Monday, May 31, 2004

hanging out with friends

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

on the edge of summer

Seth came and stopped by my "youth hostel" for a few more days but he left early this morning ... or its after midnight, so I guess, you could say he left yesterday. It was good to see him, I went with him and some other friends to a restraunt on the top of the tokyo metropolitan building. I hadnt ever really eaten somewhere that fancy before, they took our shoes for us at the entrence, and it was like on the 45th story or something, and our table was against the window, the floor of Shinjuku splayed out like burning dots of light. It was surreal, to me, those kind of things are like Nature in the city.... I mean, if you have ever hiked up a tall path and looked down at a falling waterfall cascading into a brilliant stream? Thats nature, right? Well, I think cities also have moments of "ooooh" transcendence, and I think thats too often forgotten. anyway... it was beautiful up there, near the sky.

Tonight, after work, I was going to go hang out with Yusuke and some of his friends, and I was taking the same train as one of my work friends Luke, so I invited him along and we all met and went out drinking. It was really fun for Luke I think because, Yusuke and his friends just spoke natural young Japanese, and Luke could have a chance to hear slang words he had studied before. Luke was doing a great job, just talking along with everyone, it was really fun, just hanging out, drinking and talking, across cultures (honestly, I still dont know a lot about Australian culture.. check out a picture of us drinking on my keitai page). After that we bought some big-beers at a convience store and walked to the park in kichijyoji. The night was perfect, it was still warm from the hot day, but a pleasent wind was blowing, and clouds were litterly rushing against the almost full moon. It was really pleasent mixed with my beer buzz. The park was littered with guitar players and people walking around talking, we finished our beers, and then each went our own ways...

03:16:00 | permalink | comments (4)

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Most things are pleasant when mixed with a beer buzz ; ) tee hee.

I think you need to say beer maybe 20 more times :)

when are you going to korea?

That sounds very awesome man. Enjoy Japan!

Monday, May 24, 2004

train rider

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

and here comes a computer!

The other day, I was ridding the seibu-shinjuku train back towards shintokorozawa (you gotta love names that are long like that!) and I saw these two stoner guys were talking about something or other, and one of them accidently dropped some of his drink on the floor. It was coffee or something, and it slowly spread from around his feet. He said "shiiiit!" (in Japanese of course) and then, in typical stoner-style, he began slidding his foot around on the newly made texture of the train floor. Him and his friend just laughed about it, and it wasnt a big spill so thats all that happened. But this spill reminded me of a different spill I saw a few weeks ago, on the same train line. It was a fairly full train, and an old lady got on. She had just gone shopping I guess, or something, and she had a bag with her. She somehow ended up dropping her bag, which had a big container of milk in it. It spread all over the floor... everyone just watched, horrified, as the whole train-car began to be coated with little streams of milk. Its a big city, and in big cities people are slow to help others... I guess inside I am still a small-town kid, so I asked the guy next to me if he had any tissues (I didnt have any) and jumped up and started helping the old lady mop up her milk streams. A few other people felt guilty and tossed her some tissues... it was a surreal thing, mopping up milk from the floor of a crouded train, as it started and stopped at different stations.

I will buy a computer tomorrow!! And I hope to get internet soon after that, which will mean a lot of endless, pointless, updates for this diary. Also, I will be trying to expand the readers of this here diary, if you're new, welcome. If you are one of the "old timers" please know I enjoy people reading my random words, thank you!... More thoughts as they come to me later. Enjoy life... !


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happy you all are glad to hear I'll be updating more frequently soon...! i will i will !! of course the OS is Japanese!!

Yay! Now I will have something new to read every lunchtime! I've turned my office on to your blog too. Yes, we are all a bunch of geeks!

Yeah! Computers are cool! Would it be a Japanese language OS?

Yea!! Endless pointless entries like me!!!

