Archive for July, 2008
This year’s line-up wasn’t much more than solid — with My Bloody Valentine, Underworld, and Primal Scream as the main headliners — but the Fuji Rock Festival was screamingly awesome fun. The idea of staging a three-day festival in a ski resort is just killer. This was, of course, my first but I hope it won’t be my last. From dancing like a drunken banshee to DJ Mehdi, to pogo-ing to Gossip’s massive Standing in the Way of Control, to revelling in Gogol Bordello’s huge, frenetic set — twice (once being a repeat performance at 3am) — this came close to a perfect weekend.
And now my feet stink.
I’ll write more when I’m not sitting at a shitty computer in an IE-only internet kiosk at the airport.
Stuff I’ve done in Tokyo:
- Had beers with friends in a smoky yakatori joint below an old subway bridge.
- Had beers with my friend Chris (enormous, photos to come) in a dark bar in Roppongi that specialised in darts and computerised golf driving ranges. Oh, and cute girls in short skirts and sports socks. Huzzah all round.
- Used the toilet at the impressive National Art Centre, where only lame exhibitions are currently showing.
- Actually perused some art at the 21_21 Design Sight design gallery, which was maximo good.
- Slept three nights in a ryokan.
- Stayed out all night in Roppongi and Shibuya, drinking and having fun, just so we could catch the trains when they started again in the morning and wouldn’t have to pay for an expensive taxi back.
- Bought some tacky Japanese candy.
- Ate approximately nine courses of fresh sushi at a fish market for breakfast. The most expensive breakfast I ever had. And most raw.
- Grown my whiskers too long with only partial, patchy coverage that, according to Chris, makes my face look like a monkey’s arse.
- Enjoyed a romantic night-time stroll with Chris through the boho district Naka-Meguro. Very to the cool.
- Gawked at the sartorially-blessed teenagers of Harajuku.
- Taken a walk around Yanaka, and the old cemetery there.
- Had beers with Chris while sitting at the beautiful Rikugien gardens. The staff at the concessions stall seemed increasingly astonished with every return trip for a top-up. We have since noticed a strong positive correlation between astonished Japanese people and feelings of intoxication. Above is a picture of the gardens I nicked off a website. (When I return to Hong Kong, I’ll post some of my choicest Tokyo photos, because I know you readers eat that shit up.)
Tomorrow, Fuji Rock Festival.
I’ve moved from Lamma Island (realistic take on life there coming soon) and am just starting to settle into a new life in Kowloon. I won’t say exactly where, but suffice to say I’m thoroughly enjoying the change of scenery and the distinct lack of ferries.
The recent displacement and long hours in the office have prevented me updating this blog with any regularity of late, but perhaps an impending trip to Tokyo will help stimulate my posting abilities. I’ll be heading there at the end of the week for a holiday and to attend the Fuji Rock Festival. Here’s a glimpse of its grandeur (not my photo).
In the meantime, you might be amused by this recent account of an entire weekend spent in my bedroom. No internet, no escape, and only a few toilet breaks. The things I do for my readers.
Just over two years ago, I sat in my basement bedroom in London, Ontario, and presented a case to my flatmate and journalism classmate, Steve, as to why he should move to Hong Kong. Basically, I was already decided on the matter and I wanted a friend to come with me. In a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Steve and Hong Kong: An enticing combination,” I laid out in vividly illustrated detail Hong Kong’s key advantages, which included:
- Its booming economy
- Its journalistic interest, because of its proximity to China and relatively free press
- Its sense of adventure
- Its hot “womens” of multiple ethnicities
The strength of my argument was compelling, and Steve was clearly tempted. In the end, he opted to work at a small weekly newspaper in a ski resort town in British Columbia (see this post for an earlier account of his life at the paper). He’d come to Hong Kong later, he reckoned.
Well, blow me down, but here we are not 15 months down the track and he’s in my living room, sleeping on the couch. He has the same boofy hair, the same Green sensibilities, and same good-natured slow-talk for which Canadians are renowned.
He’s looking for work, and a place to live, here in Hong Kong, so if you can help him out on either of those fronts, it’d be much appreciated. In the meantime, it’s great to have Steve around again. But don’t tell him that.
(Oh, by the way — his move probably has something to do with his girlfriend’s impending move to Beijing.)
In the meantime, so the title of this post makes sense, please enjoy the following video.