Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chinese Visa Day

April 21st. That's the day it says on my passport claim slip from the Chinese embassy. That's the day it is. Upsettingly I dragged myself from sleep and headed out to make sure I would get to the embassy with plenty of time before they closed at noon.

When I got there I was sent from line to line to line before paying for my passport from a vending machine (of course). With passport and brand new visa in hand, I was ready to head back and nap.

But then I thought, I had to go to Shinjuku to make my train connection, and since I was there – why not poke around a little bit. So off I went to the Tokyo Government building, heading back up to floor 45 to look out again, but mainly to make a new mini-Katherine. And then back down I went, collecting an English version of the fantastic German guide book that has been my most trusted friend over the last three weeks.

Also in Shinjuku was the Square/Enix Character shop. But to be honest, it's not that good. I mean, sure, check it out. It's cool and all – but everything there is more easily accessible from Akiba. And cheaper too. Still – they do have Vincent's outfit from FF7 and Sephiroth sleeping in the life stream, under the glass floor tiles. That's neat.

But where are my Slime Earings?! Where are any earings in this country? They don't exist. Fact!

Leaving the shop, I made my way to the hotel from Lost in Translation, lay down n the ground to snap off a few pictures, and then made my way to Shibuya. Once more, I was headed home. But then I thought – I had to transfer in Shibuya, so why not poke around there a bit? Go see the geek shop again?

Good plan! Off I went to make a final pass, but finding nothing to buy.

Then it was back to the place I was staying at. Armed with Chinese Visa I could look up flight information in and out of China. However I soon discovered this was a stupid way to get around in that country. The train was the way to go! Future Mike could deal with that. So off I went to sit in the reclining, movable, floor chair - turn on the projector – and play the game I'd been thinking about since the early days way back in Amsterdam. I was playing Oblivion, larger than life.

My pink haired Nord, Jalica, was ready to rip up these lands.

Strangely, exploring a digital world no longer held the same draw it used to. I'm not saying that two hours of my life didn't quickly disappear, but it wasn't what it used to be. Stupid real world.

Still – in the real world I couldn't rob people blind, or kill whatever I wanted to. And I still was too scared to go down the dark crypts, and I still felt nervous breaking into peoples houses – so I wasn't too far gone. My love for games can come back. Must come back. Will surely come back!

And with that as a final thought I headed to sleep content with the idea that for the first time in weeks I had no reason to wake up early the next day.

Well, except to write blogs. A terrible terrible amount of blogs.

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