(French maybe ? Just go here.)
Keeping on explorating Tokyo, i arrived in Akihabara, famous for being the part of the city reserved to the technologies, mangas and animes adepts. Just the time to go out of the subway and to find the main street of the district and i got hit, full force, by a surging wave of sounds and pictures : here, everething’s purpose seemed to be the savage attraction of your eyes and ears ; which answers to my question about the number of tokyoites wearing glasses (thinking of a prospective deafness, i can’t affirm anything for now), as the yes is so confused, pushed at watching everything and anything at the same time. Speaking of what, my head’s actually telling me that a random occidental doesn’t get used to this ads arrangement in small time.
Here for a few minutes but allready shaky and excited, i started my exploration, leaving my foots guiding me.
After having been in and out of an unthinkable (at least for me) number of gleaming goodies, books, DVDs, games stores and sex shops and blinding games arcades, i was back in the crowd, lost and confused. I absolutely didn’t manage to know how those people around me were able to follow their path with this unflappable look.
By luck, standing out from the others by its soberness, one café’s sign met my eyes, on which had been printed in black, on a white font, one old man with a moustache, holding a cup of coffe and smoking a cig. Lost in the deafening advertising stream, i was still able to hear, almost inaudible, a soft country melody. And, despite that i usually don’t like this kind of music so much, i walked through the automatic door as if it was standing as my last chance.
Once inside, the prevailing calm, a diffused nicotine smell and some iced coffe proposed on the menu confirmed my choice. I took my order, one asher and, holding my tray, i went upstairs.
Sitting in font of the window overlooking the street, i lighted a cig with the same look i would probably have shown after waking up from a crazy psychedelic dream, full of lights and half naked girls, decorated with a lot of testosteron muscles. From here, i was finally able to watch, with a more peaceful eye, what i just went through. Unintentionally i thought “what a loonies country”. That said, it would have been hard for me to emit any other type of judgement, after what i just went out. I was so foreign to see such an amount of - pardon the expression - deviances. By this, I mainly think about what proposed the sex-shops and goodies store : plastic statue bearing the likeness of young girls, buxom womens wearing a girlish air, goods for the reached Lolita syndrom, of incest, rape, scatophils, voyeurism, SM and probably other sweets which are now out of my memories. Sure, i wasn’t unaware that those sorts of things were current money in pornogtaphy. But, strangely, i was struck to see it exhibited to light in one of a capital city big districts.
Inevitably, in such a place and as a “novice” (by this, i mean “who is nothing more than indirectly familiar to this”), it’s hard to not feel yourself soiled, splashed from what appears - at first sight - as belonging to the human filth.
But then comes, faster than we would think, a familiarization, an allowance to this odd anthill. Each thing, which appeared the moment before as outrageous to the bigger part of the occidentals, finally becomes what it is : the part of a whole. SImply, what elsewhere is going behind the scene, is only whispered, is here shown to all (let’s say “exhibited”), shouted in every ear.
Finally, at least in the form, there’s only a few differences from the countries where drugs are legalized. By an obvious process, opposite to ours, prohibitions concerning some elements, considered undesirable, are here non-existant ; and at the same time, the taboo, the mark of intolerable and insanity are taken off.
If not to share this vision, but at least realizing, you just have to take a walk around Akihabara.