Osaka and back in 2 nights – Semi Epic Post

7 05 2008

Well I’ll start this with a one paragraph synopsis. Upon arriving in Osaka at 6:30 am after taking an 8 hour bus ride that I probably got at most 2 hours of sleep, this just seemed a little different. I didn’t feel the open arms of a city taking me in. Things were a little dirtier, gritterer(<–word?), and different than anywhere else I’ve been in Japan. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy(some of my students said that Osaka isn’t as nice a place as where I’m from) but I managed to have a GREAT TIME, but I wouldn’t want to live in the city. Maybe the lack of sleep contributed to these feelings as well.So bottom line. Great Time. Seems almost American. So of the top 10 biggest cities in Japan, I now have 3 down, 7 to go.

I met up with one of the people I trained to come to Japan with. It was really great to talk with a really person that has been through everything I have, from training to come to Japan, getting adjusted to a new country, working for a new company, and all the other stuff that goes into transplanting your life to a new city for the exact same amount of time as you have. We really had fun together experiencing Japan, even though I doubt either of us had enough fun to go back. But I know we are both glad we went.

EPIC PHOTO GALLERY

First up was Osaka Castle! Visually impressive, but the inside was sort of… blah.

Then since we were so tired we followed my advice and got a karaoke room for 3 hours for a nap. Upon entering and promising to sing ONE song, we ending up drinking 2 pitchers of beer and not sleeping a wink.

So we treaded on with still almost no sleep. We next went out to eat and shop before getting ready to party it up that night. To make a long story short, we ended up walking around Osaka, hoteless, burnt out and tired untill eventually crashing at another karaoke place untill 4 am. Upon waking up, the city was still alive! After some more chilling and walking around, we crashed again and an internet cafe for the night.

The next day was more shopping and exploring and checking out a zoo. So while it seems we didn’t do much, we had a great time and got to experience a lot of the true feeling of the city. It would of been nice to have more sleep, but hey you can’t have it all.

After my first ride on the plane of the earth, the shinkansen I was halfway across the country in less than 3 hours.

2 days later I was back at work.

Yeah this recap REALLY lost steam. But I’m sleepy. Sorry.

That was officailly the worst wrap up ever.

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Music of the Day..Bruce Dickinson – “Tears of the Dragon”  a song I clearly remember listening to on the way home, contemplating life. This song is about overcoming fears. What are you afraid of?


 





China Students

18 04 2008

Well today for the first time I went to a Japanese cram school to teach a lesson. But, the catch is it was for Chinese students. At first I wasn’t sure how that would be different and in the end, there wasn’t any difference. They all have been in Japan for around 2 years so their Japanese is really good and it seems they think speaking in Japanese is allowed while speaking in Chinese is not. The tough part was.. for some people this was their VERY first English lesson. I’m talking no ABC’s, no pronunciation, nothing. So needless to say that even the simple lesson of “My name is ____” was very taxing and took up the full hour and a half lesson. Plus really no cuties in the group. Bummer. Next week will be easier.

Yesterday one of my students went to the grocery store after class, and after I was finished I went there too. Earilier today we were talking about going ice skating so she spotted me and came over and pointed to her phone. So I just said whats your email? with no other dialogue. As I was doing this unbeknownst to me another foreigner dude was in the grocery store and was watching and said.. ” Are you serious?” and in true 40 Year old virgin fashion…. he said, ” teach me!” haha good timing can make anyone look good.

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Japanese of the Day… Using a picture of Ai Otsuka.. some kanji study 

The Kanji says… Daisuki(大好き) da yo! 大塚愛 (Otsuka Ai).  meaning… I Love! ***Ai Otsuka!***

***********************thanks for the correction from loyal reader Daniel****************

Music and Japanese of the Day… the band Deen with  – ” hitori ja nai” – literally not(ja nai) one person(hitori) – but translated means not alone! Got to love the guitar player that is WAAAY to into it. Rock out.. in a sort of churchy sounding rock way. But it’s uplifting at least.

 





Karaoke is Fun!

28 03 2008

You know when you that last hour of work comes and all you can think about it getting home and relazing? Well that happened to me, and THEN I got asked to go to karaoke with the kids teacher in my school. I was SOOOO against it in my head, but it seems she really wanted to go so I went. It turned out to be really fun. My song list…..I’m quickly learning the best songs for my voice in karaoke, but it just takes time haha… Ok

“More than a Feeling” – Boston

“I Would Do Anything for Love” – Meatloaf

“American Idiot” – Greenday

“Under the Sea” – Ummm the Little Mermaid

“Beauty and the Beast” – Ummm yeah the movie

“The Origin of Love” -= Hedwig and the Angry Itch <—my go-to song by far

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Japanese of the Day..My teacher just gave me the unofficial Level 4 the (lowest of 4) Japanese test. Not sure if I passed, but I asked for a copy after so I could study it… So here is a couple of questions- Maybe just one if it takes too long….

