Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Wow, looking at my last post I just realized how shitty I am at English now. Ahh well. Wara wara nihonjin dakara ne?
Wow, looking at my last post I just realized how shitty I am at English now. Ahh well. �¡ƒ�ƒ‰ƒ�ƒ‰“ú–{�l‚¾‚©‚ç‚Ë�H
Well I figure I couldnt keep you kids out of the loop for too long so here I am, returnded after a long hiatus. I`ve been settled in Japan for such along time that nothing really suprises me anymore. I`ve become almost totally Japanese which is pretty crazy. I didnt have a computer for the longest time, and I still dont, which makes it difficult to update my blog but I recently found a really good internet cafe so I can post from here. SPOON! So whats up, you ask? Im still going to highschool so I guess Ill start with that.

Crazy shit in Japanese Highschools that differs from Canadian Highschools:
All students are required to piss in a cup and bring it back to school with them the next day (except me)
Classroom heaters (if your class has them) are run by pure gold ole fashioned gas. So everymorning the kid who has `gas duty` lugs a huge fuckin tank of gas to the classroom and carelessly dumps it into the heater.
There are no lockerrooms. Boys and girls change together in their classroom.
If youre late for school, you have to take a wet cloth, and push it down the entire hallway while running. (picture `crab` exercises in football with a much slippery surface)

Yeah, i`m pretty much sick of Highschool in Japan since the schedule they gave me puts me in the library almost all day, with the occasional art or computer class.

But the good side of Japan now is Ive met alot of Japanese University students and we hang out alot and party. I also met three DJ`s and we always get together and play records (I brought mine with me). We`re gonna do a festival on a mountain sometime in June which should be wicked.

Gotta go for now, but lets hope I can update this regularly. Peace

Friday, September 27, 2002

The Weekend
Another week of school has passed by with alarming speed. Weekends are always a very welcome breather for me, especially when theres a cool damp air to accompany it. Summer for the most part has all but dissappeared here, and the signs are everywhere; no more sounds of the road sizzling, no more sunburned face, no more sweat safaris, wonderful. Instead I am now treated to the beginning of Japans drizzly season, fall. Apparently it will be very damp and cool before drying up abit just before the snow comes. I love winter in all its frozen glory.

Im thinking about what I am going to do today. I feel I have conquered the local area by biking around it so much. I know every route to every place and even shortcuts. Hell, if I wanted coffee and was hungry I could organize a route that would enable me to stop by a wicked curry hut and then swoop by a wicked german coffee shop called OB. I dont think theres any other local tiers to reach, as I believe I am at the aphex. Naturally the time has come for me to set my sights on the big T, Tokyo (Which is pronounced toke-yo NOT toke-eeee-ohhh). Tokyo is a country, the next level, the big lobowski for me to conquer. Of course, conquering Tokyo is impossible, since residents dont even figure out their own district in their whole lifetime, let alone the entire city. Ive prepared myself well; three books on tokyo, an english jr rail-line voucher, and a subway guide. Its not the city of Tokyo that worries me at all, I want to jump right in. What worries me about Tokyo is the rail/subway system which is quite daunting. Why? Because of all the different train lines. If you have a train/subway map of tokyo, it wont mention all the private lines that connect to the main ones. And I access the system through a private line so that gave me about 3 hours of squinting at the map in total confusion before it was explained to me.

How are all you guys doing? Hit me with an email and fill me in. Expect a very entertaining expose on a local curry restaurant soon.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

A week in da life
As I write this, the bottom of my forearms are covered in rows of what look like mosquito bites but with a big bloody center. Hmmm, what are these, you ask? Well my friends, they are the ever pleasant phenomena known as TICK BITES! Mmmmm lovely ticks, beautiful, majestic creatures. I just love how they burrow their entire head into your skin and just haul back on your blood. Naturally, most of them dont make it out of their feast alive, since their head gets stuck inside your skin and they decapitate themselves, leaving a corpse on the ground and a little tick head firmly lodged inside your skin. Such lovely creatures.... Especially when you have an infestation on the floor of your bedroom. Apparently they have been exterminated, but that still doesnt erase the horrid imagery of ticks biting me, or the many bites that now decorate my arms.

