Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Genghis Kong vs. Tox

As those of you who pay any attention to my Facebook may already know, I am attempting some kind of "detox" regime type thing. I put that in inverted commas because a true detox implies that you lay off the "toxes" long enough for it to make an appreciable difference to your health, whereas that was never really my goal. Indeed I don't really know what my actual goal is, but I've decided not to drink alcohol or caffeine or to smoke for the time being.

I think I'm going to crack on the drinking first - I'm meeting up with my cousins husband tomorrow night to show him around Tokyo and I wouldn't be surprised if he might want to go somewhere for a drink later on. Failing that I have also been invited to a drinking party last night, and I have specific plans (written in my diary and everything) to go the pub with a bunch of girls on Thursday night (wa-hey!). So, while I can quite happily not drink if I don't go out and don't see anyone, I'm not sure how easily I can spend an evening in a pub without drinking. I'm not even sure I'd want to.

As for smoking, I'm not too sure. The two main factors which would make me want to smoke would be hanging around smokers and drinking, but the people I drink with don't tend to be the same peaople that I smoke with, so we'll have to wait and see how long I can hold out. Again, I haven't even decided that I actually really really want to quit for good, but I guess I'll take it as a little challenge to see how long I can go.

Caffeine just seemed to complete the set. Also, I like to smoke with a cup of coffee, so it seemed wise to get rid of that too. I've got to say though, I do look amazingly cool when I'm sitting in a little cafe on the street, Haruki Murakami novel in one hand, hand-rolled cigarette in the other and a steaming cup of black coffee on my table in front of me. Honestly, I am so kakkoii (Japanese for "totally fucking cool") it makes passers-by stop in amazement and break down weeping with uncontainable eye-joy at the sight of me. But I guess I'm going to have to give up that particular hobby.

"But why," I hear you cry, "have you decided to go on a detox all of sudden? You who are reknowned as a great lover of tox, and in many situations you are defined by your great tox intake - surely, without tox you are not even the same man? How can you turn your back on the tox which has been so good to you all these years?"

Well, in actual fact the tox hasn't been so good to me all these years. It has made me very fat and unhealthy and this is all part of a grander get-fit regime with which I am hoping to persevere throughout my time in Japan. The university gave me a health check-up for their insurance and things, and it turned out than in my first month here I lost about half a stone without making any effort towards healthiness whatsoever, so i felt I ought to try and capitalise on that gain. However, I think that early weight loss was entirely thanks to muscle atrophy and malnutrition - if anyone has ever told you that the Japanese diet is amazingly healthy, they were lying. The Japanese diet consists primarily of a large bowl of rice with a thin scraping of salty and/or deep-fried flavour smeared across the top of it. Most of their food is deep fried.

Of course, I'm being unfair. What i'm describing is cheap Japanese food, i.e. the food they serve in the cafeteria at school, and the only food I can afford most of the time. Of course there's all sorts of other things - delicious noodles, sushi, grilled meat and chicken things, a wide range of fish both cooked and raw and an unimaginable variety of seaweeds, tofus and pickled things. However, it is extraordinarily difficult to find vegetables in anything more than a garnishing capacity (unless those vegetables are pickled or deep-fried), so I have given up on the cafeteria food, and on eating out most nights. Instead I stay in, lift weights, and eat vast quantities of salad and vegetables. Blam. Incidentally, if you think its odd that I said I've given up eating out most nights, that's because in Tokyo it's usually cheaper to eat out than to stay in, especially if you want to eat interesting and varied food which tends to cost a fortune from the supermarket.

Another reason for my "detox" is that I have been having problems with sleeping. I don't know whether it's a very delayed jet-lag, whether its dietary, psychological or pituitary but its indescribably frustrating. I sleep for a reasonable amount of time each night, wake up the same time each morning, but I spend the first 10 or more hours of each day in a dazed, semi-conscious stupor. There's a thick, heavy foggy feeling in my head, my eyes feel gummy and its difficult to focus on anything, and anytime I sit down somewhere even slightly warm, quiet or comfortable (for example lessons, library or anytime I try to study) I start to nod off almost instantly. My vision blurs, my eyelids droop, I lose track of what's being said and gradually half-formed fragments of dream begin to form around the periphery of consciousness until all of a sudden I jerk awake again to realise that whatever notes I had been taking have trailed off into a squiggly line culminating in the words 'hitler clown' and I have absolutely no idea what the lecturer is talking about. And the lecturer has just asked me a question. It's deeply, deeply frustrating and annoying. I feel retarded or disabled or something, being completely incapable of even basic cognitive functions for most of the day. Around six or seven I perk up again, my mind is clear, I can focus, study, do whatever, but when it comes time to go to bed I'm still awake, alert and not sleepy.

So anyway, I figured that a peculiar daily cocktail of stimulants and depressants probably wasn't actually improving my sleep in the long run, so I'm cutting them out to see what happens. So far, I've been sleepier than ever, but I guess these things take time.

The final reason for my "detox" plan is, basically, that there's a girl I like and she doesn't smoke, rarely drinks and is very sporty, so essentially I'm just trying to impress her.

But this is all getting a little heavy, is it not? What other, lighter topics can i ramble on about.

Forthcoming exciting events:
I've got a week's holiday from Thursday this week until Wednesday next, so i'm hoping to meet up with some the Sheffield crew during this time (probably for more drinkies)
I'm going to DisneySea on Tuesday (like DisneyLand, but they sell beer)

That's about it for the moment. I'm sorry if this post has seemed less light-hearted and mirthful than previous ones, but hopefully the next one will be a riotous party of joy, colour, photographs and music.

And I can't even think of an amusing song with which to sign off. Oh, you'll have to make do with a song which is just good then, I'm afraid.

(Damn, you can tell I'm smitten, picking a song like that. Quality song though)

Love and love,


Up said...

sleepy? sounds like you need some coffee. and a cigarette to relax you after that. if you can't sleep after those two, then a few pints should knock you out. and some valium. Then a wee bit of cocaine to pick you up in the morning...

Bedlam said...

sounds like you need to man up and grow a pair, m'boy. you should impress girl creature with your prodigious nicotine intake, chicks dig that.
though seriously, if you're looking at quitting smoking try downloading the easy way to quit smoking cd-rom. its pretty good.

stay black