Monday, May 17, 2004

existing in the city as a neon sign

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

and other random rants for a blog

...being a minority in a big city gives a person a lot of reasons to rant and complain, but before I start let me explain that this has nothing to do with Tokyo being in Japan, this is simply a rant about being a "neon sign" (that shouts: not japanese!) and what it feels like sometimes, it has nothing to do with my current place really, instead it has to do with being a foreign minority... a situation others deal with almost anywhere you go, so here is my perspectives of being a neon sign, followed by an after thought.

I was walking back to the train station, from work, the night had already draped over the day, and I was a bit tired. As I walked past a drunk man, he said (In drunken Japanese of course) "So whhhere areee YO-uu comin' from?" I just laughed and said "Your drunk." and kept going. Near the station, a woman working for a host club said (with a accent that was clearly foreign herself, maybe filipino, but it wasnt a chinese accent [the biggest minority in Japan i belive, does anyone know?] because I can hear that clearly now because of all the chinese people I have met that are learning japanese...) "Goodevening, please take this." I looked up and she let out a shocked gasp, backed away, and said to her pimp (who was watching the three women pass out flyers) "He's not Japanese." It was one of those neon-sign moments. Yes, I know I am not Japanese. And now my after thought, before it even seems like an afterthought... both of these experiences are explainable, the drunk... well, he was drunk and curious, no hard feelings. The hostess was maybe told by her pimp (do you call the boss of a hostess a pimp? or a trainer? or boss? whats the right word?) to only give the flyers to japanese businessmen, so no hard feelings there either... I just think life as a neon sign is interesting.

Another rant before I disapear. A few days ago, on a whim, I decided to go to Nagoya today, to have lunch with Yamamoto. On the way there I forgot the name of the shinkansen station that was closest to Nagoya, so I went to the closest ticket window and asked. He said he wasnt JapanRail, which was true, so he couldnt tell me. I asked him if he could just tell me his personal opinion, and he said his opinion was I should ask JR... I asked again and he said he didnt know, I asked if anyone there knew because I am stubborn and didnt know why someone couldnt just tell me... his boss came over and said that even if they did know they wouldnt tell me because they werent JR, which I thought was silly, a perfect example of big city politics... anyway, I went over to the JR booth but no one was there, and so I waited... a JR guy came out of the backroom, I stopped him, asked my simple question, and then he continued to exit the JR booth... as I watched he went over and entered the booth I went to first, and he either took a turn at the ticket desk or atleast was hanging out with those not-JR people... if they can hang out together why cant they answer questions about each others train lines? It was strange... but yeah, thats life in a big city, what do you expect?

Oh, and that was funny, going all the way to Nagoya for lunch (an hour and a half on superfast shinkansen train). Yes, I know I am crazy, but sometimes you have to do crazy things to keep balanced, or anyway, thats what I think.


22:17:00 | permalink | comments (13)

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Dansen - I have an idea of how you feel physically standing out. I have often felt the same way here in New Mexico... people keep asking me if I'm Irish and saying how pail I am :p It's weird for me.

Thank you for the postcard Dansen, I love you

I guess what I meant is how do you feel, I know you went into it a little, mainly through your description of the events...does it effect you every day? Do you feel like people treat you much differently all the time or just on these particular occasions? You see I will be a neon sign with out much Japanese at my disposal, I will learn and I will love to do so but just bracing for impact so to speak. I have tried like hell to start a few convesations up out of the blue with some Japanese students out here but my Japanese isn't good enough and they stare at my like I am attempting to murder them. Makes me feel like an arse and quite stupid as well. If I must feel like that everyday in Japan I want to be fore warned. I am going to Japan regaurdless, it is an adventure I would not soon pass up and I want to experience the neon sign phenomanon, I guess I am just mining you for information. So on that note and with out any real clarity of what I was trying to say, I better get back to work.

I've had some experience in being a minority, and still am. I think that in Japan, the discrimination is out in the open, very direct and obvious, sometimes not even bothering to hide it. In American, it's very subtle, under the radar, and hidden. Sometimes I don't know which is better.