さかな たくさん _____ います。

A. およぎて B. およぐて C. およいで D. およんで

さかな=fish  たくさん=lots います=-ing

Ok so this question is trying to get the correct verb form of Oyogu(泳ぐ) which means swim.

So the correct answer is……. C. -te form of oyogu is… およいで

The fish are swimming a lot.

Next one…

その カメラ ____ きのう かいました。
A. が B. は C. の D. で

その カメラ=that camera きのう=yesterday かいました=bought

Ok so particle question….

This one is difficult for me..so I might be incorrect, because A and B can be used so interchangeably.

But the sentence is  saying..

 I bought this camera yesterday.

My guess is C, but that’s an educated scribble on the scantron sheet.

Scantrons = only multiple choice tests… yesssssssss

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Music of the Day… I guess a song from karaoke… Meatloaf – “I would do anything for love” What is this song about? Does anyone actually know?

 





The Final Chapter in the tale of the Eastern Capital

6 01 2008

Yeah I thought there would be more chapters too. But It’s hard to remember all the events a week later. But this one night was epic. EDITORS NOTE: More Pictures will be added to these posts, once the others involved post the pictures they took.

On our last day with all the teachers together, in the morning we went to the Emperor’s palace which as already been recapped. After coming home and napping till about six, it was time to rock out again.

We started in Shibuya again, of course with a stop to check out my main man Hachiko first. Then we met some other teachers for our last karaoke adventure. This place was the cheapest yet and instead of bringing individual glasses of beer, they just brought on the pitchers so everyone was feeling especially nice. After a few hours of karaoke madness, we head out. In the hallway on of the other teachers saw this particularly attractive lady, and he was drunk enough to let her know about it. I kept saying sorry sorry but apparently she didn’t mind becuase her and her friend invitied our whole group into their karaoke room!

After some small talk in both Japanese and their half english everyone was feeling good. I sort of served as the translator for the whole group.  I explained how we were all teachers, and for some reason they assumed I was the boss. So for the rest of the night whenever I sang a song, at the end they would yell YEAAAA BOSSSS!!! It was pretty funny. I kept saying now I am not the boss but they didn’t want to hear it. One guy was sort of talking to one of the girls in our group, and he asked permission to talk to her since I was the boss. I was like dude its ok! I’m not the boss. It was just funny.

karaokecrowd

After more drinks, I was feeling really good and lively so I choose a Japanese song I sort of knew. I didn’t realize how big a hit this would be with the group. I sang it with the cutest girl in the room, which was another perk. The best way I can describe it is it was as if I was personally complimenting their country and giving them this gift of learning to read Japanese. It was really cool how excited they were. I wasn’t perfect to be sure with my reading, but no one cared. Random excited hugs commenced with the whole group. The Boss was feeling good.

karaokegirl

THEN we were talking about music everyone likes, and I said I love the movie Nana. Quick Point: If you like ANYTHING Japanese, the people will be surprised and excited. Expect to hear Sugui!(wow) a lot. So the girl(forgot name Me=drunk) I had now been talking to for a while, surprised me by picking my FAVORITE Japanese song and wanting to sing it with me. I was so floored when it came on. It was again written in only Japanese so my reading was again tested, but it didn’t matter. It was so awesome. The whole room was singing it with us, and if I would ever catch eyes with one of the people in the room they would just give me the thumbs up or say The boss rules! About halfway through the song, the moment had all hit me at once. This is a moment I had came here for. My crappy ass writing can’t write good enough to explain what I’m saying. The song itself is about missing people, so my mind traveled to all my friends that wont get to experience this and how lucky I was to get the chance. I was definitly fighting the emotions from coming on to strong. Near the end when everyone was screaming yeah boss! I just hugged everyone, and told the girl I sang with she helped my dream came true and kissed her on the cheek. I don’t think she got it, but it didn’t matter. I will never forget it. What a moment.

karaokecrowd2

After about another 45 min or so the rest of the teachers weren’t having as much fun as me and I sensed it, so it was time to go. I told everyone I’m so happy we met and we left. It didn’t matter what happened after that but the fun times weren’t over. We found this small ass bar and head on in at about 4-5 am. The whole place was dancing and we jumped right in. I pushed me and another teacher right into the heart of the dance floor. I’ve learned now that is the way to meet the most people at one of these establishments, even though I would be petrified in US doing that since I’m stupid.

