Friday, May 30, 2008

how to recap the eleventh day of my trip (tokyo edition)

each day i spend away from "the sickness" makes my body a little bit better. if i were at 15% on the day i was sick, i would say 50% the day after, then at 85% yesterday.

after all the sushi i ate yesterday, and after learning that my favorite roll was the one with foie gras, my body operated at about 63% today.

oh well.

still, we had the first day of our shoot today at the nike customer service center all the way out by the narita airport (about 90 minutes from tokyo). on the way, we passed the tokyo tower, which is pretty damn pretty. once outside of tokyo, however, there just isn't much to see.

while on the basketball court, i was shooting hoops with our trainer, who remarked that i have the perfect "white boy from the northeast" shooting form (it was a compliment). i thought that was a weird thing to say, but he mentioned that whenever he works with ballers from the midwest, they tend to bring the ball up from their center and shoot above their heads, whereas i (and my northeastern brethren) keep the ball on the side they're shooting with - and this is the correct way. he said it's just way too common for this to be a coincidence. so we walked about it on the bus, and this is how i broke it down: the midwest follows french licks' own larry bird's shooting form, but in the northeast, brooklyn's favorite son chris mullin was the man to emulate.

see? aren't i so observant? (especially when you ignore that bird played his whole career in boston, which is in the northeast)

anyways, it was a nice discussion that lead to many other tangents, writes the guy with the picture perfect form from the outside.

tonight's dinner specialty, the choice of our interpreter and dinner companion named taki, was shabu-shabu at a restaurant called...called...well, i can't read their business card. it's something in japanese.

anyways, the short version of the meal is this: there's two bowls on a hibachi in front of you (much like a korean BBQ). one pot is filled with a soup made from soy sauce, sugar and sake. the other is just water. once boiling, you toss in thinly-sliced raw meat into the bowls. after a couple of seconds, you pull it out and then dip it into a dish of sauce. then, you eat it. they keep on bringing you an unlimited supply of raw meat to eat.

it was frigging delicious, and a nice compliment to the sake we drank, which was named...named...yeah, i can't read that label either. sorry.

afterwards, in a search for a mcdonald's soft-serve ice cream, we walked around shibuya on a friday night amid the mass of the young, beautiful and stylish, mingling and mixing and crossing wherever you looked. no matter what street we walked down, there they were, and countless of them, but it was always ordered and never uncomfortable, writes the claustrophobe. i wrote this before and i'll write it again, but if i were young and beautiful and fashionable at a world-class level, i think i would give tokyo a shot, just to see what it would be like to fit in.

and hell yes, i'd bring my northeast jumpshot with me.

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