Monday, April 16, 2007

The Map Museum, Tokyo

For anyone venturing out in search of the Map Museum in Tokyo, take food
and warm clothing. It seems to have a liminal sort of existence, only
definitely existing in the world of maps (Time Out, Tokyo, p. 62). I
existed mainly in the world of irony as I wandered about the Kudan
district this weekend holding my map in front of me asking all and
sundry whether they knew where the Map Museum was. Eventually, I walked
through one museum doorway and asked the receptionists (in Japanese):
Me: "Do you know where the Map Museum is?"

Receptionist 1: "The Cheese Museum?"

Me: "No, the Map Museum, as in one of these things." (Waves map desperately)

Receptionist 1: "The Map Museum. Uh, no. We do old art and stuff here." (Calls to friend) "Do you know a Map Museum?

Receptionist 2: "Uh?"

Receptionist 1: "What's the address you've got there?"

Me: "2-1-36 Kudan Minami"

Receptionist 1: "2-1-36..."

Receptionist 2: "2-1-36..."

Receptionist 1: "No."

Receptionist 2: "Hey, 2-1-36. That's us, isn't it?”

Receptionist 1: "Yeah, you're right! Weird! We're not the Map Museum are we?

Receptionist 2 (Suddenly uncertain):"Don't think so."

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