Thursday, November 29, 2007

old numetal & walking around

I wasn't really thinking I would be going to a Nu metal concert, but thats what I found myself doing last week. My friend Kayo had an extra ticket to a Linkin Park concert and I went along. I was most interested to see the opening band Dir En Grey (a Japanese odd rock act) but bad timing led to getting to the stadium right before Linkin Park was set to go on. It was a large full stadium of anticipating fans. We pushed forward towards the front and as the music washed out onto us the fans writhed and pulsed and smashed us like waves. It was a thick chaotic moshpit. The music was high tempo, and the bass resonated into the bones. It was a good musical escape.

My American friend Evan came to Tokyo (from the countryside of Japan) to visit me for a week before he heads home to America. We've been walking around and seeing many random things. (A video of this is online for you to check out.) Yesterday, Evan's friend invited us to a bar he works at. I refused because I don't have enough money right now, but his friend insisted saying he would pay for everything. I decided I should go along and hang out. His friend sat us in the VIP section and provided endless free drinks. The bar was what you would think of when you would think of a stereotypical Tokyo bar. Big orange chandeliers, a lit up floor and an occasional burlesque show (picture of that above). There was a mix of foreign and Japanese stylish people with artsy jobs and a slightly demure lighting. It was a fun night out about town.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Adventures in Joblessness

I'm not sure if I made it clear before, but I can make it clear now. My company apparently just evaporated. I worked for two months, waiting for them to finally pay me, but instead they disappeared in a cloud of collapsed effort. 4000 teachers with out a job. I was talking to my landlady (I would like to invent a new word such as "landperson" if I could) about whether I would have enough money to pay rent next month (who is, by the way, a super super nice person) because being unemployed suddenly from a job that wasn't paying usually leads one into a situation where it is difficult to pay rent. She suggested I go with her on her trip to the government office. I know that my scrawny wrongcountry-frame wouldn't do me much good begging for government help, so I gladly took her up on her offer. So we head on over, and we go up to the third floor, and fill out the forms requesting unemployment money handouts. In all my adult life (which isn't that long I suppose) I haven't had to ask a government to help me because I didn't have a job, but I don't really see it as a bad thing and they seemed helpful enough. I filled out the forms, and they said they would process them and we would get details of the success or failure of the application later. There was a little more to be done, so they suggested I go down to the 2nd floor which was the job-listings database floor and look for a job. They told us they would be done tinkering with their tools in about an hour, which left plenty of time to go down and get on the job searching computers. We go down to the counter to get a card for me to use the computer.... and the man behind the counter nervously avoids me and says to my landlady (landperson) that they basically "can't help his kind" I look at him and ask, "Why not? I just want to look for a job." and I kid you not, he continues to avoid me and looks at her and says "Because they don't understand our language. Go to Shinjuku or something, they can help his kind." And I was kind of annoyed, to say the least. I was wanting to lay into him, but luckly my landperson is my civil. She points out that the 3rd floor told us to come down here. He says how odd that is, because they can't help me. That there must be a mistake. Instead of dealing with him anymore, we go back up to the 3rd floor (we had eaten lunch between going to the 2nd floor, so it was about time to go up there anyway) and get the final paperwork setup. My landperson with her cultivated words asks why they wouldn't let me use the computers down stairs. The lady and man behind the counter seem confused. I poke my cheeks and say maybe its a skin thing. They assure me it isn't that at all and send us down to the 3rd floor again. This time we skip the guy at the counter, and she sent me directly to the counseling counter while she went off to do her chores. At first it was a bit hard for the lady to understand my slightly coagulated accent, but she warmed up enough and I was given my card to search for jobs on the computer. Found three possible ideas and turned them over to another counselor. He looked like a mouse, almost literally, and he set about getting me the contact information for the jobs and giving a little advice. His Japanese reminded me of a mouse too, I'm not sure why he seemed so mousy to me. In between tasks he couldn't help but talk about this Australian he had met once and other random things that didn't really seem connected. He told me to come back next week because they would have new listings. I thanked him and left. None of the jobs wanted me.
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