15 July, 2008 Tuesday. Yamakasa

At 3:15am, the real phone call came. Qianhui dropped back to sleep adter sending me off. Bless her bedtime.

The walk to the site wasn’t far. I was looking for a vending machine with hot canned coffee that sells at 100 yen. I passed at least ten and there wasn’t one!!! So I gave up the idea of vending machiens with hot drinks in summer and wanted at least a cold coffee. But all the others I passed sold coffees at 120 yen. I’m too cheap to waste my RM 0.70 on coffee when I could get one cheaper.

We passed this while looking for the site. Don’t know if it’s being taken down or built.

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My search for 100 yen coffe was in vain, there was none. What is this about the convenience of vending machines??!!!  In the end, I bought a 100 yen coke for the caffine. And guess what, the first vending machine that I passed sold COFFEE! The ironies of life. ha ha

We reached a small lane with a red light. There was no care in 10 metres radius so we crossed. But the policeman behind us said really fast in Japanese, “The colour’s red. The colour’s red. The colour’s red.” The lights turned green while we were 3/4 of the lane. Give us a break! It’s not even wider than 2 metres.

We finally reached a busy junction. There was a takoyaki stand.

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Boys joining the race

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And lots and lots of butts. The only time it is decent to moon people is during yamakasa and all the trainings.

Man being interviewed. Probably the anchor coz he has the mike

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Didn’t use flash because it’ll be rude to blind people momentarily. And flash works terrible in dim lights. See below.

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We shifted to another location and sat at a nice junction. The sun was slowly lighting the sky and we waited with patience. We saw the others from school who came directly from their karaoke session.

Our “seats” were the second or third turn for the floats. It wasn’t too crowded. There was cameras on buildings.

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A boy had a portable TV and I could peek at the broadcast of the start of the race. Cool device.

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Man on stand by to splash the racers with water to cool them down. Note the butts

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The first float came and I was surprised no one in the crowd cheered. No one at all. They just clapped politely at the floats like it was a beauty pageant or a fashion show, and not a once a year adrenelined filled race where men wear cloths that showed their butt and push humungous floats around while shouting “ai soh”. 

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I tweaked the lighting for this photo. This is one of the seven racing floats.

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Everyone clapped and I was confused! If it were me, I would scream myself sore. But they just went on clapping and sitting down when the floats were out of sight and stood up to clap some more when another came. It’s weird.

Father, police and cute boy (the only age where it’s appropriate to show the behind)

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Another float

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Water being splashed

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After the seven racing floats finished their turns, in a mannerly fashion. The finale great float started its course.

Front

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Back

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It was 6am plus when everything ended. I followed the others back to the dorm after buying breakfast.

On the bus, I saw the remaining crowds

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Then we alighted and walked in the lanes to get to the dorm.

The iPhone 3G was a huge hit in Tokyo.

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A strangely named appartment – Pure Dome Dear Kencyomae

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I waited for a while until 7 before I knocked on Qianhui’s door in case she was still sleeping.

Then we went down for breakfast.

My 126 yen tausa cream bun

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And my 140 yen <delicious milk>

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Classes passed in a blur and I got home really early around 4pm. No one was home and I read <Gone with the WInd> in the living room/ dining room coz I don’t want to be rude by sleeping when everyone gets home.

Then K and his father came home. A walk with the dogs, with me in charge of dysentry Merry. And dinner was bento from a fast food restaurant. Yummy though. Okaasan is back in her hometown till tomorrow for a memorial service.

Oh, the father asked if I had paid my fees and I am horrified. What is this asking about  money? Isn’t it taboo? And I’ve paid since week 1. Have they not received the money yet?

Worried aside, I dropped into deep sleep at 9:30pm.

Oh, the rod which I use to block the cat is gone. Ceiling cat help me!

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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