On a lighter note, I am about to eat eels. In less than 20 minutes I am scheduled for a dinner meeting with my Yashio Evening Rotary club and another rotary club, to promote good relations between the two exchange groups. Indeed nothing sings of solidarity more than a large snakeish sea creature steaming in a bowl of noodles. Also of note, squid isnt that bad.

After negotiations with my school staff, I have created my own class schedule. In a master stroke, I explained that I wanted to attend classes where teamwork and communication is emphasised. Classes that required masterful thinking and intelligence such as music, art, and home economics. Naturally, picking classes as challenging as these is no idle decision. I had to seriously analyze my abilities to ensure I was prepared for such a grueling schedule. Playing the triangle is very taxing, you know.

I am at the point where I am in limbo. My japanese skills are improving quickly, and I have many friends, but my skills in the language arent sufficient to arrange a time to hangout or go somewheres with my friends. So until I learn how to speak at least at a neophyte level, I have considered buying a console. It would provide me with entertainment when there are holes in my busy schedule. For I am often busy with rotary things, but when I have free time, its usually a long gap. So here are my considerations.

Gamecube - Starfox comes out tomorrow. What makes the Gamecube a solid contender is the fact that its 10,000 yen cheaper than its competitors and the games are much cheaper also. Furthermore, many of the games are in the true nintendo tradition of focusing on gameplay and not lots of reading. That is a good thing since I cant read any japanese.

PS2 - Wicked, awesome games that I cant understand.�@If I could read japanese, I would get this without a doubt.

Xbox - Kinda a mix of ps2 and gamecube. A balance of simple games with ones that require alot of reading.

At this point in time im shooting for the Gamecube, since it seems the most practical.

Side Note: I bought a GBA with Rockman and Forte which is an awesome megaman game. And its not out in north america yet. Ha! Anyways I beat it, so I might buy that new castlevania game.

Oh, looks like its time to head to the meeting. Keep visiting this place if you like it so far.
And by the way, go ahead and take some time to write me. Ask me anything you want or just chat. I dont get to speak to english people much anymore.
oldschool@brunnet.net

And now for your moment of zen
Triumph the insult comic dog

ƒ`ƒƒƒh <--- my name in japanese (wont show up unless you have japanese language support activated)

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Heres a lowdown of the situation:
Hosts
I live with a host family whose last name is Yoda. I always thought the name was funny but didnt want to offend their family name by making yoda jokes, but one day.....

diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo

(Chad and Mr.Yoda are walking down the street on a hot and humid day. Mr Yoda is a short stocky Japanese man who looks almost exactly like Dan the Automator)

Chad: Atsui ne? (its hot eh?)
Yoda: Hai (yes)... Chado, do you enjoy stawas?
Chad: Nani? (what?)
Yoda: Staaawaaas
Chad: Oh, you mean starwars!
Yoda: Hai
Chad: Yes I love starwars
Yoda: In film there is great master. This person is me...
Chad: Cool!

diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo

So with a short insight into Mr.Yodas personoa, lets introduce the cast.

Otousan (Japanese for father):
Is in upper management for a large airconditioning corporation called Daikin. Has a real rolex and always does fake golf swings when he is bored. When walking he sometimes breaks out into a long stepping march to express his exuberant business personality. He gets a kick out of Chads every action. He is responsible for coining the term CHADO SIZE.

Let me explain:
Chad and Mr.Yoda are at a restaurant and Chad orders a coke. It comes in a small glass and Chad drinks it all easily. Mr Yoda frowns and says ;That is not Chado size hmmm?; He then orders a larger glass which he dubs CHADO SIZE. This term also applies to Pop bottles, Bowls of soup, and Clothing.

