Published: September 29th 2008September 29th 2008
This is the view from my balcony.
So you remember when I said that I didn't think I get stared at too hard? Well, I lied. Here's a story:
I went downtown yesterday with John and Spencer (both from Montana) to look for some awesome shirts. (I found one, by the way. It's the most wicked awesome Daft Punk shirt I've ever seen. 28 bucks, but well worth it.) I decided that since we were going downtown, why not wear my "looking for a Japanese girlfriend" shirt? Seemed like a good idea to me.
My gods was it a good idea.
Literally 90% of the people we passed by walking down Shimatori (one of the main shopping district streets), which would mean around five hundred to a thousand people, saw my shirt and either laughed out loud or giggled excitedly to their friends. It was really fun watching people in the distance before they had seen my shirt...then wait about five seconds until they saw it, and watch the huge change of emotion on their faces from bored to "Oh my god, that foreigner is fuckin' ridiculous!" Quite a few people stopped me to say that it was a cool shirt, too.
Trains are loud
Trains are really loud from my room. This is a photo, no zoom, of how close the train track is. These suckers go until about 12 or 1 AM and start up at 6 or so AM.
lives, that day.
Anyway. It's raining today. The funny thing is that I was talking to my little brother last night via Skype (yes, I got my laptop up and running again. If you wanna chat on Skype, lemme know when you want to and I'll see if that's feasible for me. :3) and I mentioned to him that it hadn't rained for a week or so, and I was surprised. Of course the weather gods here had to spite me then and make it be extremely rainy all today, the day I had to bike downtown to City Hall to get my Alien Registration Card (at nine in the morning, no less, when I have class at 10:40). Oh well. I got through it. Chiaki Nakamura (she goes to Gakuen Dai and went to MSU for a year) helped me and John get bank accounts today, and we're planning on getting cell phones later today as well (I'm writing this at 12:30 PM, Monday, by the way), which I'm very happy about. It's just like in the States without a cell phone - I almost feel naked without one.
A friend of ours, Yoshitaka Ishikura, had his
This is how I look at the moment. Still rockin' the beard, still being strange. I might shave in a day or two down to just the mustache, but I'm still debating that.
This was at Yoshi's 20th birthday party bash.
20th birthday party on Friday night. 20 is the year that you turn into an adult here in Japan - you can drink, smoke, gamble and vote at age 20, and there's actually a national holiday that is for people who have turned 20 in the past year. You get all dressed up, fathers buy their daughters extremely expensive kimono, and all the new adults listen to the local officials make speeches for a few hours. Then they all go get drunk, I'm assuming. But anyway, a bunch of us from the dorm and from Gakuen Dai - probably 15 to 20 people - went to this restaurant called Tennis Club for tabenomihoudai
, which is essentially eat and drink all you can for a specific amount of time for a flat fee. We did 2 hours for about 30 buck a person.
Gods, it was fun. Constant streams of amazing food and pretty decent booze for two hours, people. For those of you who have not experienced this, it is one thing you must
do before you die. Many drunken pictures were taken, and if you have Facebook I'm sure you can find them on there. I was tagged
New Daft Punk shirt. <3 it.
in quite a few. :3
After we got done with the part at Tennis Club, we moved outside and decided to go to karaoke
(but not before the police told our rather unruly group to move along, and then followed us for about 100 meters just to make sure we didn't start breaking the laws of physics or something that foreigners do.) Karaoke
in Japan is fun. American style is just fucked up - standing in front of a crowd you don't know, on your own? Bullshit. In Japan, you're in a smallish room with just your friends, picking every song you want to sing, singing along to every song even if you don't know the words (and gods know I don't know the words to almost all of the songs my Japanese friends sing, since they're in Japanese) and in general just having a really good time.
We made it home around three in the morning, which is very far past curfew, but Kame-san, the night security guard, didn't seem all that angry. In fact, the first group that went home (Rory and I were the last to show up) two hours before us had sneaked in
A drinking party is called a nomikai, and this one went down (probably) the first week I was here.
From left to right it's Ayaka, Yoshino and Rory (at least of people's faces you can see.)
instead of waking Kame-san up and having him open the door. So he was kind of freaking out that the other group had left two hours before us, but apparently hadn't made it back yet. With a minute of searching we found the sneaker-inners and let Kame-san know they were alright.
There was a festival the other weekend during my homestay thingy (which went very well, even if I could barely speak Japanese to the family - thankfully the daughter Haruka can speak English very well :3) that involved getting horses really drunk then parading them through downtown, scaring them with a lot of yelling into loudspeakers, yelling in general and beating on taiko
, big ass drums. All-in-all it was the coolest festival I've ever been to. You'd never see something like that in America. I also got interviewed by the local news team, but I could barely understand what they were saying to me, so I pretty much just said that I was excited and that rampaging horses are scary. I didn't see if they actually showed that clip on the news or not, but I think it's safe to assume that they didn't.
So it may
...is a fun game.
seem that all I do here so far is hang out with Japanese people and get drunk, and arguably I have been doing that a lot, but school started last week and I've been studying a lot lately. I was in B class for Japanese, which is the middle class, but at the end of last week the teachers decided to bump me up to C class, which is the most advanced Japanese classes. It's going to be really, really, really hard, but I think I'll be able to do it. I regret not studying harder at MSU, though; or maybe I regret that the class wasn't challenging enough, because it did not prepare us very well at all for the amount of studying at least I am doing these days, or the amount of knowledge we're expected to have of the Japanese language.
Oh, another random thought: when John, Spencer and I were walking downtown, we passed by this side-street clothing store, and they were playing a Deadmau5 track from his Radio1 Essential Mix (and of course I'm the only one who would recognize that song or what mix it's from) but I told one of the guys
These are clouds from the typhoon that totally missed Kumamoto (damnit) at dusk. Kame-san let us on top of the dorm to take pictures.
working there that it was really good music. He had no idea what I was talking about. Just like all of you have no idea what I'm talking about. The point is that I heard one of the best electro house tracks being bumped in public, and that's a big step up from me resigning myself to never being able to talk to anyone about electronic music seriously because noone gives a rats ass about it.
But I'm not going to rant about electronic music right now. I could go on for hours, and you certainly don't want to read that.
Love you all.
There are more photos below