Archive for July, 2006

Drinks out with Fumio

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Fumio and I went out for some drinks on Saturday night. I was comfortable watching the latest King Kong movie (I didn’t like it) but I decided to go anyways. We went to this cool club not far from our houses, on the 3rd floor directly on Honmoku dori. It was very cool inside, but not a soul to be found! One or two people came and went during our time there, but by midnight it was still a ghost-town.

The bartender was amazingly keen on his work. He’d measure exactly the right amount, swirl the ice-cubes in a specific way so it didn’t freeze against the glass, mixing the drinks in a wierd flailing way…

The drinks were delicious though. I found it odd that they’d sell a Kamikaze in the bars, but I guess that’s Japan. One of the drinks was made with this big round ice-sphere. It was very cool! The ice melts much differently than for cubes apparently.
A bit expensive for the evening, but lots of fun!

Wearing a bib

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Some colleagues and I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and they gave us paper bibs to wear so that our work shirts would not get soiled! How nice!

It’s quite amusing at night coming home on the train sometimes. There’s usually a few people drunk and it’s always funny seeing the Japanese people drunk. They usually make really nice drunks, keep to themselves, or just have fun. It’s quite different than the average Japanese person on the train during the day. I once saw someone who took, like 30 seconds of rough shaking to wake up from the end station in a train. Then they stood waiting for the next train and although they were swaying like a tree in a strong wind, they didn’t fall down at all! Amazing!


Monday, July 24th, 2006

I had my team and some of the people I work with over for a barbeque on the weekend. It was great fun meeting all the people and their families. We had about 5 kiddies running around and I was pretty busy entertaining, so I couldn’t really play much with the kids. Horiuchi-san brought her little girl Nanako, Kousaka-san brought her son Kai, Benny brought his two kids and Yokokawa-san brought his two girls.

Everybody brought a bit of food and I had lots of drink, so we stayed out quite late, drinking and telling stories. Inui-san dropped by very late, with some fish that he had caught outside Shonan. Koga-san’s wife cut the fish up and we had sashimi which was very yummy. Sahara-san was pretty drunk, so he stayed overnight. When I got up in the morning, he had gone, but some elves must have been by, since the dishes were all done. So that was probably that klinking sound I heard in the morning. I was feeling a bit hung-over, so I just hung out on Sunday and mucked about with the computer.

I learned a new sentence in Japanese:

“sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi”

which means something like plums are a kind of a peach, a peach is also a peach, both plums and peaches are kinds of peaches.

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Sunday, July 16th, 2006

They had fireworks tonight in Yokohama, and it was a very interesting experience. There must have been 2 million people down at the park and it was completely chocka down there with more people than I’ve seen in a long time. People marked out their spots on the ground and I’d say most people had at least an obstructed view of the fireworks. I wandered about looking at people and the docks that they had opened just for this occasion (normally it’s shut-off from the public), so I had a good time. There were plenty of crazy people who had parked and put on their car alarms, which were going off all over the place (in an american voice: “Please step away from the car” – eesh). There were lots of little kids around, some didn’t like the loud noises, but there were lots of families enjoying the evening and there was also lots of beer.

I found out later that the celebration was for the opening of the port in Yokohama – the first place that Japan opened their ports to foreign lands. That would be Perry, who convinced Japan to open up.

Mt. Takao (高尾山)

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

We walked up Mt. Takao today, which was good fun. It was awefully hot and it was raining for a while there, but it was interesting nevertheless. Henrik brought a friend from Denmark, Louise, who is out here doing her doctorate in pharmaceuticals. We walked for most of the day, went to a very cool place for lunch which was hanging out over the cliff, and went to see a waterfall with a crazy shrieking priestess. Then we took the chairlift down.

Taihen desu ne.

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

I had some bad luck last night. I decided to make a Costco run late last night, around 5:30. I took the bike and when I got there (about a 1/2 hour cycle) Costco had just closed. So I had to cycle all the way back again. Then around half way home, I got a flat tyre. So I had to walk the 5 km with a flat tyre. Oh well. I stopped off at a restaurant for some food which was rather yummy. I cycle past the place most days and have often wondered how the food is. When they were making it though, I saw that they just microwaved some of the food, so it probably wasn’t that good quality. The beer was very good though and my sore throat felt quite good after that, particularly after all the hard cycling and walking with the bike. There is some good news though – they’ve put a bicycle lane in on the way to the station, which is great! Now I have a bit more room to move.

At the barber

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

I just had a very cool experience. I went to the barber to get my hair cut. Kurita-san the barber only knows a few words of english, so I had to use my Japanese. It was very exciting. We spoke about the usual “guy” things like sports, countries, job etc. and then the usual barber things like the weather, the haircut, the family etc. I missed a fair amount of it, but caught a surprising amount of it actually! I felt I could effectively communicate my ideas and get my point across, which was really exciting. I’m sure he thought my Japanese was terrible, but he was kind and praised my Japanese, saying often how difficult Japanese and english is. What a fun time!