I met this one dude who was about 20. I told him that I thought this one lady was especially sekushii(say it outloud). He said ooo that is my favorite girl in this place. So i said fuck it let’s go! He was nervous but I took his ass over there and let him dance with her. He thanked me soo much it was a really cool moment. When leaving he said I thank you sooo much! It made me feel good.

 That was basically it. Reading back, I don’t think I conveyed how awesome this night was well enough. My writing sucks. But it really really was. Beleive it! Met a TON of cool japanese, cute girls, a ton of cool conversations, sooo much fun.

My music of the day will be from the most popular billboard around Tokyo these days. ayumi

Ayumi Hamasaki – ” talking 2 myself”
Rock Out. EDIT: Real Video Got taken down….but you can still enjoy the music!





Tadaima!

4 01 2008

Well I’m home. What a week. Saw the Emperor, had New Years in Shibuya, Karaoke in random places with various japanese, Random Clubs with random japanese, awesome food, some time in a Japanese Hospital(for a friend), and sooo much more. I know this is the longest I have gone without a post, but I will update a few times today with random episodes of the trip. It’s good to be back so I can relax, but that was one of the best vacation I have ever been on. Here’s a pic to wet your appetite <–that sounds dirty.

Emperor is Coming

The Emperor was coming….

This highlight for me was singing my favorite Japanese song, in Japanese, while reading the lyrics that were in Japanese, with a group of Japanese we met just 30 minutes before. It was magical stuff.

I’ve posted it before, but heres the song of note. More stuff coming later. Yuna Ito – ” Endless Story”





Resting. Recovering.

3 12 2007

I always feel most like I’m actually IN Japan on the train. The different style houses, different foliage, and strange advertisements just gets the mind thinking. I like to put on emotional songs on my ipod to put the mind into emotion overload. It’s a very zen like experience. At least for me.

Sweet party. After surprising myself by finding the restaurant pretty easily, the party was underway. It was all different people from the company in the area so probably about 40 or so people. Met some cool people, so at least I will know them a little before the next party. My coworker from my school was there so we stayed around eachother most of the night since we both are new and didn’t know anyone. The deal was 30$ all you can eat all you can drink for like 3 hours. Food was alright, I didn’t eat that much since I was focused on getting hammered. Best part = Auto Beer Pourer (not my video)

Surprising to me was that most of the English teachers are from Europe or Canada. Out of the probably 30 native english teachers, only like 3-4 were from America. But it’s cool meeting people from all over. Conversations came pretty easily, especially with most people enjoy the all you can drink benefit. Somehow we got to talking about new years. Some of the Japanese there were amazed at the kiss at midnight new years tradition. It was cool.

My coworker though doesnt drink which was sort of a let down. I was hoping to see what she was like drunk since she’s sort of a reserved person, but she has that mostly asian condition where your skin turns beat red when drinking alcohol. But we had a lot of fun talking, learning about eachother. I’m not like into her persay, but she is really cool. I did fell strangely possesive when other guys were talking to her. I guess it felt like me and her were a team from our school and other guys trying to be all cool(while I was doing the same thing of course) pissed me off.

After the restaurant most of the crew moved over to a small bar which was cool. 3$ drinks. Sweet. Danced a little with random people. After that bar the plan was to go to karaoke. Once arrived some people didnt want to go so they left. I had to wait till the first train at 5:15 so of course I was going. My coworker finds me and tells me shes not going shes going for coffee and going home. Sucks but it was ok. What I didn’t see was that as she started walking away, one dude turned and walked with her. Argh.

Being drunk didn’t help lol. But karaoke was pretty cool. I drank more as people started to slowly pass out till it was me and like three others left awake. I knew no one would like the song I chose but I didn’t care. Painkiller by Judas Priest was the best metal song I could find. I totally nailed my Rob Halford Impression.

After karaoke we mostly went our seperate ways. Me and one of the guys from training walked the streets of Fukuoka untill the first train. On that train I managed to fall asleep and go two stops past mine. After waking up and realizing my mistake and finally making it home, my head didn’t hit the pillow until 6:15 am. It was a fun night.

Drink of the day #5 Bingo Bongo!

                                       bingo

Looks like a grape drink from the outside with the disturbing grape man, but its actually like a fruit punch. Pretty good drink. Wouldn’t buy it again though. Final Assessment 5/10 -The excitement given off by the can does not translate into the actual drink.