Difficult to put into words what I mean. I can't get onto JAN JAN anymore, I keep recieving an "Internal Server Error". Any way. Hope to see you soon. July. I will be in Montana after June 14th so my internet access will be limited.

trench... experiences? did you miss my second paragraph?? :p its all about two experiences I had!! and Tanya (one of my ex-coworkers) gives a great experience of being gaijin in tokyo (in these comments, scroll down) if you want further, you'll have to wait for another post in the future! woo! :) ^.^;

I guess am an fishing for information, experience and anecdote. I too will soon be a neon sign so I am a bit rabid over information or your take on it.

First off, Aaron... Korean-Japanese arent what I meant, they are an important part of Japanese society, and could be considered a minority, but I ment Foreign Born nationals, being born in Japan qualifies you as Japanese in my book... and of us foreign borners, I think Chinese are the most? I'm not sure. Tanya, I have also had situations of being with Asian-American friends and (i speak enough japanese) have met the situation you explained, its one of those things, no hard feelings for anyone, I guess its just the way things are sometimes... Trench.. what didnt I relate? You expand and I expand... and Ted, what are you talking about? Oh, the train thing? Yeah, I understand that, it just seemed like he could help me... but i guess I was annoying. Aaron, you have brown eyes? I thought hazel.. no? anywaysers, yeah, i had a little student telling all about "foreigners" and what they expect which isnt really fair... because thats why I like to point out there is a wild rainbow of cool foreigners here! woo! anyway, peace, thanks for all the beautiful comments, any more are welcome too.. peace! ^-^

I had some kids the other day telling the teacher about how I have blue eyes because I'm a foreigner, and the teacher was like, "What? He doesn't have blue eyes!" and just kept talking about my blue eyes, so the teacher said, "look at his eyes, they're brown, just like yours!". It was interesting.

But usually, I don't feel any more like a neon sign here than anywhere else. I think that it's actually more quite and peaceful. I can't understand most of what people are saying unless they are talking directly to me, and I can't read most of the advertisements, so the people talking just turns into white noise, and the advertisements, even though the are so much more prevalent than in America, turn into a mass of colors. I had a hard time dealing with all the noise and everything the first time I returned to the states after a year in Japan.

I have been a minority MANY times in my life. I just seem to fit into waht ever situation I am in though. I understand about the guy not wanting to answer your question. They prob get upset about all teh people who come up and ask them about stuff that they are not reesponsible for. It seems like a simple thing that they could just give you the answer and it really is no big deal to others, but if you work at the place and constantly get asked a question about somewhere else it would prob begin to gratee on you

Elaborate. How do you feel being neon? You related your expereinces but not fully what it made you feel. I am curious.

Well, Dansen I had the opposite problem. I felt like a fake, a phoney, a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. When I wen out with foreigners that know more Japanese than me and said "Nihongo wa amari hanase masen" they completely ignored the foreigner next to me and kept talking to me in Japanese. I don't mind so much but usually the person next to me gets really pissed off.

Then in voice they used say stuff like, "We are glad to have you we feel more comfortable because you are like us". Then I used to question why and they would say stuff like the first time they meet foreigners they're really nervous and are surprised and shocked by their blue eyes and blond hair and they can't believe that there's an actual foreigner in the room like they see in movies. Then it's strange for me because I used to have to try and tell them they should really look beyond that yet I could sort of understand that it is a strange thing for them.

The biggest minority in Japan is Korean.
He's a pimp.
You're crazy.
It not really hot today, but it was soooooooo humid.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

doing nothing is something

Originally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

summer is coming this way

It was (and will be when he stops by again) fun to see Seth, but after a week of being a host again, I found myself needing some alone time. I didnt make any plans, and just woke up early. The warm pre-summer sun was shinning outside the window, life was alive; kids making noise, cars passing, neighbor's music. I laid there for awhile thinking about nothing important. My new hobby is playing around (I cant play it) on a slick black guitar... so I woke up and played a little noise, stopped and opened my window and listened to life somemore. I finished most of the book (in English, Seth gave it to me) "Lost Japan" if you didnt read that book, you should check it out, a lot of deep thoughts about old japan stuff.... recently, my opinions of being here have evolved a little. I used to never really feel like I was in a "foreign" country, and no matter how weird this sounds, I still dont really feel like that... but recently, I have been feeling a little bit more awe for old stuff. I'm not really someone interested in samurai or geisha or anything, but I am slowly thinking about history and is implications on now. history makes the us that is the now that is the us that we will become. or something like that, more on that when I cook my thoughts further.

