Wednesday, September 24, 2003

HANA SAMPO, image servers, and other thoughts

HANA SAMPO preview image - in the window that pops up, click the 5th tab from the top!

Its late so I guess, I should make this quick... (working tomorrow) but anyway, heres the update, for those interested, and myself:

Me, Kayo and Mari went to HANA SAMPO today (thats a kind of a "flower walking festival" in the country-side) ... I took some really awesome pictures with Kayo's amazing camera and my keitai ...A few words about the event; it was basically tons of people from the city stomping into the countryside on a holiday (fall equinox) to see cool flowers... there were TONS of people... but besides that, it was really cool to look at the pretty flowers, and being out in the country reminded me of hitch hiking with Taro through the back of Japan... awww.. the memories of youth! heh heh.... if your not satisfied with the pictures offered on this page, be sure to check out my Korean site for lots of HUGE pictures that I'm really proud of, they look cool, artsy and all that. Dont worry that the page is in Korean, in the window that pops up (thats not a popup ad!), click the 5th tab from the top and you will be taken to my photo album. The first three pages with pictures labeled "HANA SAMPO" are from today... (the pictures start out loading in their big forms, and then pop into small form when its fully loaded.) Why sending you there instead of posting them here? That brings me to my current problem... its geeky, and technical... but I need an image host!! All the sites I've been using to bring pictures to my blog have been having technical problems. I'm such a geek, I'm thinking about buying a web host now that I have a job.. anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be interested in what to do.

For those of you who read Japanese, or just want random information, I added a new poem to my Japanese diary yesterday. If there is enough interest, I thought I would include somesort of translation on my English page... working a real translation might defeat my poem.. so I was thinking about sending it through a machine and fixing any words it misses (because it cant see relaxed forms) but leaving the odd grammar in place... anyone interested in seeing this? If so, I might include it here or in a comment box or something...! ^^

On Monday (my first of 2 OFF days) I met Diana (which can be seen on my keitai page) at the bar/restaurant where Hiromi works! Japan has these bars, that are almost resturants... like a Japanese friend said "Kind of like TGIF!" ... You order drinks (sometimes with the option for unlimited drinks for a certain price) and order snack food with the drinks... not a bad setup... I had a really girly icecream drinky thing and Diana had a manly beer mug kind of drink with a Mango Sour (Sours are the Japanese version of wine coolers) It was fun to see Hiromi at her work, she was working hard!!

And other thoughts? I am starting work for another week from tomorrow... not so bad, I'll survive... I'm getting into this whole worker thing. biggles!


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

train congestion, earthquakes, webpages, and its like that y'all

Last night, at around 6, I was coming home from hanging out with my friend Mio, and the first train station I went to was Takadannobaba. Normally, this train station is busy, and this was rush hour ...but I can't explain to you the sheer MASSIVE amounts of people that were on that train platform. I didn't know it at the time, but on another popular route some idiot had parked his delivery truck infront of the train-crossing (in the road) and went into a convenience store to get a drink... regretfully, he forgot to put his brake on and his truck rolled into the train tracks, which caused the train to hit it and derail. Luckily, no one was hurt. Unluckily, the whole train line was broken because of that. So massive amounts of people had to squish into already crowded train lines... so switch back to me on the train platform. A huge RUSH, a WAVE, of people SURGE towards the next train that has arrived. Its an "express" and it can quickly take them out of this mess. They clog into the train, pushing against eachother, until in some cases they are so closely packed I could see people squished in the train, their faces pressed against eachother--- cheek to cheek. A gaijin [foreign] woman on my left exclaims "sweet jesus!" and I almost get into the mosh pit, but the train guy steps forward pushes in the random arms and legs dangling out and helps the doors shut. I am just one person away from getting into that train. The next train to come is a "local" train which translates into a super slow train, but I guessed that often people don't like taking that so I'll get on there find myself a place to sit down and just sleep all the way back to my station. I get on, and people get on behind me, and more, and more, and more, and damn. The train is filled to the brim again, but this time its a local train. So I've locked myself into slow-motion squished hell. For those of you with itchy brains, the hetero-horny people among us, who might be thinking "ohh yah ohhh ya, pressed against a group of cheer leader for 2 hours! yay!" let me just say ... no. no. Its not like that. The smell, stagnant. Old people rotting, body odor, swaying train, massive blob of people... not the funnest of experiences, but none the less the pure amazing power of so many people locked into a tiny capsule rocketing down the train tracks..that was kind of cool.

