Friday, April 28, 2006

Japan has a hum about it tonight. Its Friday night, It's been a scorching day...25 C - 27 C. The night is slightly balmy in an English summer kind of way. People are milling around the station, cabs honk at each other in the neon glow. Business men stand in the road swaying from quantities of sake unknown. Karaoke noises wail from small dingy bars gaijin are not welcome at. It's all quite intoxicating. Last week Delphine and I finally found the 'all you can eat' Indian buffet we had heard so much about. It was delicious. Large hearty bowls of curry were set beside huge bowls of rice. Naan and poppadoms were constantly topped up so no one went short. It was so comforting to eat some Indian food. Englands national dish. After the feed we both drank a few strong drinks in a saloon style jazz bar. The night was completed with an overnight stay in a 'love hotel'. Whilst perusing the many different types of room available I saw this graffitti. (see pic) Don? You've been to Japan then mate? Summat your not telling us?  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Today I taught a lesson about awkward situations. For example: food stuck to teeth, flys undone, food on face and that really annoying thing that happens when your skirt gets stuck in your knickers. I told my students that when I was small and my fly's were undone, my mum would say 'You're flying low'. In Japan they say....'You're social window is open'. Social window. :O)

I took my guitar to work today. I was obligated to perform in a voice lesson (free ungraded chat room). I chose to teach a few chords and then got the students to sing 'Hey Jude'. It went well...applause! I applauded them, they did me proud.

Missing a decent thrash of an electric guitar though. Fingers itch.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Word of the week: 'Basashi'
Basashi sashimi is delicious. It's raw horse meat. It tastes like its been hung for a short while. All the blood is gone and tender red meat remains. It's a personal favourite.

So we sat under a tree, ate some noodles and drank a beer or two. We laughed at the business men playing with there torso. I played pink floyd on guitar but it was too cold. My hand cramped into a C chord shape. No good for floyd. On a brighter note I won a 'horny little devil' Zippo lighter at the rifle range....KAPOW!  Posted by Picasa

Like snow. Posted by Picasa

Here's the blue tarps that people sit on and party. Delphine and I saw a group of 20 business men (very drunk) messing about with some manaquin legs. The body above the waist was missing. The legs also sported rather fetching red high heels. Posted by Picasa

I really like the shadows created by the setting sun. Not bad for a camera phone! Posted by Picasa

This is Omiya park. Beautiful isn't it. Posted by Picasa

Hanami is one of the most popular events of Spring. Crowds of people - families, groups of friends, and groups from companies sit under the fully open cherry blossoms, usually on plastic tarps, and have a picnic celebration. The picnic fare consists of a wide variety of foods, snack foods, and sake (rice wine) or other drinks. The activities often include dancing and karaoke in addition to the cherry blossom viewing. In very popular places such as Ueno park and Aoyama Cemetary in Tokyo the competition for prime picnic spots is intense. Company groups and family members claim spots by arriving very early in the morning and sitting all day long until the real celebrations begin in the evening. It is not unusual to see a young man in a business suit sitting under a cherry tree early in the morning reserving a space for his company. The new employees are traditionally given this job of sitting all day long to reserve space for the company celebration.
In Japan, April is the beginning of the school year as well as the business financial year. Since the Heian Period (794-1185) flower-viewing parties were popular among the aristocracy. In the Azuchi Momoyama Period (1568-1600) the cherry blossom viewing spread out to the rest of the population.
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