Scotland 2017 – Day 1

Scotland Tour 2017

Day 1 – Arrival.
Travel to scotland began in the best way possible. Lost my keys, rush to get to airport, flight delayed, all restaurant closed, day2 plan busted, car has it’s onw personality and he’s fighting me.

But now we are in Scotland!

The only target for the day is drive till Perth. I got the bad idea to get a big size car – very confortable indeed – but it gives me the feel it fills the whole road.
Ah. The navigator speak german, and I think she desperately try to get us back to the airport.

Perth. Night. No more restaurant open, so we wander looking for a pizza or a kebab take away. We couldn’t ask for more when we got a “kebab pizza” place and we tried the speciality of the house. The pizza kebab.

We hear bagpipes sound in the distance, people is drinking and the air is nice -and cold. 13′-
Time for a beer and we’re done for the day.

The guy in the reception look at me as I am a dumb italian who don’t get a word of english. Which is true. I didn’t get anything of what he said and I found the room only thanks to him pointing the direction.
Same apply to the pizza kebab. I have no clue what is saying to me, but I guess is taling about money or ingredients or such. He went away nodding, and ultimately I got the pizza.

Today I’ve learned:
Scottish is not English.
Girls have an accent that resemble a cold shower while arm wrestling a bear.
Guys wear skirts.
Credit cards are useless in Perth.

Dreaming Japan – day 15 – Last Day

Day 15- Tokyo – 11/05/17
I’m going back.

My vacation ends here, but I still have an amazing emotion in my heart. I travelled a lot in my life, but it was quite a while since I’ve been so much happy of a vacation. The atmosphere, the human-scale, the perfectionism, it just makes me wish I visit Japan earlier in my life.

Today I’ve learnt:
– Computer keyboard is consider a unpolite noise in train.
– Don’t belive shinkansen announcement.
– Sobayu potto. When a box meets an handle and the pouring side in a very weird way.

Final consideration and things i forgot to mentions
– I understand now while the Japan pavillion in Milan expo had always 4h queque. That was actually part of the experience.
– Japan is crazy expensive. Thing of a price, then double. You have Dubai. Double it again. London. Double it once more to reach Japan prices.
– I have the feeling that westeners don’t belong here. Evrybody want to enjoy the peaceful calm of tokyo, but the wrong matched color dresses of USA people stand out too much.
– In my next life i want to born in Japan.

Dreaming Japan – day 14 – Tokyo

Day 14 – Tokyo – 10/05/17

Day 14. Last day basically.
I’m getting use to Japanese customs.
My pockets are full of 10 cent coins, I can walk while writing this same text, and I can even order food!
With my few speaching skill, a lot of [ bowing ] and many “ay”, I can get ALMOST what I expected! (beside that kind of ice-cold coffe which was pretty looking like a coke in the menu…)

I’m pretty happy I din’t starve so far..

So… I’m focusing the few things I still have to visit. Time for Saint Mary Chathedral, Kenzo Tange. It’s just… Wow. Kenzo is my new Idol.

Then I met Panda-san.
Panda-san is kawaii.
It was indeed very busy into…. Panda things, i guess. eating. rolling around. eating again. Rest of the zoo didn’t impress me, too many cages. Mr. Bear-san was very sad.

Later I’ve seen people going out from office. Have to say that impressed me, even after all this time in Japan. 8:05pm, a line of people exiting a building. Perfect order, evry single one looking at it’s phone, moving same speed, like zombie in one direction (the nearby metro). The metro station istead was a frenetic chaos of people going evrywhere to find the correct line (intersection of 3 lines). This was NOT a busy area, but shopping street. Cannot imagine what happen in office district…….

Another consideration worth to mentions:
Japan host some very weird space travel doorway. the curious fact is commercial space are on multiple level (it is common to have a bar or a restaurant on the 7th floor!) Most of building have public elevator Free to access, so you enter the lift and when door open you are in a completely different space, different decoration, different feeling. While the street are amazingly human-scale, the indoor area are extremely confusing, and you often lose yourself into indoor mall or 7store heigh shops (let’s not talk about the metro).

Today I’ve learnt:
– how to get rid of the 10c coins (Still I have the 1c).
– Japanese don’t know anything about anti-glare glass. (Maybe cause they never had glass. In 1000 year maybe they will master it…. And it will be perfect. It just requires time).
– You can put 1000 japanese walking in different direction and they will never crush to each other. Japanese are electrons.

Dreaming Japan – day 13 – Tokyo

Day 13 – Tokyo – 9/5/17
Asakusa and temple
Ueno
National Museum
Weird things

Today Asakusa. The temple is very famous and one of the main attraction of Tokyo. From the gate to the temple there is something like 500m of shops, making the way to temple veeeery slow. Here is full of turist and schooltrip.

After that I moved to Ueno, for a visit of the national museum.
Miho told me that many Girls choose school based on the uniform. Today, while in the museum there is only old people and school trip guys, I understand why (still I don’t know where all the million turist all of a sudden went! I guess the rolling chopstick are in the zoo).

Japan never had “art” as we know it (an useless, purely beatiful piece of decoration). Instead they develop art in evryday objects, such pottery, metalwork (katanas!) and screen partition (quite practical when walls are made of paper). Still i don’t know why they lose this. Maybe cause of western? while western develop “art” in daily life only thanks to design, somehow japanese design now totally lacks of aestetichs in favor of practicality (let’s face it. Japan car are horrible looking, but the engineering is way superior). I wonder.

Not forgetting than Japan is based on maintanance. Fragile material, wood and paper required frequent replacment, but are widely available. Stone is durable but expensive to replace. Replacing means getting it better. And better. And better. Japan is perfection trough infinite repetition.
Standardization, even in dress code (ALL men wear the SAME exact suit), while personalization is only in detail and decoration (aka japanese art). Tie.
(Most of the japanese female wear skirt instead. Like kimono, lenght is depending on the age).

Walked back on omotesanto to finish few architectural visit.

Today I’ve learnt:
– funny part of japanese history: they basically had war within themself for most of their story. As a close country, why held war abroad while you can fight your onw people?
– Even museum, to be elegant and minimal, show only few selected items. Really few.
– Many Girls choose school based on the uniform they’re going to wear.
– Japanese never invented glass.
– Even museum are “seasonal” (sorry, Okusai exhibition is finished.. Last year).

Dreaming Japan – day 12 – Tokyo

Day 12 – Tokyo – 8/5/17
Hitomi-san tour
Ginza
Hamarikyu Gardens
浜離宮恩賜庭園
Odaiba
Asakusa

Day 12. Today I’m wandering around with Hitomi-san, the guide that show japan to my aunty. It’s been funny to speak italian in japan!
The plan took us around ginza and the fishmarket. The famous messy amazing fish market.

Later we move to Hamarikyu Gardens, an old daymio (?) residence, now left as park open to public with just few pavillion inside. It’s nice to see there is free eagles circling in the sky…

After old park, super modern. Boat to Odaiba, where the famous sphere-on-the-building is. Amazing area, very modern. Here i could find the Toyota park, which satisfy my need for cars.

Head back to town and up to Asakusa, for a brief introduction of the area.

Today I’ve learnt:
– there are eagles flying around Tokyo.
– If you plan to go in japan start book things now. For 2020.
– The reason behind the portal gate walkway in kyoto or tokyo
– Japanese garden are made to be seen on a sitted (on the ground) position. Putting a chair in a pavillion won’t have the same effect.