Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Ito onsen, taxis

伊東(Ito) near 熱海(Atami) is a pleasant little place. It's quieter than Atami, and easy to walk around. The beach is a dark sand beach, but probably isn't the prettiest beach I've ever seen. We saw a couple festival structures with people practicing for the fireworks festival at the end of the month. One group was interesting - all men dressed up in anime costumes, many in drag. There was a Anpan man character, and the guy on the megaphone looked like a power ranger in a powder blue outfit.

The 温泉 (hotspring) was very nice; wide and pleasant. Also mostly empty. Hot water really feels great. I can't stay in it very long though.

We watched an interesting reality show where a father and daughter, both taxi drivers, took their passenger from the southernmost point of South America, to New York. They started from some island off the coast of Aregentina. It was great; the show brought an actual Japanese taxi to the island!

Laf. When they started, the passenger, a recently divorced guy in the entertainment business (on a journey to discover himself), said, "New York, please." And they actually started up the meter! I think at the end, if they make it to New York, the father and daughter will actually collect the fare from the show. Somehow, I don't think the passenger is going to be paying.

While they were driving the first day, they continued past 11 o'clock, and the daughter informed the passenger that after 11pm there is a 30% surcharge on the regular fare. Or 3 times the regular fare. I'm not sure about that. That was hilariously surreal. Here they are, driving around a South American island, and she mentions the taxi fare rules. As if the passenger had a choice. "I think I'll hail another taxi."

Driving around Brazil's largest city, they went through the Japantown, where various people stopped them and asked if they were really driving a Japanese taxi.

They stopped by a lovely waterfall too. Looked cooler than Niagara. South America looks really beautiful.

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