So the current rumor mill in Japan is buzzing about the fact that supposedly somewhere in Japan a group of scientists released information that any day now an earthquake, the big one, will hit Tokyo. My personal judgment on this one is its probably fake. But it is really creepy, I mean its possible, so its kind of scary. But whatever, no worries, the world always feels drunk to me... so if the ground shakes a little, I'll be ok.

If you didn't notice, I'm starting a new campaign. Nicky will maybe attack me, because I'm so damn annoying, but I thought I should. So yeah, I was thinking about two things recently... how I should really work harder on my Cantonese, and about how Nicky should teach some to his little kid because it would be so cool to learn a language naturally with no effort when you were a baby. Now I know I'm not the daddie, and I shouldn't try to make plans for N&E, but.... isn't it a good idea? Lets all think about it and say yes! heh heh.... But anyway, in my campaign I use Nicky's baby's picture (IF you dont want me to Nicky, I'll take his picture off!) because I feel like a baby myself when I'm learning Cantonese, I have to try to say the same word over and over again. Its really hard for me to pronounce those tones and stuff. If your interested in checking out a collection of some of the learning tools I found, feel free to check out my new temporary homepage about that (I will be changing it's location soon)! And talking about homepages, and links, and all that.... I feel like offering a few locations for you to visit. First, this link is anti-Bushwhacker not really anti-american, but take it as you will. I thought it was an elegant example of how crafty editing can make any reality true. .... also!! I have been thinking about net-museums. There are so many!! You might know there is a mullet museum but did you know there is one for comb overs too? (By the way, I so want a combover when I'm older! Its my favfav style of hair!) What you also might not know is that there are tons of AOL disk museums and all sorts of freakyness out there. The internet is wild, yah baby! Anyway... please feel free to comment as much as you want!


Friday, September 12, 2003

Nicky and Elaine's new baby & I am a worker!

Andrew Alex - Congrads N & E, I am so happy for you guys. Its so amazing! I want to come back to America and see the little guy! Elaine gave birth to him on September 7th, and he looks like a wonderful baby! Congratulations!

So I'm now a NOVA worker! Its fun, but its really hit me this isnt full teaching of course, its more working, but I will have some teaching time so thats good. To me, the schedule reminds me of a factory! We get there, and while we are still learning everything they give us an hour to start making the lesson plans we will need for that day, then a bell rings we grab our lesson plan run to a cubicle looking classroom (have to get there before the bell finishes!) and teach between 1 to 4 people for about 40 minutes (10 min. on each section of the NOVA defined lesson) and then another bell rings, we ask if they have any questions, and run back to the office grab our next lesson wait for the next bell in a few minutes and run back to the next class. (If your wondering why I feel like a worker? One reason is I was teaching my students and in "warm up" they ask you questions sometimes, and one student asked me "why did you come to Japan?" and I said "To be a teacher!" and he said "ohhh your a teacher??" he was surprized... uhm... what did he think I was doing? I think the answer is ... working! so maybe I'm just a worker kind of.... or something!) Now for my dear readers that might think this is scary.... let me say ... it is a little scary! heh heh.. .but I think I'll get used to it, and its not that hard. For Trenchy and Popsicle (I'm using internet nicknames!) it might be something they could do instead of JETT if they want other options... at Shinjuku orientation I saw actually a lot of couples... and if you live in NOVA housing they let couples live alone (singles have to share with two other room mates) and they give you all your housing and all that. And in case your starting to say "You stupid idiot, Eikaiwa [conversation english schools] suck!!!" I know that a lot of people here in Japan think that those kind of schools aren't so cool to work at. But I think life is what you make it, so I can try to be a good teacher for my students, and thats all I can do! Anyway, I'm happy to be working and thats about all I can say about that for now. I start full time work from tomorrow... Often from 1 to 9 at night, but on weekends from 10 to 6 (but I need to come in from 9 to 6 to prepare) .. .they have two days off each week, and for me thats monday and tuesdays. Anyway, I'll answer any other questions! PEACE!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

the return from Korea!

