Wednesday, May 14, 2014

natasha's diary

Last night I attended a gathering of supposedly wide-awake singles in Ikebukuro (my favorite Tokyo place name--"Pond Bag"). At the door, everyone was given an electronic badge called an iTag to wear. The idea was to punch into the tag some info about yourself so that when someone who has something in common with you approaches, their badge flashes something like "Hello Natasha, I'm Hiyoshi. I also work in publishing." This is supposed to make it easier to start a conversation.

Thanks but I don't need this. I punched in that I collect old Bugattis; that my favorite sport is pole vaulting; and that I speak Hungarian. Funnily enough, this information solicited no responses from other tags but I did meet several people who agreed with me that if you need a tag to help you engage with other people you probably don't have much of interest to say. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

natasha's diary

To Kamakura to stroll  and sit and lean against trees and drink tea and read Basho in French (not bad, though a bit too lyrical for me). Nice quiet stay at a little inn next to a gurgling stream and simple meals elegantly served. When I get older and less caught up in the rhythms of Tokyo, I could live in Kamakura. Seth could not.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The pipefitter's art

natasha's diary

Ari tells me that on a street in an unreconstructed part of the city (Nezu, actually), there are two houses 20 meters apart with the same number on their mailboxes. People living the neighborhood are happy to bring this to the attention of passersby as they have learned it gives the neighborhood "character".