Yes, this is the first part of the tour log; day 6. We arrived in Japan yesterday.
Yes, day 6. We had 4 days in Malaysia. I count the beginning of the tour as the day we left Australia.
Malaysia was good. We saw some.. a lot of monkeys. We went into some really great and dark caves. We went into the unknown. We saw the fireflies of Kuala Selangor on a rowboat. I drank a can of drink called "Kickapoo" - the "original joy juice". We saw the ruins of an old fortress. I sweated profusely. We ate lots of Mee Goreng. I can't wait to go back.
I've been trying to think of a way of comparing Kuala Lumpur to Osaka. The best I can think of is; KL is like the experience of eating a curry with a beard. Delicious, but messy. Osaka is more like a smoothie, through a straw. A sterilised straw, in a perfectly square glass, purchased from a vending machine for ¥100. So maybe I'm no good at comparisons.
I love Malaysia for it's chaos. It's dirty and smelly. No one seems like they are official, or even that they know what they are doing on the face of it. It can be quite confronting. You just have to realise that this is not a new development for them. This country is poor, but thriving and has been for many, many years. It's actually a well oiled machine. Relax!
It's hard to make much of a judgement on Japan as I have only been here for a day and a half. So far I love it. It should be quite clear to anyone that Japan is a well oiled machine. The vending machines aren't the only thing that's blowing my mind. The amount of bicycles is fantastic. And they look great!! AND I haven't seen even one wanker in lycra! The architecture is also blowing my mind. It's more than just the facades. It's inside the buildings, it's the pavements. It's the whole aesthetic. Simplicity, minimalism, repetition. But what I find adds to it are the rare oppositions to these rules.
A sea of squares with evenly spaced simple lighting above every evenly spaced simple door. The pedestrian crossings with no button to push, yet never you wait more than a minute for that green man to light up. The sparsely populated roads, the ample space on the pavement to park bicycles. The clean lines, the clean... everything. The neatness! The Order! Then a man pulling a massive cart filled with cardboard boxes down the street. Or a glimpse inside a locals property that seems to be a junkyard. Or and old mate selling; an old VCR, an old DVD player, some random cd's and porn magazines on the side of the road whilst drinking a beer at 10am.
We went to the aquarium today. It was spectacular. The standout for me were the jellyfish. Tomorrow, we'll ride some bikes to Nippombashi Denden Town to look at the electronics stores. Well, I will. Skye may have a fit of eye rolling and sighing if she were made to accompany me.
The day after tomorrow, Kyoto.
I will not be blogging at regular times. The thought of that makes me sad. I will blog when the time is right (when I can be bothered).