Saturday, August 18th, 2001:

Today my voice is recovering from actually speaking out loud…

Yesterday started with a visit to the Imperial Palace, which is of course closed on Fridays. My appetite for grand Japanese architecture unsatiated, I opted instead for Tokyo Dome City. I was expecting one of those huge indoor beaches that everyone’s heard about; instead I got a baseball stadium and Power Rangers amusement park.

Then it was time to meet up with Kim Binsted, the mobile phone artificial intelligence expert who came to chat with our nerd school class. We met up at the 45th-floor bar of the fancy Park Hyatt Hotel. A brief tutorial on the features of my cell phone turned to a lengthy conversation about what’s wrong with comedy today, and ended with my first proper Japanese meal in a back-alley local hangout. One of the dishes featured the bright orange yolk of a raw egg swimming in soy sauce; I preferred what Kim said was re-jigged Korean dish, though the Japanese would apparently never admit it.

Kim seemed to think that I could make a good living in Tokyo as a voice actor, doing English translations for film, TV and — this piqued my interest — video games. But I would never be famous, which is pretty much how I’m feeling about Canada at the moment…

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