today while i was walking around doing nothing i took two pictures and captured them in the little box known as my falling apart digicam (I dropped it several times while in New Zealand, and now only tape holds it together). I shared these captured moments here:

[[missing files]]

teman saya.... DAAG!

01:35:00 | permalink | comments (8)

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aaron dont be getting jelous and bombing me or something... ^.^;; anyway, anyone who comes here looking for you will find me and then you so its all cools.


Someone did a search for "getoutfast" on msn, and your site comes up first, and mine is fourth!

tanya, here mentions that topic at the end of his last book, I am going to try to have to read... i do disagree with a lot of what he says though, but he is interesting! Aaron re: its kind of weird that the images go to a site with no control, what if you want to delete them or something? and that wouldnt work for keitai (i solved my keitai problem for the moment) .. why should i get trackback? and diego, your " i like to hear children playing thing" was cool, made me think "wow, he is a daddy now" and then the next kinkywinky remark made me think you still arent THAT matute (phew! i was worried!) regards to all

The second Alex Kerr book "Dogs and Demons - the rise and fall of Modern Japan" is quite good too. It kind of goes behind the politics of how Japan ruined a lot of it's beautiful nature due to politics and the government. It is kind of strange how you can get mobile phone reception almost anywhere in this country except for an izakaya located in a basement, but you can be in the middle of a forest and still used your phone.

Take a gander at

You should get trackback from

Don't drop the digicam, man! I love the sound of children playing. So carefree and wonderful. Brings me back to childhood when I used to hear children play in the distance.

Alone time, eh? Use lotion.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

seth is here and cellphones

Orginally from an old server that is now gone. Reposted in September 2006.

time is buzzing past me

Well, Seth got here! He has been sleeping on one of my thin futons for about a week now. (I feel sorry for him! I like thin futons, but most people think thats uncomfortable I guess.... I hope he survives!) On my off days, I have been taking him around Tokyo area, and introducing him to some of my friends... its been good for me to get out and see parts of Tokyo I dont get to that often! (and we saw an awesome sunset near the Rainbow Bridge, see a low quality picture of that in my "japan" album!) The sun was so perfect, the light golden and crispy, and the air was lush and soft....Seth will finish visiting me someday soon, and continue on his journey.... (for a day, Aaron was here too, that was three people in my one room appartment, it reminded me of when Evan and Nick visited my "youth hostel" !!)

The other day I was walking home from my train station, with Seth, and we walked past this car that had a ringing cellphone under it. There was a man slouched down inside, and the phone just kept ringing. I couldnt help my imagination... I thought it would have been funny to pick up the phone and answer it (in Japanese of course):
Me: Hello?
Caller: Hello?? Satoshi??

Me: Oh no. He threw his phone under his car, you must have pissed him off... do you wanna talk to him?
Caller: [crying] give me satoshi! satoshi!
Me: [nocking on the window of the car] hey, someone wants to say hello...

OK. That was stupid, but something like that really did come into my head. Anyway, in the morning when I was walking to work I saw the cellphone and it was smashed to peices in the same place... he must have got tired of hearing the phone ring or decided never to talk to the caller. Awww.. such is life.

Anyway, thats about all I have to say for now. Belive in peace. DAAG!

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Running into situations like that are for lack of a better description, the spice of life. You catch a fragment of someone elses life and you build a story around it...I am going to put your experience in a short film, it would be a cool series of shots....

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