Day 2: Three Minutes Happiness
October 18 2007, Thursday.
My mother spent the entire morning shopping at Gaps. No, that’s not a typo. We went to three different outlets in Shibuya and Harajuku, just so she could convince herself that they all sell the same things and that the sale prices were universal throughout Tokyo. Even then, she spent the same amount of time in each outlet.
I did my fair share of shopping, but I’m a very resolute shopper, especially when it comes to the horrendous prices in Tokyo. I suddenly decided that I needed a pair of black knee-length stockings to match my dress the next day, so I stepped into the first store I see that sold girly stuff. Not wanting to further distress my dad, who was hungry and pouty at not getting any of his shopping (electronics) done, I was out of the shop in no time. It was later in the evening, when I looked at the receipt as we were resting at a cafe that I realised what the shop name was:
Lunch was at a kaiten sushi chain. “Seven plates in half an hour, okay?” the guy at the door asked in Japanese. “No problem.” my dad replied in all seriousness. Most people ignored the plates of the usual suspects circling in front of us, and ordered whatever they wanted straight from the sushi chefs behind the counter. Enclosed from the bustling street outside, there was more than enough activity inside to spend half an hour just taking in the sounds. Amidst loud orders from fellow customers (“Otoro, onegai!”) and hollers from one chef to another, I sat back quietly and enjoyed my matcha.
I spent about 1000 yen at Club Sega Akihabara. I first caught a little bunny after my second try and that made me want to try to bigger things. My mother eyed this pillow-sized bear that costed more than the usual each try. Flirting horribly with the guy in charge, I finally convinced him to shift the bear so that it was more favorable for me. And there went 800 yen down the drain, literally.
Dinner was at an izakaya near our hotel. Service was bad. Not a single smiling face, low and monotonous greetings… what made it all good at the end of such a surreal day was the Vanilla Ice-cream with Matcha Powder and Black Sugar Syrup.