Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Time Difference Dope

Don't let anyone tell you that jetlag is one of those little pink stuffed animals that you spend half of your allowance trying to win by knocking down the lead milk bottles at the carnival. If they do, tell them to call me and I'll tell them how it's much more like one of those dragons at the gate to a Japanese temple in the dead of winter, encrusted with ice, yet still miraculously spouting ice cold water. You may try to kiss it, but your lips will freeze to it and a temple monk will have to pee on your face to get you off of it.

For the past week, I've been what they call here a "time difference dope". Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, which is pretty much when the sun sets here, my brain hits a wall. I can barely speak English, let alone Japanese. I spend half of my existence here feeling like a kid who's been drinking all night, and then at 3:00 AM decides to finally buckle down and finish that term paper upon which his graduation depends. In Japanese.

If you've seen "Lost in Translation" then you have a fair idea of how it looks from the outside. That movie is pretty much what the first week here always feels like. I swear, next time I'm going to just sleep whenever I feel like it, and get up when I wake up, and that's that.

One advantage, I must add, is that waking up early makes it easy to get to the Tsukiji fish market, which is all washed up by 9:00 AM. Here's a photo from there. (The sign says, "Turtle"):


No comments: