Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Half Price Tuesday

My goal for this morning was to eat the cheapest breakfast possible. The results were rather successful- $2.10 anyone? Mmmm shichkin mayo onigiri (that translates as Tuna, Mayonaise rice balls). In all honesty, nobody, and I mean nobody, can beat the tastiness of a Family Mart Convenience store, Shichkin mayo onigiri- no really, I've tried them all- 7 Eleven, Lawson, Daily Yamazaki, none of you can beat the tastiness of Family Mart! At least I know where to go for a rice ball......

Currently my jaw is aching on account of gaping half the day due to shock at how cheap camera gear in Japan is (hence the title), and the copious amounts that each store seems to be holding. Jan (pictured left) and I had promised each other that today was the day- we were going to Shinjuku to buy camera gear, and we were going to spend so much of our holiday funds that we would need to return home early...... or just drop a good amount of the ole mullah on some camera gear (no way am I leaving Japan early!). So, hitting the Subway system at 9am, Jan and I (pronounced Yan) headed to Shinjuku chattering away excitedly like schoolgirls (what place could be more appropriate than Tokyo?).
"Oh I'm getting a battery grip"
"Well I'm getting a wide angle lens!"
"Don't forget my Canon 5D!" it continued on this way for the entire trip. Jan and I needed each other more than we knew for this expedition; Jan is a freelance photographer, so he knows his gear inside out, hence a good companion for camera shopping. Jan also speaks no Japanese what so ever, hence he needed me to translate everything for him- including conversations between himself and the shopkeepers.

First up was Yodobashi Camera- probably the largest camera chain in Tokyo in terms of size, store numbers, and hmmm, price. The prices were much cheaper than Australia, about 30%, and they had every accessory and piece of equipment you could poke a stick at- 7 floors worth! After Jan and I managed to finally pick our jaws up off the floor (Yes it would appear that we are camera geeks, yes?), we headed for Map Camera, where once again everything was about 40% cheaper than Australia, and I, hehe, got tax off too. 2 hours and $300 later, I emerged with a beautiful battery grip, hand strap and a spare battery. Jan on the other hand emerged with a
Stinky attitude on account of his credit card's security feature not letting him purchase the expensive gear for another 48 hours.

"I need a cigarette! Ahh, stupid banks, how can they do this to me in a foreign country" Jan said to me in anguish, as he chain smoked his way down the street- I told him it was really much to early to dancing around the store, singing "I've got a new toy, I've got a new toy" you really do need to let the payment process first. "Jan, when you have a problem, eat some food. It may not fix the problem, but at least you'll feel better", and with those words we headed for a big, cheap, bowl of Oyakodon (that translates as Chicken, Egg and Rice- oh so scrumpcious!). Not only did it taste great, but that cheesy line about food that I so shamelessly plagiarised from a 3rd rate, Disney channel show, proved correct- Jan did feel better, so much that he was ready to drop a few hundred dollars on a new ipod, ipod dock, digitial camera and some underwater housing- what a fun afternoon in Akihabara electric town!

After killing ourselves through camera shopping, we returned to the hotel, where we picked up our friends Charlotte (From France), and Lotta (From Finland) to enjoy a meal. Dinner was rather funny thanks to the crazy (yes he was crazy!) man sitting at the table next to us. This guy talked non-stop throughout his meal.... to his imaginary friend supposedly sitting opposite him- he was using hand gestures and everything! Charlotte had a hard time keeping a straight face. It was slightly freaky, but great entertainment for a cheap night out! As usual the night closed with us all chatting away at the hotel bar until the early morning (seriously you would think we were all characters from the TV show "Cheers").