Sunday, September 02, 2007

20070902: Kyoto by night

Spencer's such an excellent tour guide! He gives amazing instructions, clear information and along with it, cultural tidbits to make the stay so pleasant you'd think you had your own personal tour guide. Oh, wait, he was that. ;)

He took me on the street car into Saiin where we went to a restaurant that had what seemed a lot like Japanese tapas for dinner. Interesting experience. You take off your shoes -- it's cleaner they think (or at least that's what I've gathered) and then if you want to go to the bathroom you put on these slippers that other people have used before you. How is that more sanitary?

Anyway, after dinner, we took the subway into the central part of Kyotot and went to a main strip near some night clubs. I saw this guy who had the coolest haircut I have seen in a long time. He had some asymmetric carvings in the hair in the right and back of his head. At first when I commented to him, he sort of just gave me this blasé look like an American might go, "been there done that." Then he did a double take and he and all his friends looks at me and said, "Coo" -- dropped "L" and all -- while they gave me the thumbs up.

We walked down the street and found a bridge over water where we shared a clove cigarette. And then I just had to bust out and do a dance. Lighting up the oggs drew a small crowd of mostly young (20 ish?) men. They stopped and chatted with Spencer while I danced. He started telling them I was his Sensei and that I was famous, so I got asked for my autograph by one of them who took a great picture of me, a copy of which I wish I could have gotten. Fun, silly times, to be sure.

We headed back, seeing the guy with the carved hair again -- this time he was all smiles and stares, thumbs up and more "Coo" as we walked by.

In keeping with the rest of the night, we barely made the last train, then barely made the last street car on the way home -- here I was on vacation being rushed around. But I was grateful we got on the last train because that would have been a long walk home and I had not gotten nearly enough sleep for that!