Saturday, February 11, 2006

One More Day In The North

I ended up spending the night in Sapporo Friday night.

I woke up Saturday morning and turned on the TV to catch a bit of the Opening Ceremonies for the Turin Olympics.

A lot of people knock the Olympics, and while it's true that corporate sponsorship and professional athletes competing have whored out the Olympic ideal, that ideal is still something worth aiming for. Being called on to represent your country on the international stage...that would be such an incredible honor. Holding your country's flag as your team walks in to the Opening Ceremonies? That would be indescribable. If one were to try, one might use the words "intense", "awe-inspiring", or the ever-popular "Wow."

When the Virgin Islands team came in (Just how do tropical islands come up with Winter Olympics teams anyway? Next thing you know, Jamaica will create a bobsled team. Wait a second...oh yeah.), I was reminded of a joke that made the rounds during junior high/high school.
I went to the Virgin Islands. By the time I left, they had to change the name.
That's still pretty funny to me.

The music for the ceremony made me laugh. It was like the organizers had chosen the theme of "Rockin' out to the 80's" for the event. I was particularly impressed when The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" came on. I like that song. Peter Gabriel singing "Imagine" = good. Yoko Ono = weird.

Then I headed out and about to do some shopping.

While wandering around Sapporo and fighting the horrible, horrible weekend crowd (that little thing called the Snow Festival was still going on, after all), I found a shop called Mandrake. The sign out front of the building it was in said it had used CDs and DVDs for sale. Going to a used CD/DVD shop in a big city is always fun. You can make some pretty interesting finds. The albums that Alyssa Milano put out, or the Eddie Furlong one. There are usually two or three Eddie Murphy albums that you can find, as well as one from Sean Patrick Flanery (of "Young Indiana Jones" fame). I always end up walking out of those shops shaking my head and saying, "Wow..." The same thing happened with Mandrake, just for a different reason.

This place was freaky.

Employees wearing costumes from outdated 70's Japanese animation. An overabundance of animation on DVD, and a lack of other kinds of DVDs. Some guy flipping through some grumble (Cornish English for "porn", at least according to my friend Ash) and giggling in a high-pitched voice while saying, "Ooh, she's cute!" Some other guy walking along and talking to himself in an extremely serious voice, sounding like he was repeating lines from television commercials.

Now, I'll admit that I have my geeky side. After all, Being a Trekkie/Trekker does little to advance oneself in social circles. But this was unreal. It was some giant socially dysfunctional geek paradise. And it freaked me out.

(Although, the girl working at the register was very cute.)

So I boogied on outta there. I swung by Tower Records and picked up a couple of DVDs ("Glory" and "Nothing") and a CD. The CD was by the band Vola and the Oriental Machine, the band formed by former Zazen Boys drummer Ahito Inazawa. It's called "Waiting For My Food". I felt a kinship with the album title. I also felt a rumbling in my stomach, so I went to eat lunch somewhere.

I had some really good Indian curry at a restaurant called (surprise, surprise!) The Taj Mahal. It was vegetable curry with lamb, and a big piece of naan. Yum.

A quick run back to the station to pick up Dan Brown's "Angels and Devils", and then it was on the train and back to Muroran.


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