Monday, February 25, 2008

I love the Cyber Cafes in Japan

I'm typing this blog at a computer in a cyber cafe in Toritsudaigaku, the station where I work. After nearly one and a half hours, two cappucinos and a mint tea later I am thoroughly convinced that Japanese cyber cafes are the epitome of brilliance.

They're very different from any I've been in in America or New Zealand. In the aforementioned countries(and I presume most other countries) cyber cafes are merely rows of sterilized computers with students or travellers checking their emails and writing papers. Here, of course there are always students, but also sitting in the same circle (not row) of computers as mine is a grandmother, a man reading a book, and woman the same age as my mother. Here, cyber cafes offer all you can drink tea (with about 15 different leaf combinations to experiment with), fountain drinks and coffee. There are snacks and cheap meals you can buy as well. Two hours here will cost me about 5 dollars.

Tonight, like many nights, I have two hours to kill before my plans in Tokyo. There is no use in me going home. I used to go to Starbucks with a book, but at $4 for a coffee which gets cold after twenty minutes and anxious customers wait for your seat in the perpetual trendiness of the Seattle dry-roasted shockwave, I feel uncomfortable hanging out in Starbucks for too long, especially when I've already finished my coffee an hour before, or it's gone cold from me trying to milk it for all it was worth.

Instead I can go to one of the literally trillions (ok, maybe not literally) of cyber cafes, hang out with a book, check my emails and get all the coffee and tea I want. Brilliant!

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