Next we have Okasan (Mother)
Has a tendacy to giggle uncontrollably. As well, when she is concerned she will say ;hmmmmmmmm!:. She often drives Chad to one of the countless giant shopping centres when he wants to buy stuff.

Onisan (Brother) - Yussuke (Pronounced You-skay)
18 years old. Works in a restaurant in Tokyos immensely popular and trendy Shinjuku district. Almost as tall as Chad but very thin. He brought Chad to his first Tokyo visit. When going to pick up his paycheck in Tokyo he let Chad tag along. The best english speaker of the family. On the way home from Tokyo on the subway something happened...

diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo

The Drunk:
(Chad and Yussuke are waiting for the train on the platform when a Japanese man comes very close up behind them and leans forward. Chad and Yussuke think he is falling alsleep but continue talking despite the man leaning between them. Suddenly the Japanese man smiles widely and speaks to Yussuke)

Man (speaking japanese): Where is he from?
Yussuke (also in japanese): Kanada
Man (switching to poor english): You are strong!
(The man then squeezes Chads arm)
Chad: Thanks.

(The three board the train while the man continues to speak in Japanese with Yussuke while occasionally glancing over to Chad and nodding. We reach our destination and prepare to get off the train)

Man: Your name please?
Chad: Chado
Man: Bye Chado!
Chad: Bye!

(Chad steps off the train. The man stands in the train doors saying ;bye Chadooooooooooooo; as the doors close and muffle his voice)

Yussuke: Ummmm... I think he is drunk...
Chad: Yes

diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo diddly doo

And finally...
Ototo (little brother) - Yoshihiro (or yoshi for short)
15 years old. Very shy. Makes clicking noises with his tongue to amuse himself. Lent Chad his PS2 for a day. No other reconaissance....

Now that we have met the family, lets find out the setting!

Where I Am:
Yashio, my place of residence: Is it a city or a district of a larger city? I have recieved both definitions from Japanese people so I honestly dont know. What I can tell you is that it is a nonstop urban jungle. From Yashio to Tokyo there are nonstop buildings, and I dont think they ever end. So in that regard, I can understand why its so hard to define just what Yashio is.
The street layout twists and turns uncontrollably, but thats damn cool. Lots of housing zoned next to the main street full of cool shops. Im guessing the area defined as Yashio is about two Halifaxes big ,population wise.

Now that we have set up the cast and setting, lets actually see what Chad has experienced!

Other Stuff:
Biking - Okasan let me use her little pink bicycle with a little basket in the front. And use it I did. I bike at least an hour everyday, usually 3 hours. I just explore explore explore, and I wont run out of new places to discover any time soon. Otousan obviously noticed this and bought me a brand new :Red sportso bike!:. He took me outside and revealed it to me saying :Enjoy cycling!:. Now this new sports model really hauls ass, and allows me to travel much farther and faster. All the bikes in Japan are the same, looking like 50s suburbia paperboy bicycles, complete with a bell and a basket.

Japanese Television - is endlessly entertaining. To elaborate I will tell you about a show I watched yesterday. It featured 7 men in hamster suits who are given 3 colors very quickly. They then must say 3 foods that are that color as fast as possible.
For example: Green, Red, Yellow
And the hamster would scream in Japanese ;Lettuce, Tomato, Lemonnnnnnnn!;
If one of the hamster men does not answer in time, or messes up 3 times, he it put into a chair and launched into a vat of mustard at an extremely high velocity. Im not sure exactly what makes it so funny. Perhaps its the fact that japanese men dressed as hamsters are screaming food names and being launched into mustard vats.

End of part one. (hey that was alot wasnt it? I gotta rest my fingers!)
Stay tuned
Ohayo Gozaimasu - Good Morning
You thought you could run, mayhap you thought you could hide? But no, ladies and gentlemen, you cannot escape the wrath of Chadzilla now that he has a blog online to log his travels in the land of the rising sun. HAAAAAA