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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday: Shopping Problems

This morning we woke up a bit later than the day before because we were up so late the night before. Steph and Casey and I ate another giant pear, and I finished off a plate of fruit I had left in our fridge last night with the express purpose of not having to leave the room.
We met up with the guys and tried to plan a day trip to bike ride along the Imperial Palace, but our Impro Tokyo contact, Ken, called us and set us up with a 10:30am rehearsal time at the studio they have in Akihabara. So we quickly set out and met Ken at Ikebukuro Station where he guided us along a pretty complicated train transfer on the way to our rehearsal space.

On the way he confided slowly in us that he hasn't spoken English in a year (he is our translator for the rest of the week), and he was very nervous, but within a couple hours he was fine.
We rehearsed as a group for the very first time today, and had a great time. To be honest, I was nervous. I have never performed with anyone in the group but Steph. And at times tensions have gotten high in the group, which is understandable for the amount of time we're all together. But it was great, and we all felt very confident about doing a show tonight.

After we rehearsed we walked around the neighborhood. Akihabara, shortened to Akiba sometimes here, is home of the "electronics" district as well as the anime district. We wandered around marveling at the huge brand name stores like Sega and Sharp. We were really hungry so the first thing we did was find a shopping center with two stories devoted to food. We chose a restaurant, this one a sushi place, and shared some raw fish and some stories.

Then we had about an hour to spend in the area. We got tired of computers and cell phones, and decided to go to the anime section. Understandably, there is a large community of Otaku there. We entered a store that specialized in Otaku costuming... many little sexy anime costumes. That was our first mistake. Our second mistake was that when I asked the saleswoman if there was a dressing room and she brought me to it she did not tell me
A) We actually could not try on the costumes (what?)
B) Only one person in room at time
C) Only one clothing item (but not the costumes? at a time.

Steph and Casey were trying on Chinese dresses (not sketchy at all) and I was trying on a Sailor Moon - esque jumper with the express purpose of getting a funny (illegal) photo to show Fleming. Dave took my photo and a woman came over and stopped him, and before we knew it, there was a man inside the tiny dressing room WITH me and Steph. She was clutching a dress to herself and I was wearing only a bra and boy shorts, and he was IN THERE WITH US, clucking in frustration, picking up pieces of clothing and saying "only one!" "You ask, I unwrap, you try only one!"

We were so embarrassed. It's been our first real faux pas in the city. Dave and John apologized profusely on our behalf, and John explained that he had asked Steph to try on the dresses to model them since she is his wife's size. This was true. Nothing was said of my Sailor Moon outfit. That was for the best. John and Steph each bought a dress, which smoothed everything over. We went down the stairs instead of the elevator for a quick escape and realized the rest of the building was the most elaborate porn shop any of us had ever seen in our lives.


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