Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Walk From the Station

So in my effort to get a little exercise, I decided very bravely that I'd walk home from the station.

How it usually works is that we live about a twenty minute drive from the train station. It's a bit of a walk. So we rent a parking place there and my husband usually drives there, parks, walks to the station (what? five minutes?), then takes the train to work. His office is like right next to the station.

On this particular morning I went into town with him so I could sit in Starbucks and sip lattes with my friend who was gone for the summer. I usually then take the car home with me and go to pick up my husband from the station when he calls later in the evening. This day, though, I said, "No problem, I'll leave the car and walk home." I even brought the camera to take pictures. This will be fun, I thought.

I begin the trek home.

Here is a big public bath. I haven't been in myself. I think they divide up the men and women these days. But you never know...look at that picture.

Public bath

On the front door is a sign..."No drunks or tattoo'd people allowed inside!" This comes from the days when only the Japanese mafia got inked. I used to think it was funny that no one with tattoos could enter a public pool, bath, or hotspring. Any establishment where clothes are required can't make such a demand, can they? Lift up that shirt, buddy! Just as I thought! Giitouttahere!

Once I was in a public pool (it had a similar sign on its front door) and there was a guy who was most likely with the yakuza. He had the full body tattoo, all faded blue and sagging. He had the hairdo. He just kinda sat on the side of the pool and watched everyone. I found it amusing that none of the staff were brave enough to tell him he had to leave. Not that he did anything to be told to leave, except sporting his tats.

I keep walking.

Twenty minutes into the walk ,and I took a picture of this. A fire hydrant. No red sticky up things here. They are built flush into the ground on sidewalks. A lot of the times they use river water too. There are rivers everywhere.

You can tell that thirty minutes into the walk I am still looking at my feet. A manhole cover. Our town is all about fish. See those fish. And seagulls too.

manhole cover

Forty minutes of walking in the hot sun and I am starting to melt. My extra sensory perception finds this nice coffee shop...giant puddings and giant shaved ice...that's condensed milk on the top on strawberry sauce btw.

Okay, I've been hoovin' it for fifty minutes now and things are starting to go whacky Here is a little tree donned with slippers and men's underwear.

One hour. My legs have begun to become a vibrating jelly at this point (yes, I am a wimp). But at least I'm out of the sun. I begin to hallucinate that I'm Frodo and this camera around my neck is really a ring.

I pass through the trees, trek another twenty minutes, chased briefly by dark smelly men on horses...eventually to reach...home?


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I'm not talking this...

I'm talking this... There's an M in there.

"Gerumanium , it is located to the intermediate semiconductor element of the metal and the non-metal." --- "Gerumanium makes the bioelectric current of internal activate with the negative ion permeation effect, improves blood circulation, alleviates Cori and pain of fatigue and the muscle."

I don't know...but I sure want to buy one now!

That quote was borrowed from here. A site that sells Germanium bracelets btw.

I guess G-baths are the new craze these days. It's all over the TV. What you do is go to these spas, change into a bathrobe, and then proceed to soak your hands and feet in hot Germanium water. It's claim to fame is that it is supposed to promote celluar regeneration and stimulate the circulation. If nothing else it makes you sweat a lot. They always show a nice close up of some young girl with delicate globs of perspiration on her creamy white skin. One or two globs, mind you. "Oh, I have never sweated so much!" (Don't get me started on how Japanese have no pores).

Here's an interesting article that talks about how geeky cafes are changing their style to get women to start patronizing them. They do this by offering Germanium baths, nail salons, vegetable buffets and Thai stretching (?). Don't mind the overweight dude in high waters playing with his Kamen Rider action figure over there.

I guess Germanium isn't new to Japan though. In the 70's it was taken internally as a way to cure various diseases. Although, what people really got was renal failure and sometimes death. Bathing in it sounds so much more innocuous.

Too cheap to go to one of those spas, I instead spent the five bucks to get a little packet of Germanium bath salts. Five bucks! Little packet!

It's a cool package though. And boasting a pleasing fragrance of lemon and ginger, I just caved in and bought it. J ended up being the guinnea pig. This is like a kids paradise. First, it looks just like blood when you pour it in the bath water.
And then it had something like pop rocks in it, so it continually popped and snapped and crackled most of his bath time. There was some warning though to only stay in the bath for two to three minutes, then get out too cool off. I didn't really check on that but he survived. So...

I think I'm gonna have to go and do my own test though. I just asked how was it, "good". Was it different than other bath salts? "I don't know". So with that expert review...I'm off!