent, and after hitting the wall a few times, i kicked the upper bunk a few times, at which his snoring didn't stop, but only decreased in volume. enough for me to go back to sleepytown, but damn, he was loud! after doing the email thing i got up out of bed and went downstairs to do my routine. brush and braid my hair, brush my teeth, and hit the hot water. i went out for a quick bit and called up my mom, talked about my trip real quick and about a package i asked her to prepare and send out. went into the convenience store next to the public telephone (get it!?) and bought a quart of orange juice and a pack of 2 new disposable razors. i've always wondered why they dont just sell them single for cheaper. i only need one to last me months anyway. only a 105 yen (that's about 70 eurocents or 80 dollar cents for you foreigners reading this. don't know the amount in quid, sorry simon, but i'm sure you'll figure it out!), so it's not like it hurt a lot, but then again, 120 yen buys me a half a kabocha squash, and that's a lot, when you're trying to live on dimes. i could just do instant noodles like all the college students diming it here, but i wouldnt last very long. so after the conbini/phone trip i got back, drank my juice, shaved and cooked me up some food. in the 15 minutes the pot of veggies spent on the stove i packed my bag (god, that was easy! traveling light, i love it!) and proceeded to chow. nothing special, just the regular. bit o' daikon (the great conspiracy, get it?), bit of brocolli and a bit of squash. drink the water i boil it in, too, getcha pull. checkout out my little sister's pictures and video's of the guitar i sent her. she put it together yesterday (with a little gmail chat assistance from me, but ' where her fingers that got the job done!), and i applaued her for doing it. she used my mustang body i put together about a year and a half ago - the one that's seen the stage of los angeles' famed troubladour and many corners of the united states - and a 1962 duo sonic extra-short scale neck i snatched offa ebay for next to nothing. including brazillian rosewood and clay dot inlays, fucking righteous! it breathes mojo, is small and real comfy to play. i put it on for before i sent it out, when i was at abe's, and man, i dug it much.

i left at 930 and headed for nakano station, nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual 5 minute walk. i put some money on my trainpass, as i knew i was going to be using it, and it would beat buying tickets, and got on my train. there's three ways to get to the airport by train, and i picked the cheapest way. it takes 10 minutes longer and transfering is not as 'convenient' as with the other ways, but it will save me 2500 yen each way, and from my previous spiel you where able to make out that i can do a lot with 5000 yen! so dig, after about 60 minutes i had to transfer at funabashi station, which was kind of a coincidence, cause that's where one of my friends lives. transfered trains, got on another 40 minute trainride to nariata airport. this time it was pretty righteous, got to see a lot of the sights i first saw coming to japan, going in to tokyo. the train goes through a lot of countryside, and it's absolutely beautifull. about 10 minutes before you hit the airport there is this windmill and these old-style dutch bridges like they have in leiden and amsterdam, trippy! i wonder what that's all about!? i saw it on my way in too. everything was a lot greener this time around, though. got off at airport terminal 2 only to find out that korean air services from airport terminal 1! so i had to wait for another 15 minutes for the next train to terminal 1, and got on it. by the time i got off it was 5 minutes past 12. how did that happen!? only 50 minutes till my flight leaves! but instead of being freaked out i was pleasantly exited. the biggest drag with airports to me is always waiting, cause it's this weird, sterile enviroment that's really foreign to everyone exept for the folks that work there. regular folk dont come there often, so there's a lot of shifting energy, it's really trippy. but i wasn't going to be reserved, so i just asked my way around to where i needed to be, and all the receptionists kindly told me to hurry, because my flight was departing soon. north terminal, fourth floor, counter a. gotcha. got there, and this righteous korean dude checked me in. trilingual, like most of them. he was really exited to help me (and use his english, i guess, now that i think about it), confirmed the fact that i requested a vegan (no eggs/diary) meal and a window seat. kindly informed me that if i had any liquids with me i had to put them in a plastic bag, and also told me to please hurry, you don't want to miss your flight. good vibes. i'm always phased by those encounters, though. i believe the man was actually trying to shake my hand when i left, but i was just kind of focussed on my flight. get into that tunnel vision mode and being human with human customs and things really passes me by at those times. i kindly nodded at him as i walked on, putting the toothpaste back in my bag as i'm walking. got to security. it's basicly the same as everywhere. you empty your pockets in a small tray, put your bag in another, and put your laptop in another tray. they go through a machine, you walk through a gate, and you grab your stuff, contrary to america - however - you dont have to take of your shoes. wouldnt have mattered much, since im doing the vans slip on thing (didnt want to risk getting stranded with just flipflops in seoul, in case the weather turns on me), but it's a righteous change all the same. after the painless security i went on to immigration. yes immigration. that threw me off at first, cause i'm leaving this land, right? no such thing in america, going through imigration as you leave. but there is definitly such a thing in japan, so after standing in line for 5 minutes, i got to the guy, he browsed through my passport, took out my japanese visa, and gave me that stamp, which is what this entire trip is about, 'DEPARTED 29 MAY 2007'. right on, that made me smile inside, people! as i walked to my gate- number 26 - i was kindly greated by a lady in one of the duty free stores and kindly greeted her back. no time to waste though, i got no clue as to what time it is, and for all i know my flights already stopped boarding. thankfully, when i got to my gate 26, it was only 1222, 3 minutes before they start boarding. good, just enough time for me to take a piss. so that's what i did, when i got back a few minutes later there was a small line, boarding. so i got in line, got on the plane and there i was again. deja vu. another airmachine, man. i was surprised at how calm i was throughout the entire ordeal. got on the plane and it's the usual routine. but darn, if this plane aint fancy! wide seat spacing, plenty of leg room. adjustable headrests. it takes a while for me to get comfortable though, kind of restless. probably because of that broken night of sleep. but i put on kyuss' ...and the circus leaves town records and as soon as i start dozing off the flight crew wakes me up; sir, your meal. yes, as ordered, vegan chow. fruits, salad, rice, hot tomatoes and beans. man, that's some heavy chow right there, but it's free, will keep me fed in korea, so i eat it anyway. chovel it down, wash it down with some orange juice and kind of chill out to some more kyuss when i descided to start chimping the first few paragraphs of the above. like i said, chimping on airmachines, it's like deja vu. we land pretty smoothly and i go through the usual. no baggage to claim so it's straight to immigration for good ol maximo. man, the athmosphere is totally different in korea. the customs dude doesn't speak to me, barely looks me in the eye and just gives me a stamp and i move on to the customs. i give the cats my customs form, make a short fast bow, and move on. as soon as i walk through that arrivals door and see all the koreans waiting for whomever they may be waiting for from this flight i notice this totally diffrent energy, vibe coming from these people. trips me out, cause it's strong. if japans smells like fish this smells like meat, it's real interesting. i go to the atm, draw out some cash (WONG is there currency, 6500 wong is roughly a 1000 yen, that's all i know, do the math from there) and buy me a bus ticket to get to my guesthouse. get on the bus pretty quick and just soak up some of the korean sights. it's got quite an european vibe to it, the highways, the cars. i shoot some video and chimp some more of this log. as soon as we start getting into more of a city area it starts to remind me of berlin meets san francisco. but upper height in lower filmore kind of style, really trippy. after about 70 minutes on the bus i get off at the university stop and whip out my instructions. and without too much wandering around i get to my guesthouse. check in and start spieling with the german dude there. interesting cat, for sure. mark. come to the conclusion once again that i cannot speak german at all. it baffles me. after some spiel (and obligatory guitar playing from me, ofcourse) i head upstairs to grab my laptop, and i sit in the 'offce' to chimp more of this log thing. i suddenly hear one of the other people at this guesthouse come back and proclaim she was from the netherlands. raised in holland, but korean ancestry. what a trip. we get spieling and together with one of the other cats here (a korean/taiwanese girl from vancouver, canada i believe) we go and have some dinner together. i am at the mercy of these two to help me get something without meat, and after a few tries we get something edible. appearantly 'vegetarian' in korean doesn't mean you can't eat slices of ham ;-) - had fun though, didn't plan on chowing, but eh, the less i have to eat tomorrow anyway! we head back to the guesthouse (which is a 5 minute walk from where we shoveled chow!) and part with the vancourver girl, who's gonna stroll the streets a bit more. korea, just like japan, seems to have it's store open in the later morning, but keep em open till 10 or 11 pm at night, interesting. i help her and this other cat yogi (from england) burn some cds to clear out their camera's and someone introduces me to this half day tour that's going on tomorrow. it somehow involves going to near the north korean border, and checking some of the military and diplomatic sights around there, i do believe. i do a quick calculation into euro's and it comes down to being a 32 euro trip, so i start thinking. i would by default not go cause it costs money.... but i can hear my mom yelling at me all the way from holland; "max, just do it! it's not like you're in korea everyday and you're leaving the day after that! just do it!" - so i went ahead and got it sorted out. bus leaves at 710 the next morning, righteous, something to get up early for! so i head off to bed. takes me a while to get to sleep, but i konk pretty good all the same. off to sleepytown for good ol maximo....