OK! you all can stop making fun of me in my comments box, because I'm back!!
So lets start off my entry with a huge picture that is a collection of almost all the pictures I took with my keitai, the normal digicam I borrowed stopped working, so these tiny little pictures are all I have to offer of pictures I took:

pics missing, try keitaipage


1) Dansen takes a last picture in Japan, in the airport! "see ya Japan!"

2)This is the main terminal in the airport, I got there and had to find the bus to my friends house... I tried to ask some people where the correct bus was in Korean, but no one understood my bad korean. I tried english, but still people got confused and sent me in several directions. So I just pointed to the bus number (606) written on my address book, and finally this guy puts his arms around my shoulders and says in slow english "see that sign over there, lets go there, see?" and took me there. I smiled to myself and said "welcome to korea!" because Japan is totally a not touchy country, but often people (even strangers) are way more touchy here in Korea. I got on the bus, and saw tons of the tiny red neon christian crosses dotting the darkened landscape (Korea is a strongly christian country) and I thought again "Welcome to Korea, Dansen."

3) At the Priema Hotel bus stop Seung One was waiting for me, even though it was almost midnight by the time the bus got there. She was driving her mom's car and so we stopped and picked up Mirim and they took me out to get some yummy dinner. I forget what you call it (I'm bad with names) but it was those good noodles that have black sauce and stuff. Hmm. Guess that dosent really explain it. heh heh. Anyway, it was tasty.

4) This could be a shot of Japan! Its a picture from a train while me and Seung One were going to the Japanese embassy. I was thinking about how Korea dosent look so different from Japan, instead its the culture that is more different, although Korea does look unique. S.O. was so nice to help me find the embassy on Thursday morning.

5) After that we met Da Yeon and Tae Yeon and S.O. went to go work out, and we went to lunch at this cool restaurant.

6)After that Sung Won met us and we played this funny card game in the restaurant, it involved matching fruits and hitting a bell when you did... it was funny!

7) Later Sung Won borrowed his sister's car and we drove a while out of Seoul to Tae Yeon's neighborhood (She explained it this way "Seoul is like New York, I live in like New Jersey!" heh heh!) when we got there we went to this park and walked on this weird path for old people. You took off your shoes and walked around on these different size pebbles. It was really good for the feet, but after awhile it was difficult for some of them to walk on it!

8) This is a closeup of the inside of the temple things roof... this is one of the key differences between Japan and Korean temple things .. this cool color pattern!

9) After all that, they took me out to some good yummy korean BBQ!

10) The next day, I woke up early and went to the Japanese embassy and picked up my work permit (that easy!) and then went to COEX mall to meet my friends. COEX mall is HUGE! one of the biggest underground malls in Asia... in this picture this group of guys is taking down (putting up?) a big road sign thing.

11) First I met Won Young and Hyo Eun (in this picture) and Youngim in front of KFC and we waited for Jin Suk and then we went to Pizza Hut (international culture huh? although the pizza was what companies call "localized" it wasnt one you could buy in america! a complex multi-topping pizza with corn and stuff in the center and then a rim of sweet potato and then a thick rim of cheese pizza and no crust. yummy!) 12) Hyo Eun, Jin Suk and Youngim get ready to take a picture of themselves with a cellphone, and I took a picture of that with my cellphone, trippy huh? heh heh. Hyon and Won Young were there at that time but werent in the picture...

13) Later that day after most people had gone home, Hye Jin Shin met me after her work and I remembered I forgot to call.... 14) Bored Girl (Hye Yeon) and so I called her and invited her to hang out with us too... we all went to eat ice dessert, yummy!

15) Exit is translated as "way out" in Korea, I think thats funny for some reason. 16) Korean ONIGIRI (triangle rice)!! .. its called SAMGAKKIMBAP in Korea...

