“1, 2, 3 Chee-” “Freeze!”

Alright, so this will probably be a short one. Not much to say, but I did have quite an interesting experience (to say the least) this past weekend.

It started out on Saturday… So I’ve been wanting to buy a camera for a while, and seeing how cameras can be pretty expensive, I had to go to the bank. On my way there, however, I was stopped by some police. I suppose I should feel flattered that they assumed I was fluent (or at least able to speak) their language since they immediately engaged me in rapid Japanese, asking me where I was from and where I was going. It took me a moment to answer them since I was still processing the fact that cops had actually stopped me (without me having to rob a bank or mug someone first). Didn’t really know they could just do that. Did I look particularly suspicious that day with my floral sweater and brown cut-off gloves? All I could think of at the time (besides “Why is this happening to me?”) was, “Is this how Middle Eastern people felt whenever they were stopped initially after 2001?” Thank God I wasn’t upset or anything, but it was still kind of weird (heard later that they were randomly questioning various foreigners). Anyway, when I told them I was on my way to Meguro and such, one of the men asked me for some type of card (don’t ask me what since I didn’t know that specific Japanese word). Me being my blond self (as my mother would so delicately put it), I took out my train card as if that would actually help. In a way it did, I guess, because the expression he gave me when I handed it over to him was pretty amusing. It wasn’t until the other officer clarified that they wanted to see my “在留カード” (or residence card) that the man holding my train card seemed to register my misunderstanding. Cue a silent moment of awkwardness and randomly staring at each other. With that moment out of the way, and me in possession of my train card once again, I handed over my residence card, and was then sent off on my way with ‘thank you’s and a few bowing of the heads.  I should have known right then that it wouldn’t be a normal day.

With money from the bank in hand (or wallet in my case), I made my way towards Shibuya. A wonderful officer (?) guided me to the Biccamera, since the sign that told me it was one place led to an empty room with boarded doors, and I began my search for the camera I wanted. Found every model except the one that I had earlier decided upon online until a clerk came up to me to ask if I needed help. I told him the model number, and was then taken to a computer where we found that the store did have the model (in storage, though the color I wanted was out). I told him that was fine, and chose another color. He then proceeded to show me every accessory he thought I might need: a case (sure), lens protector (okay), SD card (…alright), screen protector (…y-yeah?), and so on. The price kept climbing, and I had to wonder if the shop assistants received a commission from the purchases they assisted with. If so, I felt he did an excellent job in persuading me (though it probably wasn’t that hard), since I pretty much bought all of his recommendations. And why not? If I was going to invest in a camera, I might as well make sure I properly equipped it, right? Plus, he was very helpful and kind. I did have to turn them down on buying a 5-year warranty though; 1-year warranty shall suffice, thank you.

300 year-old Pine

300 year-old Pine

浜離宮恩賜庭園  (Hamarikyu Gardens)

浜離宮恩賜庭園 (Hamarikyu Gardens)

Awesome, with my new camera by my side, the places I wanted to capture continued to increase. Of course being in Shibuya, I wanted to see Hachikō (for some reason, I have been fascinated by Hachikō for quite some time). Long story short, I didn’t see the 8th exit, and I didn’t feel like spending my whole day there in search of it since it had started to drizzle and I still wanted to go to the Hamarikyu Gardens. So without seeing Hachikō, I arrived at Tsukiji-shijo, and walked the 5 minutes or so it took to get to the gardens. Paid 300 yen to enter, found a bench and started assembling my camera. And then it dawned on me — it being a new camera, would I need to charge it? Pressed the “On” button, and nothing… nada. My whole reason for getting the camera that day was now for naught. But whatever, “C’est la vie,” right? Even using my cellphone’s camera, I was still able to get some decent pictures. And besides, exploring the vast (VAST) gardens was quite enjoyable and relaxing. Seeing all of the different tea houses made my craving for tea escalate, and looking at the 300-year old Pine made me appreciate nature a little more. All in all, though it was an eventful weekend in a way that I am not particularly used to, it was still pretty fun. Oh, by the way, found out on Sunday night, that I hadn’t even put the camera’s battery in, so I actually could have used it that same day… yay…

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