Best thing about staying at a japanese-run hotel (nikko)!
Good memory of portland, finally: my taxi driver to the airport was really fun. We instantly bonded together. He is a jazz musician and drag queen at a club in portland. He explained to me a lot about emotional changes he’s been thru since he started to become ‘queer’ and take estrogen. Also the social confusion to take him as gay automatically. I dont know if it was the airport taxi intimacy but I wish i could have stayed another day to go see his show and listen to more of his stories.
What struck me coming here is the number of street people. The gentleman in the picture is carrying his sleeping bag, sitting on the bench looking very lost. Yesterday i saw a guy looking serious wearing a picket that read ‘i want to lose my virginity. Could you help me?’. Probably, the most strange thing is that i see more of the street people than any others. And the contrast between the well constructed, clean street scape and them. * While feeling sick after the overdose of sugar from the chocolate, keeping my post at the corner of the shop watching the shop and the street. Being a good tourist.
Jetlagged and awake since 3am local time, came down for snack (wouldnt call it breakfast) at a starbucks next door. My knees are usually very weak for anything new. So i had to try this chocolate drink even though i was a bit reluctant about its over-sweetness. Yes, it’s indeed super sweet and very thick. Imagine eating a 500g cho. bar- without the effort of breaking into pieces and melting them in the mouth. (so i couldnt finish)
Feeling starving at 6am, went to hotel breakfast. My first question: do you have any different style of egg? (the prepared scrambled egg was in fact a soup of butter with egg). Second question: do you have any bread that is not sweetened?
The first question i was asked: do you want ketchup or tabasco sauce?
A good start of the day.
i did had more than the first night at delhi, but due to the lack of gprs connection in india the story is suspended (till i am really really bored).
i realized that its time for my tired sony p7 to retire. so i was looking up a few review sites only to find this heartbreaker:
why couldnt it come with better sensor and smarter image processing power? but the damage is done – i will have to sleep over this.
well, i guess nobody’s perfect. some stuff simply comes at highER price. it might last longER too, who knows?
0. Coming down the escalator, the queues for the passport control were so long that people were blocking the way out of the moving staircase – i almost tipped over to others in front of me.
1. i was referred to as ‘sir’ by a sheikh(?) working at thomas cook (thought i acqired more feminine look by getting fat since i was 15). on the other hand, haven’t seen any ladies with short hair and no makeup, wearing glasses.
2. as soon as spotted the driver who came to pick me up from the airport, this poor guy was swarmed by hustlers trying to trick me into taking their cabs. while no one cared to talk to me or explain anything to me, problems solved after some agitated monologs, and i was finally ‘allowed’ to share the same car with a colleague who arrived with me at the same time.
3. the driver from hotel wore a uniform, driving a clean car with air conditioning. very polite (yet incomprehensible english). as soon as we started moving, the car almost hit a small girl (or the small girl hit the moving car). her mother was obviously crossing the street DANGEROUSLY guiding her daughter to follow suit.
4. thought driving in my hometown was crazy. compared to streets here, it’s a safe heaven. had a strong urge to wear the seat belt, but the seemingly clean new car did not have a properly working seat belt. yet i could not dare to bother the driver who was honking at the 30-sec interval.
5. as soon as the car stopped at the final destination, it conjured some fast hands out of thin air who opened the door, took our luggage out, and already guided us to walk into the hotel even before i noticed it myself. there was a lady waiting for each of us, already knowing our names. instead of going to the reception desk, we were guided directly into our rooms.
6. at the room, while i was still not given a 1-sec to breathe, i was asked to be seated in one of many chairs in my room. she then poured out the seemingly well memorized sequence of sentences on me (without much breathing inbetween). she then asked for my passport and credit card. A ready-filled form came back to me sitting stupid only for requiring my signature.
7. view from the hotel – i thought things would be densed everywhere here; while hotel is supposedly in the middle of the city center, the view from the hotel dominatly offers – TREES (taj mahal hotel).
8. the notion of hospitality or service seems to differ from that of my home country. back there, empathy is very important: true hospitality is making the person who is being served feel comfortable. here, i constantly feel like i dont deserve all the services offered to me. a tiny factor is that they are so service-minded that they sometimes don’t notice that it is intrusive to the person being served (e.g., interrupting an ongoing conversation abruptly).
9. moving from a point to another, haven’t seen much of the locals except the taxi drivers and waiters at the conference venue. i cant wait for going out to experience the real city.
10. i forgot to bring my name cards (again). bummer. it is very rare indeed to meet so many people that you really want to give your name cards.