17) Hanging out with Hyon and S.O.

18) Later Hyon took me to see "Bad Boys 2" ... it was so cool seeing an American movie in a Korean audience... I felt almost surreal watching your native language with "foreign" subtitles in a huge crowded theater that replied vocally to the jokes and scary parts (lots of laughter and gasps) it was cool..!!

19) Next on Saturday I stayed with Mr.Frog (Jiwan Park is his real name, but Mr.Frog is cooler, huh?) and we mainly just hung out watching TV and talking. I saw this one Korean TV show that shows three stories and you have to guess which one (out of 3) isnt true. One of the stories was a reenactment of World War 2 England. But the actors were funny, since it was of course made in Korea using local foreigners. The woman spoke in a thick Russian accent and the man spoke a heavy Australian accent,,, which made their conversations really funny I thought!

20) Next on Sunday I met Mirim, S.O. and Mirim's cool friend and we walked around Seoul and Yon Sei University.

21) For a couple of hours I hung out in a coffee shop (drinking a shake!) with Yeun and Suah, they took a couple of crazy pictures of me holding my leg and stuff. Crazzzy!

22) A pink monkey in orange pants? thats all I need to say!

23) This is a silly picture of Sung Won, on monday afternoon we hung out in COEX mall...

24) This is a picture of KIMBAP, its kind of a version of Japanese sushi. The rice is rolled in unique things though... normal seaweed, but also leaves, american cheese, etc. and the inside tuna is cooked, along with carrots etc. Yummy! Sung Won and I bought it for lunch, he loved the cheese ones.

25) This is a random sign in Korean alphabet, in front of Seung One's house.

26) This is a random train station, it looks kind of like a Japanese train station... I like how these train tracks go down, fading into a "tunnel" of bright sunlight.

27) Monday night I met my good friend Uni and her friend KeyHyon (he isnt in the picture) at a restaurant after her work. The restaurant was kind of like a buffet (you selected your food from a row of food booths) but you paid for each item individually.

28) After the meal, Uni and her friend drove me to S.O.'s house.... the night lights are sparkly!!

29) S.O. had bought some super tasty fried chicken for the last night I stayed at her house?@(because in the morning we were both going to the airport...she was going to north america and I was going to japan!)

30) Seung One's brother, a funny nice guy.

31) S.O.'s dog.,.... it was like a cat-dog. Small, and it licked it self clean!

32) The final picture from Korea, my Northwest airlines plane waiting to fly me away!...

You should also check out these two pictures Sung Won let me take with his camera, the left one is a group of appartments... so many appartments in Korea! In big groups, kind of like Appartment gangs or something! and the right picture is a traditional Korean todem Pole kind of thing:

[[pics missing]]

In Japan...
I'm back in Japan, living day to day. Yesterday, I met Taro and we walked around and talked. He is going to Indonesia soon for a trip, I'm so jealous. (although, I did spend an hour or so teaching him some basic Indonesian words that might help him! WC KE MANA? ^^; ) Before I met Taro, I randomly met an African guy from Liberia on the train. He was friendly, but his English was about the same as my Indonesian. He knew some words, and phrases, but had a hard time communicating. He asked if I spoke French, but I don't and he couldn't speak Japanese so we didnt talk so much even though he was nice. I did understand he had been here for 3 months, and he was going to work right then... but he was wearing jeans and tennis shoes... so I couldnt help but wonder where an African man, who can't speak English or Japanese, was working. At first I thought teaching French at somewhere like NOVA, but they maybe don't want African accented French, and also they would for sure require a suit. ..... Today I met my Japanese friend USK and he bought me lunch, because he had won some money at slot machines and he was sharing. It was nice to see him, we hung out---walk around talking---for a long time. He also helped me apply for my alien registation card.... yup, I'm offically an Alien now!! Anyway, thats all I have to say for now I guess. Let me know your comments about my Korea trip... or anything else!


All original content CC 2002-2012 BY NC SA - first design from dilarangmelarang altered by neonvirus and thunderbunny.