Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yesterday I went to Nippori with Delphine and her visiting friend, Dave. It was a special public holiday where people visit the graves of there ancestors and clean them. It was so peaceful. Incense was burning everywhere so the smell was delicious and intoxicating. This picture was taken afterwards as we explored the little side streets. It was a beautiful day to get away from the rat race, really special.
 Posted by Picasa

Ready for another day of learning Japan? Posted by Picasa

Can't remember who this guy was. The man behind looks very scared though. Can't think why. Posted by Picasa

This is Jeff, Adams step brother. Posted by Picasa

My room mates parents visited last week. They were very generous. Adams dad treated us all to 3 hours of 'all you can drink' karaoke. This caused some very strange effects as you can see. Posted by Picasa

I took this while riding along on my bike. Note the creasing in ones forehead caused by 4 hours on a bike seat.  Posted by Picasa

This is a huge pile of gravestones. It is also the entrance to the main graveyard. Different isn't it. Posted by Picasa

Here is the shrine entrance. All the hanging lamp thingys click and clacker in the wind. Its very peaceful. Posted by Picasa

Last week it was so warm I went on a 4 hour bike ride. Here's a pic taken in the local shrine in Ageo.  Posted by Picasa

This was a top night. Lots of singing!  Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 13, 2006

My probation will officially end at the start of April. I'm pleased. Feedback from my superiors remains positive. It's starting to warm up here. Spring and cherry blossom are only a week or two away. I can't wait. Sometimes these Buddhists make perfect sense. They celebrate good things like blossom, the summer and winter. Rather than highlighting death or a time to chastise oneself.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

For all your Gin N Tonic needs! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I saw this japanese man today and the back of his anorak was leaping up and down, and people were chucking money to him.
I said "Do you earn a living doing that?"
He said "Yes, this is my livelihood."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Today I had my final observation. This determines whether or not I come off probation and start earning the decent money. I think it went ok. If it didn't it's not the end of the world. I've hardly been here that long. It's so strange when I think back a few months. I'd be sat at the window with my mate Neil watching the world go by. We'd usually be drunk and I'd say...'In a month i'll be on the other side of the planet..hiccup.' It was so unbelievable then. Unfathomable.

I almost didn't make it. I remember thinking...'matty what are you doing going all the way to Japan.' I considered staying in the rut I'd happily dug. Now I am here I know I did the right thing.

After work today I met Adam and we went to the local Yaki Tori restaurant. It's a small pokey quaint place but it is ace. The guy who owns it is an old man known only as 'Master'. Adam speaks to him with his fluent Japanese while I sit, smile and order a 'nama biru'. Master never charges me for the beer i drink, just the food. Which at 600 yen for a full meal is very good value. (bout 3 quid) Master knows we are a long way from home so he looks after us. In return we dont shop around for any other Yaki Tori.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Here's Adam. taken on a train inbetween boozers. Posted by Picasa

Monday night I went to club in Roppongi called Lexington Queen. Sounds really gay but its not. For gentlemen its 20 quid to get in and you can drink for free until 5am. For the ladies its one pound fifty, I repeat one pound fifty for their entry. Did I mention that they can drink for free as well until 5am?
I was joined by Delphine, Adam, Josh and Darren who are all fellow teachers. As you can imagine the gin flowed like water. :oP yum. We all had requested songs which were eventually played. So, surrounded by Russian models, we danced the night away!
At 5am the boys went in search of kebab. One doesn't care for kebab so Delphine and I sought more refined nourishment. A large bowl of udon and some tempura later we were on our way back to Saitama.
I'm kicking myself because it was such a good night but I didn't take any pictures. Fool.

I currently live in a 3 bedroom apartment with a chap called Adam. He is from Atlanta which is in the youuuu essss of ay. He's a good lad. Likes his movies, music. Rates my guitar playing so he's safe! We are planning to move to cheaper accomodation soon because its more economical to go private. He has excellent Japanese skills which is very handy when talking in rental shops. My Japanese is still limited unless you want a beer, a gin or want to know where the toilet is.

This is Darren. He was also on the flight from Heathrow. He is from London. Again we all try and meet up at least once a month.
Special move: One Inch Punch Posted by Picasa

This is Sam. She was also on the flight over from England. We may live miles from each other but the three of us always try and go out at least once a month. Posted by Picasa

This is Rob. He is from Barry island in South Wales. He was on the same flight over to Japan and shares the same interest in beer as me. On this particular night out we met the Keiser Chiefs drinking in an Irish bar. Nights out usually end with kareoke. Entertainers till the end!  Posted by Picasa

This is me and my friend Posted by Picasa

So here I am
Saitama, Japan
Coffee in a can
4 ft 2 barman

No more cheese
Kit kats taste of trees
All kinds of green teas
At kareoke, free peas (they may be beans, I dunno)